Investigating methods to increase tetraspore release and vegetative growth of the red seaweed Palmaria palmata

Claudia Garcia

Palmaria palmata cultivation is increasing due to its exceptional nutritional and physiological characteristics, with applications in the food and feed industries, as well as in bioremediation. Yet, several bottlenecks limit large-scale cultivation of P. palmata. This thesis is aimed to improve the cultivation protocol of P. palmata by investigating the effect of 1) water motion, desiccation and darkness on tetraspore release, 2) tissue area to form vegetative proliferations, 3) light quality and 4) light intensity on vegetative growth and pigment composition. P. palmata showed more (7.8 ± 8.2 number of proliferations/1.5 cm) and longest proliferations (18.7 ± 37.6 cm) at the areas closer to the holdfast, as well as in the outer parts of the tissue sections. Light quality had affected specific growth rate (SGR) and pigment concentration with highest SGR observed under white fluorescent light (9.82 ± 1.06%) and higher phycocyanin (PC, 0.41 ± 0.07 mg g-) and phycoerythrin (PE, 4.94 ± 0.49 mg g-1) levels under blue and red LED light. SGR and pigment composition were also affected by light intensity, with highest SGR (12.85 ± 0.73%) at 350 μmol photons m−2 s-1 These results increase the knowledge on the cultivation of P. palmata and will have important implications for the commercial production by optimizing some aspects of the cultivation protocol.