• halogenated monoterpenes;
  • Ochtodes;
  • Rhodophyta;
  • tissue culture

Three genera of macrophytic red algae (Ochtodes, Plocamium, and Portieria) contain novel halogenated monoterpenes. To develop an in vitro system for studying halogenated monoterpene production, a laboratory tissue culture was established for Ochtodes secundiramea (Montagne) Howe (Cryptonemiales, Rhizophyllidaceae). Specifically, callus cells were induced from thallus explants of O. secundiramea plants. Shoot primordia regenerated from callus cells and developed into plantlets that released tetraspores. A sporeling from one of these tetraspores was selected for further culture. Axenic plantlets were cultivated in ESS-enriched natural seawater. Thallus tissue was cut into small pieces before subculture. Each plantlet grew as a symmetrical array of highly branched shoot tissues emanating from a common center, ultimately assuming a spherical shape of 20 mm diameter 4 weeks after subculture. Specific growth rates of over 20% per day were attained in bubble-aerated flask culture at an optimal temperature of 26° C and photosynthetic saturation light intensity of 200 μmol photons·m2·s1. The cultured plantlets contained myrcene and seven halogenated monoterpenes, based on gas chromatography–mass spectroscopy analysis of dichloromethane extracts. Although bromomyrcene was the dominant acyclic halogenated monoterpene, the cyclic halogenated monoterpenes chondrocole C and ochtodene were also produced by the O. secundiramea plantlet cultures. Halogenated monoterpene production at light-saturated growth conditions increased with decreasing nitrogen availability below 1.0 mM medium nitrate concentration (N:P ratios of 1.6:1 to 32:1). The halogenated monoterpene yield was insensitive to medium nitrate concentrations above 1.0 mM (N:P ratios of 32:1 to 320:1), where the bromomyrcene yield was 1700 μg per gram of dry cell mass.