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Seaweeds, science and encoding sequences

A French company invented a method for the isolation of amino acid and nucleotide sequences of nu-carrageenan sulfohydrolases from the red alga Chondrus crispus. This invention allows the production of engineered carrageenans and alginates with the help of polysaccharide-modifying enzymes.
Seaweeds, science and encoding sequences
It was once believed that seaweeds had no real role to play in the environment and that they were only a nuisance. However, these ideas have changed and seaweeds are treated as a unique source of compounds that are widely used in medicine, food industry, agriculture and many other applications. These compounds, because of their size and complexity cannot be made artificially so they have to be extracted from the cell walls of seaweeds. Characteristic examples is agars and carrageenans that are extracted world-wide from certain red seaweeds.

A French company used the red alga Chondrus crispus, which is commonly distributed along the North Atlantic coast, in order to isolate amino acid and nucleotide sequences of nu-carrageenan sulfohydrolases. The isolation of these elements is the final result of a step-by-step procedure that is based on three sub processes that are themselves innovations. These are: the purification of sulfohydrolases from red seaweed, the modification of carrageenan precursors with theses purified enzymes, and finally, the extraction of nu- and mu-carrageenans from red seaweed. The overall innovation directs the metabolism of seaweeds towards carrageenans and alginates synthesis under controlled culture conditions. Moreover it is establishes the foundation for the production of engineered carrageenans and alginates with the help of polysaccharide-modifying enzymes.

The development will have a significant impact on the carrageenans and alginates manufacturing sector since it will allow the production of new high value-added products.
Record Number: 81098 / Last updated on: 2005-09-18
Domain: Biology, Medicine
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