Bacterial dynamics associated with algal antibacterial substances during post harvest desiccation process of Sargassum stolonifolium Phang et Yoshida

Charles Santhanaraju Vairappan (2003) Bacterial dynamics associated with algal antibacterial substances during post harvest desiccation process of Sargassum stolonifolium Phang et Yoshida. Indian Journal of Experimental Biology, 41 (8). pp. 837-845. ISSN 00195189

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Brown algae of genus Sargassum are known to produce relatively higher amount of alginic acid. Optimal extraction of this algalcolloid for local consumption requires in-depth studies on post-harvest treatment of the algal fronds. Present investigation endeavors to establish the dynamics and inter-relationship of moisture content and bacteria found on the surface of the alga and alginic acid content during post-harvest desiccation of Sargassum stolonifolium Phang et Yoshida. Harvested fronds were subjected to desiccation for 31 days and bacterial dynamics were monitored with relation to moisture content and water activity index (aw). There was 85% decrease in moisture content, however, aw showed a more gradual decrease. Total bacterial count increased during the first week and attained maximal value on day 7. Thereafter, a drastic decrease was seen until day 14, followed by a gradual decline. Six species of bacteria were isolated and identified, i.e. Azomonas punctata, Azomonas sp., Escherichia coli, Micrococcus sp., Proteus vulgaris and Vibrio alginolyticus. Calculated ratios for increase in alginic acid content and decrease in moisture content were almost the same throughout the desiccation process, implying that extracellular alginase-producing bacteria did not use the alginic acid produced by the algae as its carbon source. It became apparent that drastic decrease in bacterial count after day 7 could not be attributed to salinity, moisture content, aw or lack of carbon source for the bacteria. The possible exposure of these bacteria to algal cell sap which is formed due to the rupture of algal cells was seen as the most likely reason for the drop in bacterial population. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) micrograph taken on day 10 of desiccation showed the presence of cracks and localities where bacteria were exposed to algal cell sap. In vitro antibacterial tests were carried out to verify the effect of algal extracts. Separation and purification of crude algal extracts via bioassay guided separation methodology revealed the identity of active compounds (i.e. gylcolipids and free fatty acids) involved in this inherently available antibacterial defense mechanism during algal desiccation.

Item Type: Article
Keyword: Algal colloid, Anti-bacterial defence mechanism, Bacterial dynamics, Sargassum
Subjects: Q Science > QR Microbiology > QR1-502 Microbiology > QR75-99.5 Bacteria
Q Science > QK Botany > QK1-989 Botany > QK504-(638) Cryptogams
Department: INSTITUTE > Borneo Marine Research Institute
Depositing User: ADMIN ADMIN
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2012 10:33
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2015 10:54

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