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Cultivation conditions affect the monosaccharide composition in Ulva fenestrata

Journal article
Authors J. Olsson
Gunilla B. Toth
Annelous Oerbecke
S. Cvijetinovic
N. Wahlstrom
H. Harrysson
Sophie Steinhagen
Alexandra Kinnby
Joel White
U. Edlund
I. Undeland
Henrik Pavia
E. Albers
Published in Journal of Applied Phycology
Pages 9
ISSN 0921-8971
Publication year 2020
Published at Department of marine sciences, Tjärnö Marine Laboratory
Pages 9
Language en
Keywords Ulva fenestrata, Cultivation, Abiotic growth factors, Monosaccharides, composition, Ulvan, amino-acid synthesis, sulfated polysaccharides, antioxidant activity, green, lactuca, rigida, temperature, growth, reproduction, carbon, Biotechnology & Applied Microbiology, Marine & Freshwater Biology
Subject categories Marine ecology


In recent years, the interest in using seaweed for the sustainable production of commodities has been increasing as seaweeds contain many potentially worthwhile compounds. Thus, the extraction and refining processes of interesting compounds from seaweeds is a hot research topic but has been found to have problems with profitability for novel applications. To increase the economic potential of refining seaweed biomass, the content of the compounds of interest should be maximized, which can potentially be achieved through optimization of cultivation conditions. In this study, we studied how the monosaccharide composition of the green seaweed species Ulva fenestrata is influenced by the abiotic factors; irradiance, temperature, nitrate, phosphate, and pCO(2). It was evident that lower nitrate concentration and cultivation at elevated temperature increased monosaccharide contents. A 70% increase in iduronic acid and a 26% increase in rhamnose content were seen under elevated irradiance and temperature conditions, though the absolute differences in monosaccharide concentration were small. Irradiance and nitrate impacted the ratio between iduronic and rhamnose, which is an indicator of the ulvan structure. These results could potentially be utilized to coax the ulvan towards specific bioactivities, and thus have a considerable impact on a potential biorefinery centered around Ulva.

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