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Algae > Volume 13(2); 1998 > Article
Algae 1998;13(2): 251-260.
Biotechnology and Molecular Characterization of Useful Seaweeds
Yong-Ki Hong
Department of Biotechnology, Pukyong National University
Seaweed biotechnology is the dealing with economical production of useful seaweeds and their chemicals. In this paper I will mainly discuss technical studies for seaweed biotechnology and seaweed molecular characterization. At first, a seaweed viability assay was developed to evaluate tissue intactness using the enzymatic reduction of 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride. Callus and blade formation, under axenic culture conditions of Hizikia fusiformis, depended on the gelling agents used as a substrate. The most calli and blades were produced on solid media composed of 2% and 0.5% high gel strength agars, respectively. For biologically active substances from seaweed extracts, we have found a Taq DNA polymerase inhibitor from symphyocladia latiuscula. Antiviral activity against Herpes simplex was detected from Analipus japonicus extract. Growth of feed phytoplanktons, Isochrysis galbana and Tetraselmis suecica, was detected by the addition of some seaweed extracts. Growth of the red tide phytoplanktons, Alexandrium tamarense and Cochlodinium polykrikoides, was inhibited by Corallina pilulifera extracts. Extract of Monostroma nitidum reduced cholesterol level in Triton WR-1339 induced hypercholesterolemia. For the molecular characterization of seaweeds, RNA and DNA were extracted with the use of lithium chloride. The RNA was of sufficient quality to be used as a cDNA template for differential display in morphologically distinct regions of the thallus, and also in acid stressed tissue, of Porphyra. The DNA was used as a temlate for PCR amplification to discriminate algae and for RAPD analysis. Finally we have tried gene transfer into young P. yezoensis thalli by particle bombardment. Thalli, bombarded with tungsten particles coated with a beta-glucuronidase gene, showed a transient expression of the gene at 18.6 unit/mg/h.
Key words: biologically active substance, genetic analysis, seaweed biotechnology, tissue culture, viability

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