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Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia

Print version ISSN 0102-695X


FERNANDES, Daniela R. P. et al. Characterization of the photosynthetic conditions and pigment profiles of the colour strains of Hypnea musciformis from field-collected and in vitro cultured samples. Rev. bras. farmacogn. [online]. 2012, vol.22, n.4, pp.753-759.  Epub May 24, 2012. ISSN 0102-695X.

Hypnea musciformis (Wulfen) JV Lamour. is a species of great economic interest as it produces Κ-carrageenan and has shown biological activities against HIV and HSV viruses. This species displays different colour strains in its natural habitat, which may have implications for the biotechnological potential of the species. The aim of this study was to characterize the photosynthetic apparatus and pigment profile of three colour strains of H. musciformis (green, brown and red) in their natural habitat and in culture. Chlorophyll a fluorescence of photosystem II was measured with a pulse-amplitude modulated fluorometer and pigments were quantified by spectrofluorimetry (chlorophyll a) and spectrophotometry (phycobiliproteins). In the natural habitat, we detected significant differences between the colour strains for the following photochemical parameters: the green strain had a higher effective quantum yield (ΦPSII) than the red strain and a higher maximum relative electron transport rate (rETRmax) than the brown and red strains. Saturation irradiances were 1000 µE.m-2.s-1 (green) and 500 µE.m-2.s-1 (brown and red). Concerning in vitro culture, the green strain presented the lowest ΦPSII, rETRmax, and α rETR, while the brown strain presented the highest values for these same parameters. The chlorophyll a content of the cultured green strain was the lowest. The phycoerythrin contents of the three colour strains were unchanged by either natural of in vitro conditions: lower in green, intermediate in brown and higher in the red strain, ensuring the chromatic identity of the strains. Our results suggest that the green strain has a better performance when exposed to high irradiance, but a lower efficiency under low irradiance compared to the brown and red strains.

Keywords : photosystem II; chlorophyll α; phycobiliproteins; colour strains; Rhodophyta.

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