Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Algae with their own sun block

19.01.2007
Phlorotannins are chemical compounds that exist in kelp, and according to previous research they are able to function as defense substances for these brown algae. A dissertation from Göteborg University in Sweden now shows that phlorotannins should be able to function as a sun block when the algae are exposed to harmful UVB radiation.

Kelp that grows in the upper tidal zone, such as bladder wrack and knotted wrack, is especially rich in phlorotannins. But the concentration of the compounds varies considerably. Elisabet Brock has studied what influences this concentration and presents in her dissertation findings that show that dessication and exposure to UVB radiation, on the one hand, and, on the other, animals that eat algae affect the levels of phlorotannins in bladder wrack and knotted wrack.

Since bladder wrack and knotted wrack on the west coast of Sweden grow close to the waterline, they are exposed to environmentally varying conditions. Even though the tides only marginally affect the sea level, climate changes can create differences of up to two meters in the level of the seas. This in turn means that algae dry out, and without the protection of water the dry algae are exposed to stronger solar radiation.

As long as the algae are covered by sea water, the levels of phlorotannins increase in tissues, but when they dry out the chemical compounds are disseminated to the surface of the algae. If this is an active process, one of the functions of the phlorotannins could be to serve as a sun block, according to Elisabet Brock's findings in her dissertation. If the compounds are also secreted into the sea, a further ecological effect could be to protect other organisms that are close to the surface from harmful radiation.

... more about:
»Algae »Dissertation »Sun »phlorotannins

Phlorotannins have also been proven to have other ecologically interesting effects. The dissertation presents findings that show that phlorotannins in extracts have an inhibitory effect on the willingness of acorn barnacle larvae to take hold. This effect proved for the most part to be dependent on the concentration of phlorotannins, but also on what type of algae were tested. The findings thus indicate that phlorotannins should be interesting substances for use in the production of environmentally friendly paint for boat hulls.

For more information, please contact Elisabet Brock, Department of Marine Ecology, Göteborg University, cell phone: +46 702-47 49 50; e-mail: elisabet.brock@marbot.gu.se or her supervisor Henrik Pavia, phone: +46 526-686 85; e-mail: Henrik.Pavia@tmbl.gu.se.

Title of dissertation: Phlorotannins in Intertidal Brown Algae: Inducing Factors and Ecological Roles. The dissertation has been publicly defended.

Camilla Carlsson | idw
Further information:
http://www.vr.se
http://www.ub.gu.se/sok/dissdatabas/abstracts/2006/20061013eb.pdf

Further reports about: Algae Dissertation Sun phlorotannins

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Individual Receptors Caught at Work
19.10.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Rapid environmental change makes species more vulnerable to extinction
19.10.2017 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electrode materials from the microwave oven

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

New material for digital memories of the future

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Physics boosts artificial intelligence methods

19.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>