Monthly fluctuations in the content and monosaccharide composition of fucoidan from Undaria pinnatifida sporophylls from northern Patagonia.
The invasive brown seaweed Undaria pinnatifida was first recorded in 1992 in Golfo Nuevo, northern Patagonia, Argentina (hereafter Undaria). Like other brown seaweeds, Undaria synthesizes fucoidans, a unique class of sulfated polysaccharides, which display an array of biological activities and have important commercial value. In this work we have measured the content, sulfate, and monosaccharide composition of fucoidans in Undaria sporophylls from Golfo Nuevo. These results were analyzed in relation to harvest month and development stage of algal thalli. Samples were collected between November 2015 and March 2016 and classified according to morphological traits into previously defined development stages. Acid extraction (0.01 M HCl, pH 2) was carried out at room temperature and at 70°C. Average fucoidan content was 18.1% dry wt. and slightly increased with month progression and in senescent individuals. Average sulfate content in fucoidan extracts was 20.3% dry wt. decreasing with month and development. Predominant sugars were fucose and galactose averaging a total of 91 mol% of neutral sugars. This study confirms that sporophyll fucoidans from Patagonian Undaria are sulfated galactofucans. Fucoidan content significantly increases from 14.5 to 19.2% dry wt. with sporophyte development. Slight increments with month progression are not statistically significant. Molar proportion of neutral sugars is constant between maturity stages and varies slightly with month progression. Sulfate content of fucoidan decreased significantly with development and month progression. Pooled with previous reports about abundance and seasonality of Undaria in Patagonia, our results suggest that sporophylls could be harvested for fucoidan production at least during 5 months between November and March.