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Seasonal variation of phlorotannin in sargassacean species from the coast of the Sea of Japan

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Variations in phlorotannin concentrations among the developmental stages of brown algae have been reported; however, the phlorotannin concentration plasticity associated with fluctuations in environmental factors make it difficult to determine the essential ontogenetic variation. The phlorotannin concentrations in five perennial sargassacean species where newly sprouted branches appear in summer and become fertile the following spring were examined every month during a year; and correlation with the developmental or seasonal environmental factors was determined. Although the phlorotannin fluctuated greatly throughout the year, the fluctuation patterns were relatively similar among the five species: phlorotannin showed a peak during July and August; gradually decreased in the winter; and increased in April. Performing a multiple regression analysis, the phlorotannin concentration did not correlate with thallus size in all species; and phlorotannin amounts were significantly affected by ambient abiotic factors in some species. The phlorotannin contents in newly sprouted branches were always higher than those in the long main branches during all seasons. When the phlorotannin contents were determined monthly for S. fulvellum (Turner) C. Agardh where the thalli were cultured from embryos in outdoor tanks, the phlorotannin concentrations were 3–4% of the dry matter (DM) in the juveniles and decreased to less than 1% of the DM in thalli >7.5 cm in length. However, the phlorotannin in these cultured thalli suddenly increased to 5.3% DM after being transplanted to the inshore coast; and then the concentration gradually decreased. The data show higher phlorotannin concentrations in younger sargassacean algae thalli and fluctuation of the phlorotannin amounts with extrinsic environmental factors.
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Keywords: Sargassum; culture; ontogenetic variation; phlorotannin; seasonal change

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Fukui Prefectural University, 1-1 Gakuen-cho, Obama, Fukui, 917-0003, Japan, and 2: Kyoto Institute of Oceanic and Fishery Science, Odashukuno, Miyazu, Kyoto, 626-0052 Japan

Publication date: 01 January 2010

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