Seasonal changes in growth rate, carrageenan yield and lectin content in the red algaKappaphycus alvareziicultivated in Camranh Bay, Vietnam

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Abstract

The three color morphotypes of the red alga Kappaphycus alvarezii (brown, red and green) were cultured in Camranh Bay, Vietnam, using the fixed off-bottom monoline culture method to evaluate the growth rate, carrageenan yield, 3,6-anhydrogalactose, gel strength and lectin content. The brown morphotype was cultivated over a 12-month period; the red and green morphotypes were over a 6-month period. At the 60-day culture timepoint, the brown morphotype showed a higher growth rate (3.5–4.6% day-1) from September to February, and lower growth rate (1.6–2.8% day-1) from March to August. Significant (P < 0.05) differences in growth rate between culture months were found with the brown morphotype. High growth rates for the red (3.6–4.4% day-1) and green (3.7–4.2% day-1) morphotypes were obtained from September to February. The carrageenan yield, 3,6-anhydrogalactose and gel strength of the three morphotypes showed little variation, with the highest values obtained in November-December. At the 30-day sampling point, the brown morphotype had a higher lectin content (167–302 μg g-1 dry alga) from August to March and a lower lectin content (23–104 μg g-1 dry alga) from April to July. High lectin contents were recorded for the red (139–338 μg g-1 dry alga) and green (124–259 μg g-1 dry alga) morphotypes from September to February. This study shows that the different morphotypes of K. alvarezii can be grown in the tropical waters of the Camranh during the northeast monsoon, and part of the southwest monsoon, especially the brown morphotype, which can be grown during any season.

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