Abstract: Macroalgae are considered bioindicators for marine pollution, because they have the ability to quickly react to changes in their environment. In consequence, macroalgae populations fluctuate, according to species characteristics and adaptive strategies. Their cell wall polysaccharides contain sulfate groups that are capable of retaining and accumulating heavy metals. In addition to traditional contaminants, emerging pollutants are being recognized in aquatic environments. Herein, emerging pollutants have been identified after being desorbed from the macroalga Dichotomaria marginata, collected from Fortaleza Beach, Ubatuba, Brazil. Based on that algal polysaccharide networks have the potential of forming hydrogen bonds with polar compounds, it was hypothesized that these pollutants would be bound to sugar polymers. Compounds present in the D. marginata samples were identified using both gas and liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS and HPLC/MS), assisted by computational methods. It was possible to unequivocally identify 22 emerging contaminants with GC/MS, and 16 substances with HPLC/MS.
Resumen: Las macroalgas se consideran bioindicadores de la contaminación marina, ya que tienen la capacidad de reaccionar rápidamente a los cambios en su entorno. En consecuencia, las poblaciones de macroalgas fluctúan, según las características de las especies y las estrategias de adaptación. Sus polisacáridos de la pared celular contienen grupos sulfato que son capaces de retener y acumular metales pesados. Además de los contaminantes tradicionales, los contaminantes emergentes están siendo reconocidos en ambientes acuáticos. En este trabajo, los contaminantes emergentes se han identificado después de ser desorbidos de la macroalga, Dichotomaria marginata, recolectada en la playa de Fortaleza, Ubatuba, Brasil. Basado en el hecho de que las redes de polisacáridos de algas tienen el potencial de formar enlaces de hidrógeno con compuestos polares, se planteó la hipótesis de que estos contaminantes estarían unidos a polímeros de azúcar. Los compuestos presentes en las muestras de D. marginata se identificaron mediante cromatografía de gases y líquidos-espectrometría de masas (GC-MS y LC-MS), asistidos por métodos computacionales. Fue posible identificar inequívocamente 22 contaminantes emergentes con GC-MS y 16 sustancias con LC-MS.
Abstract Aim The response of mixed cultures and monocultures of Pseudopediastrum boryanum (Turpin) E. Hegewald and Scenedesmus obliquus (Turpin) Kützing was assessed in the laboratory at three different temperatures: 20, 30 and 40 °C. The change in biomass and biochemical composition of these cultures was evaluated. Methods Microalgae were placed in a batch culture over 21-days in ASM1 medium. Cell density was directly counted every two days using a Fuchs-Rosenthal hemocytometer. Chlorophyll ‘a’ and total carotenoids were extracted twice. Protein, carbohydrate, total lipid and fatty acid contents were determined at the end of the experiment. Results Cultures grown in 40 °C exhibited no growth. However, there was increased cell density (13.6 x 106 cell.mL-1) and biomass (55 g.L-1) in the S. obliquus monoculture at 30 °C. High protein concentrations (672.6 mg.g-1) were observed in monocultures P. boryanum and S. obliquus at 20 °C treatments. There were high carbohydrate concentrations (6.17 mg.g-1) in P. boryanum unialgal at 30 °C. There was no significant difference in total lipid content between S. obliquus (95.5 mg.g-1), P. boryanum (96.3 mg.g-1) and the mixed culture at 20 °C (105.3 mg.g-1). FAMEs varied significantly regarding the number of unsaturated components, which predominantly consisted of fatty acids with two or more unsaturated bonds. Conclusions The biomass of the treatments analyzed was rich in proteins and essential fatty acids (such as linolenic acid), yet low in carbohydrate content, suggesting its potential use as a food supplement. Our results indicate that mixed culture of P. boryanum and S. obliquus was inefficient in cultivating biomass or biochemical compounds as compared to the unialgal cultivations. However, algae grown together showed better stability in their biochemical composition in response to changes in temperature, an important factor for microalgae production in open ponds and in food safety measures. These results suggest the consortia among different species of microalgae should be tested to determine better methodologies for the production of biomass and metabolites with greater stability towards environmental factors.
Resumo Objetivo Avaliar o desenvolvimento de Pseudopediastrum boryanum (Turpin) E. Hegewald e Scenedesmus obliquus (Turpin) Kützing em cultivos unialgais e mistos, em três diferentes temperaturas, 20, 30 e 40 °C, em escala laboratorial, em termos de biomassa e composição bioquímica. Métodos O cultivo foi do tipo batelada, em meio ASM1. A densidade celular foi determinada por contagem direta em hemocitômetro a cada dois dias. As análises dos principais pigmentos se deram em dois tempos e as análises de proteínas, carboidratos, lipídeos totais e perfil de ésteres metílicos apenas ao final do experimento. Resultados Não foi registrado crescimento celular nas cepas cultivadas em 40 °C. Incremento na densidade celular (13.6 x 106 cell.mL-1) e biomassa (55 g.L-1) foram registrados na cultura unialgal de S. obliquus em 30 °C. Elevadas concentrações de proteínas (672.6 mg.g-1) foram observadas nos cultivos unialgais de P. boryanum e de S. obliquus em 20 °C e de carboidratos (6.17 mg.g-1) apenas no cultivo unialgal de P. boryanum em 30 °C. Os FAMEs (fatty acid methyl esteres) variaram significativamente em relação ao número de insaturações, sendo constituídos em sua maioria por ácidos graxos com duas ou mais insaturações. Conclusões A biomassa dos tratamentos analisados foi rica em proteínas, ácidos graxos essenciais, como o ácido linolênico, e apresentou baixo teor de carboidratos, sugerindo seu potencial uso como suplemento alimentar. Nossos resultados indicam que a cultura mista de P. boryanum e S. obliquus não foi uma condição eficiente para a produção de biomassa ou compostos bioquímicos. No entanto, algas cultivadas em consórcio apresentaram melhor estabilidade em sua composição bioquímica em resposta a mudanças de temperatura, fator importante para a produção de microalgas em lagoas abertas e para garantir a segurança alimentar. Estes resultados sugerem que os consórcios entre diferentes espécies de microalgas devem ser testados para determinar melhores metodologias para produção de biomassa e metabólitos com maior estabilidade à fatores ambientais.
We present an environment friendly synthesis of selenium nanoparticles and the study of their cytotoxic activity against uterine sarcoma cancer and fibroblasts cells. Amorphous selenium (a-SeNPs) and trigonal selenium (t-SeNPs) were synthesized using D-fructose as the reducing agent and characterized by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), powder X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD), inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP OES), dynamic light scattering (DLS) to obtain zeta potential values and cyclic voltammetry (CV). Particularly, a-SeNPs presented high toxicity toward the resistant cancer cell line MES-SA/Dx5 and its parental MES-SA line. However, they are not toxic against P4 fibroblast cells in comparative studies.
Abstract: Background: Seaweeds must survive in highly competitive environments and thus develop defense strategies that may produce highly diversified antioxidant compounds. Goals: The main objective of this work was to assess the antioxidant activity of green seaweeds. Methods: Six species of ulvophycean chlorophytes were collected during spring/summer, between the Antarctic (Monostroma hariotii, Protomonostroma rosulatum and Ulva hookeriana - formerly as U. bulbosa) and the southwestern Atlantic Ocean (Gayralia brasiliensis, Protomonostroma undulatum and Ulva fasciata). They were then tested for their antioxidant activities using the 2.2-diphenyl-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging method and by quantification of their phenolic (expressed as gallic acid equivalent - GAE - and carotenoid contents. Results: Among the evaluated species, P. rosulatum and U. hookeriana showed high antioxidant potential (77.9±2.8 and 53.1±15.0%, respectively) and high phenolic content (176±6.0 and 144.7±8.9 µg GAE g-1, respectively). These species were collected on King George Island (South Shetland archipelago, around the Antarctic Peninsula) and their higher antioxidant potential may be associated with adaptation to the high incidence of UV rays in this region during summer. In general, tested seaweeds, mainly the samples collected in the Antarctic and Chilean Patagonia, showed higher values of phenolic (from 58.3±2.0 to 144.7±8.9 µg GAE g-1) and carote noid contents (from 23.4±0.2 to 51.5±0.1 µg β-carotene g-1). Conclusions: The presence and levels of these compounds suggest that the target seaweeds may have high antioxidant potential. Also the antioxidant activity could be associated with the occurrence area of the species instead of the order or taxonomic group to which they belong.
Resumen: Antecedentes: Las algas marinas tienen que sobrevivir en entornos altamente competitivos, lo que hace que desarrollan estrategias de defensa que pueden dar lugar a una gran diversidad de compuestos antioxidantes. Objetivos: El principal objetivo de este trabajo fue evaluar la actividad antioxidante de algas verdes. Métodos: Seis especies de clorófitos (Ulvophyceae) recogidos durante el primavera/verano entre la Antártida (Monostroma hariotii, Protomonostroma rosulatum y Ulva hookeriana - antes como U. bulbosa) y el Atlántico Sur (Gayralia brasiliensis, Protomonostroma undulatum y Ulva fasciata) fueron probados por su actividad antioxidante usando el método de secuestro de radicales libres con 2,2-diphenil-picrylhidrazil (DPPH) y pela cuantificación de contenidos fenólicos (expreso como equivalente de ácido gálico (GAE)) y contenidos de carotenoides. Resultados: Entre las especies evaluadas, P. rosulatum y U. hookeriana mostraron alto potencial antioxidante (77,9±2,8 y 53,1±15%, respectivamente) y alto contenido fenólico (176±6,0 y 144,7±8,9 µg GAE g-1, respectivamente). Estas especies fueron recolectadas en la Isla Rey Jorge (cerca de la Península Antártida) y su mayor potencial antioxidante puede estar asociado con la adaptación a la alta incidencia de los rayos UV en esta región. En general, las algas marinas probadas, principalmente las muestras recogidas en la Patagonia Antártida y chilena, mostraron valores más altos de fenólico (de 58,3 ± 2,0 a 144,7 ± 8,9 mg GAE g-1) y el contenido de carotenoides (de 23,4 ± 0,2 a 51,5 ± 0,1 mg g-1 β-caroteno). Conclusiones: La presencia y los niveles de estos compuestos sugieren que las algas marinas diana pueden tener un alto potencial antioxidante. También la actividad antioxidante podría estar asociada con el área de ocurrencia de las especies en lugar de la orden o grupo taxonómico a la que pertenecen.
Abstract Schistosomiasis may be caused by six different species of the genus Schistosoma. Current treatment is based only on two drugs: oxamniquine, which is only effective against the Schistosoma mansoni species, and praziquantel, which is ineffective against young parasites. Therefore, research on new drugs and their targets for the treatment of this disease is urgently needed. In the present work, the efficacies of several seaweeds extracts against S. mansoni were tested. Worm couples were incubated with different concentration of seaweed extracts for 120 h and monitored after the first 2 h and then every 24 h to evaluate death, mobility reduction and couple detachment. The extracts of 13 different seaweed species were tested in a first trial and the active extracts were further evaluated in lower concentrations. The extracts of Gracilaria ornata and species belonging to the genera Dictyota and Laurencia showed activity at relatively low concentrations. The active extracts were analyzed by LC–MS, and possible candidates are proposed.
Abstract Alzheimer's disease affects nearly 36.5 million people worldwide, and acetylcholinesterase inhibition is currently considered the main therapeutic strategy against it. Seaweed biodiversity in Brazil represents one of the most important sources of biologically active compounds for applications in phytotherapy. Accordingly, this study aimed to carry out a quantitative and qualitative assessment of Hypnea musciformis (Wulfen) J.V. Lamouroux, Ochtodes secundiramea (Montagne) M.A. Howe, and Pterocladiella capillacea (S.G. Gmelin) Santelices & Hommersand (Rhodophyta) in order to determine the AChE effects from their extracts. As a matter of fact, the O. secundiramea extract showed 48% acetylcholinesterase inhibition at 400 μg/ml. The chemical composition of the bioactive fraction was determined by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS); this fraction is solely composed of halogenated monoterpenes, therefore allowing assignment of acetylcholinesterase inhibition activity to them.
Cyanobacteria are prokaryotic and photosynthetic organisms, which can produce a wide range of bioactive compounds with different properties; including a variety of toxic compounds, also known as cyanotoxins. In this work, we describe the isolation of seven cyanobacterial strains from two reservoirs in São Paulo State, Brazil. Seven different chemical variants of microcystins (MC-RR, MC-LR, MC-YR, MC-LF, MC-LW, and two demethylated variants, dm-MC-RR and dm-MC-LR) were detected in three of the ten isolated strains. One particular Microcystis aeruginosa strain (LTPNA 02) was chosen to evaluate its growth by cell count, and its toxin production under seven different nutritional regimes. We observed different growth behaviors in the logarithmic growth period for only three experiments (p < 0.05). The total growth analysis identified four experiments as different from the control (p < 0.01). Three microcystin variants (MC-RR, MC-LR and MC-YR) were quantified by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. At the experimental end, the toxin content was unchanged when comparing cell growth in ASM-1 (N:P = 1), MLA and BG-11 (N:P = 10) medium. In all other experiments, the lowest microcystin production was observed from cells grown in Bold 3N medium during the exponential growth phase. The highest microcystin content was observed in cultures using BG-11(N:P = 100) medium.
The use of indigenous or remote popular knowledge to identify new drugs against diseases or infections is a well-known approach in medicine. The inhabitants of coastal regions are known to prepare algae extracts for the treatment of disorders and ailments such as wounds, fever and stomach aches, as for the prevention of arrhythmia. Recent trends in drug research from natural sources have indicated that marine algae are a promising source of novel biochemically active compounds, especially with antiprotozoal activity. Algae survive in a competitive environment and, therefore, developed defense strategies that have resulted in a significant level of chemical structural diversity in various metabolic pathways. The exploration of these organisms for pharmaceutical and medical purposes has provided important chemical candidates for the discovery of new agents against neglected tropical diseases, stimulating the use of sophisticated physical techniques. This current review describes the main substances biosynthesized by benthic marine algae with activity against Leishmaniaspp., Trypanosoma cruziand Trypanosoma brucei; the causative agents of leishmaniasis, Chagas disease and African trypanosomiasis, respectively. Emphasis is given to secondary metabolites and crude extracts prepared from marine algae.
Seaweeds are photosynthetic organisms important to their ecosystem and constitute a source of compounds with several different applications in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and biotechnology industries, such as triacylglycerols, which can be converted to fatty acid methyl esters that make up biodiesel, an alternative source of fuel applied in economic important areas. This study evaluates the fatty acid profiles and concentrations of three Brazilian seaweed species, Hypnea musciformis (Wulfen) J.V. Lamouroux (Rhodophya), Sargassum cymosum C. Agardh (Heterokontophyta), and Ulva lactuca L. (Chlorophyta), comparing three extraction methods (Bligh & Dyer - B&D; AOAC Official Methods - AOM; and extraction with methanol and ultrasound - EMU) and two transesterification methods (7% BF3 in methanol - BF3; and 5% HCl in methanol - HCl). The fatty acid contents of the three species of seaweeds were significantly different when extracted and transesterified by the different methods. Moreover, the best method for one species was not the same for the other species. The best extraction and transesterification methods for H. musciformis, S. cymosum and U. lactuca were, respectively, AOM-HCl, B&D-BF3 and B&D-BF3/B&D-HCl. These results point to a matrix effect and the method used for the analysis of the fatty acid content of different organisms should be selected carefully.
The concentrations of phycobiliproteins (phycoerythrin and phycocyanin), chlorophyll-a and total soluble proteins were determined monthly in three strains (red, green and brown) of Gracilaria domingensis (Kützing) Sonder ex Dickie, collected from natural populations on the coast of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. In all the strains, pigment and protein concentrations were higher in the months of less sunlight and greater nitrogen availability and decreased gradually with increased sunlight and decreased nutrient concentration. The red strain showed higher concentrations of phycoerythrin and total soluble proteins. The difference in the concentration of biochemical components over the course of the year indicates species acclimation to different environmental conditions.
Climate change can be associated with variations in the frequency and intensity of extreme temperatures and precipitation events on the local and regional scales. Along coastal areas, flooding associated with increased occupation has seriously impacted products and services generated by marine life, in particular the biotechnological potential that macroalgae hold. Therefore, this paper analyzes the available information on the taxonomy, ecology and physiology of macroalgae and discusses the impacts of climate change and local stress on the biotechnological potential of Brazilian macroalgae. Based on data compiled from a series of floristic and ecological works, we note the disappearance in some Brazilian regions of major groups of biotechnological interest. In some cases, the introduction of exotic species has been documented, as well as expansion of the distribution range of economically important species. We also verify an increase in the similarities between the Brazilian phycogeographic provinces, although they still remain different. It is possible that these changes have resulted from the warming of South Atlantic water, as observed for its surface in southeastern Brazilian, mainly during the winter. However, unplanned urbanization of coastal areas can also produce similar biodiversity losses, which requires efforts to generate long-term temporal data on the composition, community structure and physiology of macroalgae.
This work presents the effects of an anatoxin-a(s)-containing extract on a cockroach semi-isolated heart preparation and the results supporting the extract’s biological activity on acetylcholinesterase (purified from ell). The presence of the toxin in cyanobacterial strains Anabaena spiroides (ITEP-024, ITEP-025 and ITEP-026) isolated from the Tapacurá reservoir in Pernambuco, Brazil, was confirmed by means of liquid chromatography coupled to an ion-trap mass spectrometer. The anticholinesterase activity was assessed biochemically by the Ellman test and was confirmed by measuring the cockroach’s heart rate. The concentration of the extract containing the tested anatoxin-a(s) (antx-a(s)) (10, 16 and 100 μg.μL-1) inhibited the eel acetylcholinesterase (AChE) by more than 90%. The cockroach cardiac frequency increased by a maximum of about 20% within 29 min after the addition of 2.5x10³ μg of extract containing antxa (s).g-1 bw (n=9, p<0.05). Our results strongly indicate that antx-a(s) is capable of exerting biological effects on cockroach, indicating that more research might be conducted to determine its role in the environment, especially on insects.
Gracilaria domingensis (Kützing) Sonder ex Dickie and Gracilaria birdiae (Plastino & Oliveira) (Gracilariales, Rhodophyta) are seaweeds that occur on the Brazilian coast. Based on their economic and pharmaceutical importance, we investigated the antioxidant activity of the methanolic, ethyl acetate and hexane extracts of both species. The hexane extracts display a high antioxidant activity and comparative analyses indicated G. birdiae as the most active species. Chemical investigation of these fractions showed several carotenoids and fatty acids, as well as cholesterol and sitosterol derivatives. HPLC-DAD analysis of G. birdiae showed violaxanthin (0.04 μg.mg-1 of dry material), antheraxanthin (5.31 μg.mg-1), aloxanthin (0.09 μg.mg-1), zeaxanthin (0.45 μg.mg-1) and β-carotene (0.37 μg.mg-1) as the major carotenoids. G. domingensis showed a similar carotenoid profile, however, with much lower concentration than G. birdiae. Gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry was used to determine other nonpolar compounds of these seaweeds. The main compounds detected in both studied species were the fatty acids 16:0; 18:1 Δ9; 20:3 Δ6,9,12, 20:4 Δ5,8,11,14. We found no specificity of compounds in either species. However, G. birdiae, presented higher contents of carotenoids and arachidonic acid than G. domingensis.
In this study we report the characterization of the volatile compounds of Laurencia dendroidea. Solvent extracts (dichloromethane and methanol), hydrodistillation extracts and headspace solid-phase microextraction samples were obtained and analyzed by GC-MS. Forty-six volatile components were identified in L. dendroidea, among them hydrocarbons, alcohols, phenols, aldehydes, ketones, acids, esters and terpenes.