SEASONAL VARIABILITY OF PHYSICOCHEMICAL AND RHEOLOGICAL PROPERTIES OF ULVAN IN TWO ULVA SPECIES (CHLOROPHYTA) FROM THE BRITTANY COAST

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  • Received 5 September 2008. Accepted 25 February 2009.

Abstract

The seasonal variability in the extraction yield, physicochemical characteristics, and rheological properties of ulvan from two Ulva species contributing to Brittany “green tides” has been studied. These seaweeds were collected in the water column for Ulva armoricana Dion, de Reviers et Coat and on hard substrata for Ulva rotundata Bliding. The maximum ulvan extraction efficiency was not related to the maximum ulvan content in the seaweeds, but with the active growth period of the seaweeds. Ulvan chemical structure, macromolecular characteristics, and rheological properties were affected by both species and seasons. The proportion of high-molecular-weight ulvan was the major factor positively correlated with the gelling properties. Characteristics of ulvan from U. rotundata subjected to tides were more affected by seasons than ulvan from U. armoricana living in a more constant environment. These results point to several useful recommendations concerning Ulva sp. biomass collected with regard to ulvan characteristics and uses.

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