Growth and pigment composition in the red algaHalymenia floresiicultured under different light qualities

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Abstract

Halymenia floresii is an edible species consumed in some Asian markets. In the Yucatan peninsula coast of Mexico, H. floresii dominates rocky substrata between 3 and 40 m where it grows up to 50 cm high. After analyzing the seasonal pattern of pigment content on H. floresii, we evaluate if and how the spectral composition of light affects growth and pigment dynamics under laboratory cultivation. Unialgal cultures were exposed to white, blue, red and green light in a 3-week experiment. Green light resulted in the highest algal growth rates. Synthesis of chlorophyll a, α-carotene and lutein, but not of β-carotene, was induced by white or green light. Phycocyanin synthesis was stimulated by blue light and phycoerythrin synthesis by blue or red light. Light quality treatments may be used to manipulate pigment composition in Halymenia floresii cultures.

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