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New Publication featuring NCMA strains

Monday, August 14, 2017 12:58:50 PM East Boothbay, Maine

Robert A. Andersen, Director Emeritus of NCMA, has recently co-authored a publication which has added new insights to the phylogenetic relationships of the genus Ochromonas and relationships of the genus Ochromonas with other chrysophyte algae.


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0 Comments | Posted in Featured Paper By Rimar Reed

In Memoriam and the Phycologia

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 10:59:22 AM East Boothbay, Maine

IN MEMORIAM ROBERT R. L. GUILLARD (5 February 1921–25 September 2016) by William G. Sunda Department of Marine Sciences University of North Carolina

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0 Comments | Posted in Featured Paper By Rimar Reed

Bioactivity and Applications of Sulphated Polysaccharides from Marine Microalgae

Tuesday, March 15, 2016 9:38:40 AM East Boothbay, Maine

Bioactivity and Applications of Sulphated Polysaccharides from Marine Microalgae

Maria Filomena de Jesus RaposoRui Manuel Santos Costa de Morais and Alcina Maria Miranda Bernardo de Morais 

Mar. Drugs 201311, 233-252; doi:10.3390/md11010233

The authors review current research on the biological activities and applications of polysaccharides, active biocompounds synthesized by marine microalgae.  While marine polysaccharides (such as fucoidan, carrageenan, alginate, and agar) have long been known for their texture-improving properties in food and cosmetics, recent research describes their potential for other biological applications and health benefits ranging from nutraceuticals, to therapeutic agents, to cosmetics and other areas such as lubricants.

The authors go on to specify strains of marine microalgae and the type of polysaccharides they produce.  According to the authors there are extensive publications on the applications of microalgal biomass and biocompounds produced by microalgae, including literature on the antiviral activity of the polysaccharides produced by some microalgae, but little has been published in other areas and only dealing with a few marine species. Areas ripe for further investigation using marine microalgae polysaccharides in the following applications include:

  • Antioxidants and Free Radical Scavenging
  • Anti-inflammatory and Immunomodulatory Actvities
  • Inhibition of Tumor Cell Growth
  • Hypolipidaemic and Hypoglycaemic Properties
  • Anticoagulant and Antithrombotic Activity
  • Biolubricant Properties
  • Drag-Reducers


 The authors also cite advantages of working with microalgae for investigations into the properties they produce, including:

  • Easy to grow and culture
  • Harvesting does not depend on the weather or season
  • Growth can be easily controlled


Should you choose to investigate the many potential new applications of polysaccharides, we invite you to contact the National Center For Marine Algae and Microbiota (NCMA).  We have hundreds of strains of polysaccharide-producing microalgae that are available to the research community.  We also offer counsel on how to grow, culture, and maintain strains to ensure productive research results.  

NCMA maintains a diverse collection of marine microalgae strains to be available to the research and biotech communities to conduct further studies.  We currently maintain around 3,000 strains of which a subset have been shown to produce extracellular polysaccharides, sulfated polysaccharides or their derivatives.

Table 1 below is a modification of information originally presented in the publication.  It shows the group of algae, number of strains available in the NCMA collection and the type of polysaccharide it produces.  We have also included the NCMA Commercialization index, which is an indicator of how easy the strain is to grow.  The NCMA Commercialization Index is based on the 30 years experience of our curators maintaining the collection.


Table 1. NCMA Commercialization Index of microalgae that produce extracellular polysaccharides.

NCMA Commercialization Index (NCMA CI)       
Robust and very easy to grow        
Easy to grow        
Hard to grow        
Group Name CCMP Strain NCMA CI

Type of


  Cylindrotheca closterium 6 CCMP Strains Easy to Grow Sulfated polysaccharide 1,2
  Phaeodactylum tricornutum 11 CCMP Strains Robust Sulfated exopolysaccharide 3,4
  Chaetoceros sp. 62 CCMP Strains Easy Exopolysaccharide 5
  Amphora sp. 13 CCMP Strains Easy to Grow Exopolysaccharide 4
  Chlorella autotrophica  1 CCMP strain Easy Sulfated polysaccharide 5,6,7
  Tetraselmis sp. 118 CCMP Strains Robust Sulfated polysaccharide  
  Isochrysis sp. 4 CCMP Strains Robust Sulfated polysaccharide  
  Porphyridium sp. 7 CCMP Strains Easy Sulfated polysaccharide 8,9
  Rhodella maculata 4 CCMP Strains Easy Sulfated polysaccharide 10
  Arthrospira platensis 1 CCMP Strain Robust Exopolysaccharide 11,12,13
  Aphanocapsa sp. 1 CCMP Strain Robust Sulfated polysaccharide 14


1. Staats, N.; de Winder, B.; Stal, L.J.; Mur, L.R. Isolation and characterization of extracellular polysaccharides from the epipelic diatoms Cylindrotheca closterium and Navicula salinarumEur. J. Phycol. 199934, 161–169.

2. Pletikapic, G.; Radic, T.M.; Zimmermann, A.H.; Svetlicic, V.; Pfannkuchen, M.; Maric, D.; Godrjan, J.; Zutic, V. AFM imaging of extracellular polymer release by marine diatom Cylindrotheca closterium (Ehrenberg) Reiman & JC Lewin. J. Mol. Recogn. 201124, 436–445.

3. Guzmán-Murillo, M.A.; López-Bolaños, C.C.; Ledesma-Verdejo, T.; Roldan-Libenson, G.; Cadena-Roa, M.A.; Ascencio, F. Effects of fertilizer-based culture media on the production of exocellular polysaccharides and cellular superoxide dismutase by Phaeodactylum tricornutum (Bohlin). J. Appl. Phycol. 200719, 33–40.

4. Chen, C.-S.; Anaya, J.M.; Zhang, S.; Spurgin, J.; Chuang, C.-Y.; Xu, C.; Miao, A.-J.; Chen, E.Y.-T.; Schwehr, K.A.; Jiang, Y.; et al. Effects of engineered nanoparticles on the assembly of exopolymeric substances from phytoplankton. PLoS One 20116, 1–7.

5. Penna, A.; Berluti, S.; Penna, N.; Magnani, M. Influence of nutrient ratios on the in vitro extracellular polysaccharide production by marine diatoms from Adriatic Sea. J. Plankton Res. 199921, 1681–1690.

6. Yingying, S.; Changhai, W. The optimal growth conditions for the biomass production of Isochrysis galbana and the effects that phosphorus, Zn2+, CO2, and light intensity have on the biochemical composition of Isochrysis galbana and the activity of extracellular CA. Biotechnol. Bioprocess Eng. 200914, 225–231.

7. Guzmán-Murillo, M.A.; Ascencio, F. Anti-Adhesive activity of sulphated exopolysaccharides of microalgae on attachment of the red sore disease-associated bacteria and Helicobacter pylori to tissue culture cells. Lett. Appl. Microbiol. 200030, 473–478.

8. Geresh, S.; Arad, S.M. The extracellular polysaccharides of the red microalgae: Chemistry and rheology. Bioresour. Technol. 199138, 195–201.

 9. Dubinsky, O.; Barak, Z.; Geresh, S.; Arad, S.M. Composition of the cell-wall polysaccharide of the unicellular red alga Rhodella reticulata at two phases of growth. In Recent Advances in Algal Biotechnologythe 5th International Conference of the Society of Applied Algology; Office of Naval Research: Tiberias, Israel, 1990; p. 17.

10. Arad, S.M. Production of sulphated polysaccharides from red unicellular algae. In Algal Biotechnology; Stadler, T., Mollion, J., Verdus, M.C., Karamanos, Y., Morvan, H., Christiaen, D., Eds.; Elsevier Applied Science: London, UK, 1988; pp. 65–87.

11. Fareed, V.S.; Percival, E. The presence of rhamnose and 3-O-methylxylose in the extracellular mucilage from the red alga Rhodella maculata. Carbohydr. Res. 1977, 53, 276–277.

 12. Radonic, A.; Thulke, S.; Achenbach, J.; Kurth, A.; Vreemann, A.; König, T.; Walter, C.; Possinger, K.; Nitsche, A. Anionic polysaccharides from phototrophic microorganisms exhibit antiviral activities to Vaccinia virus. J. Antivir. Antiretrovir. 20102, 51–55.

13. Hayashi, T.; Hayashi, K.; Maeda, M.; Kojima, I. Calcium spirulan, an inhibitor of enveloped virus replication, from a blue-green alga Spirulina platensisJ. Nat. Prod. 199659, 83–87.

14. Martinez, M.J.A.; del Olmo, L.M.B.; Benito, P.B. Antiviral activities of polysaccharides from natural sources. In Studies in Natural Products Chemistry; Atta-ur-Rahman, Ed.; Elsevier B.V.: London, UK, 2005; Volume 30, pp. 393–418.




0 Comments | Posted in Featured Paper By The NCMA

Natural Products from Marine Organisms

Monday, May 4, 2015 3:27:05 PM East Boothbay, Maine

Mycoses and Antifungals: reviewing the basis of a current problem that still is a biotechnological target for marine products.

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0 Comments | Posted in Featured Paper By The NCMA
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