Kelp gametophyte bio-reactors for metabolite extraction
This project will assess the composition and growth rate of different gametophyte species using within controlled cultivation facilities at SAMS.
Kelp metabolites have numerous commercial applications within the Food and Drink and Life Sciences sectors. The global market for bioactive, is projected to reach $34 billion by 2018, growing 7.2% per annum. Alginate is the dominant structural polysaccharide and is valued as a gelling agent for food, medicine and industrial uses. Other compounds such as fucoxanthin, Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids are potential extracts that could be sold as a product.
Continuous cultivation of gametophytes could provide a year-round supply for numerous metabolites. Gametophyte cultivation could become a new industry, negating the need for harvesting of seaweed beds.
This study aims to identify the physiochemical tolerance of native species of Laminaria digitata, Laminaria hyperborea, Alaria esculenta and Saccharina latissima; as well as Non-natives species including Lessonia trabeculata, Macrocystis pyrifera and Macrocystis interfolia, to create a cultivation model at optimal conditions for vegetative growth. It is aimed to increase the culture volume and conduct medium scale cultivation to establish a chemical profile of species mentioned above. It is intended to select the most promising strains, and establish methods for long term maintenance of cultures including cryopreservation, preventing parthenogenesis and supplying stock to seaweed farms. Finally it is aimed to conduct large scale cultivation in large indoor bioreactors and outdoor tanks.
Dr Philip Kerrison, SAMS
Dr Adam Hughes, SAMS
Prof Phil Whitfield, UHI
European Social Fund
Scottish Funding Council
University of the Highlands and Islands