Loretto Contreras-Porcia

Loretto Contreras-Porcia
Universidad Andrés Bello | UNAB · Department of Ecology and Biodiversity

Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, PhD. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

About

86
Publications
28,221
Reads
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1,415
Citations
Citations since 2017
48 Research Items
900 Citations
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
Introduction
My research lines focus on responding to ecological questions related to seaweeds by applying molecular tools, including biochemical, proteomic, transcriptomic, and metabolomic methods. Many of my current projects aim to describe the tolerance mechanisms employed by diverse algal species under varied environmental conditions when faced with natural or anthropogenic stressors. The end-goal of this research is to understand the distribution pattern of seaweeds within an ecological/economic framework and at local/regional scales. Another ongoing research line under my direction is the use of seaweed compounds and derivatives with both nutraceutical functions and environmental applications. www.lebma.cl
Additional affiliations
January 2016 - December 2017
Universidad Andrés Bello
Position
  • Director Alterno. FONDEF IDEA-CONICYT N° ID15I10320. Determinación de factores que inducen la maduración en reproductores de las algas rojas Chondracanthus chamissoi y Callophyllis variegata: Suministro controlado de esporas para el cultivo comercial
August 2015 - August 2016
Universidad Andrés Bello
Position
  • Director. Proyecto Fondo Innovación para la competitividad. FIC-2015 Región de Valparaíso. BIP N° 30397482-0.
August 2014 - present
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Position
  • Research Associate
Education
April 2005 - October 2008
Pontificia Universidad Católica-Marine Genomics Europe
Field of study
March 2000 - April 2005

Publications

Publications (86)
Article
Full-text available
One of the most important factors regulating the distribution and abundance of seaweeds is desiccation, mainly triggered by tidal changes and climatic variation. Porphyra and Pyropia species have evolved multiple strategies to tolerate desiccation stress; however, how these tolerance strategies differ in these species in-habiting different latitude...
Article
Full-text available
Several seaweed species are commercialized worldwide both due to high demand for food and feed and as a raw material for the extraction of phycocolloids such as agar, carrageenan, and alginates that are used broadly in the food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries. Chile is the world’s leading marine seaweed biomass producer when it comes to th...
Article
Full-text available
Seaweed aquaculture is affected by natural and anthropogenic stressors, which put the biomass productivity of the cultures at risk. Seaweed biomass for commercial purposes, principally in pharmaceutical and/or nutraceutical applications, needs to be free of pollutants; therefore, controlled cultures have relevance in regulating the quality of bioma...
Book
Full-text available
Las algas constituyen uno de los grupos de organismos más diversos e importantes de nuestro planeta, con tamaños que varían desde los 0.6 micrómetros hasta cuerpos multicelulares macroscópicos de varias decenas de metros, especies de agua dulce, marina, terrestres, simbióticas, y con una variedad de pigmentos fotosintetizadores. La característica q...
Article
Full-text available
Gracilaria chilensis is distributed in New Zealand (including Chatham Island) and South America. This species has a three-stage sexual life cycle, as well as asexual and vegetative reproduction, and is commercially important as it is a valuable source for producing agar. However, basing the crops exclusively on clonal reproduction and vegetative pr...
Article
Full-text available
Coastal shores near the industrial park of Quintero Bay in central Chile exhibit increasing concentrations of copper (Cu) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), well above international standards. This raises concern about their combined toxic effects on early development stages of kelps. Accordingly, we aimed to assess more accurately the in...
Article
Full-text available
Agarophyton chilense is distributed in New Zealand (including Chatham Island) and South America. This species has a three-stage sexual life cycle, as well as asexual and vegetative reproduction, and is commercially important as it is a valuable source for producing agar. However, basing the crops exclusively on clonal reproduction and vegetative pr...
Article
Full-text available
Seaweed biochar is an efficient alternative bioadsorbent for Cu2+ removal due to its low cost and heavy metal removal capacity. Using the slow pyrolysis process, we produced biochars from Macrocystis pyrifera at 300 (BC300), 450 (BC450), and 600 °C (BC600). The physicochemical and structural properties of the biochar samples improved with increasin...
Article
Full-text available
PAHs and heavy metals are characteristic pollutants in urbanized coastal areas, especially those with industrial activity. Given this context and the ability of Macrocystis pyrifera to drift when detached and provide trophic subsidy in coastal systems, we analyzed the potential transfer of pollutants to the herbivore Tetrapygus niger, through diet,...
Article
Full-text available
The study of pollution effects in the marine environment has become important in recent decades, and the exposure to simultaneous pollutants has become especially relevant. Indeed, the study of key organisms, such as ecosystem engineers, can show a broader view of the effects of pollutants. In this context, we evaluate in situ the effects of a shor...
Patent
An Agarophyton chilensis extract, enriched with free fatty acids and PPARγ modulators, which comprises palmitic acid, stearic acid, myristic acid, oleic acid and 8-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (8-HETE). A method for obtaining the extract. A nutraceutical composition which comprises the extract enriched with free fatty acids and PPARγ modulators, wh...
Preprint
Full-text available
The biomedical potential of the edible red seaweed Agarophyton chilense (formerly Gracilaria chilensis) has not been explored. Red seaweeds are enriched in polyunsaturated fatty acids and eicosanoids, which are known natural ligands of the PPARγ nuclear receptor. PPARγ is the molecular target of thiazolidinediones (TZDs), drugs used as insulin sens...
Article
Full-text available
The biomedical potential of the edible red seaweed Agarophyton chilense (formerly Gracilaria chilensis) has not been explored. Red seaweeds are enriched in polyunsaturated fatty acids and eicosanoids, which are known natural ligands of the PPARγ nuclear receptor. PPARγ is the molecular target of thiazolidinediones (TZDs), drugs used as insulin sens...
Article
Full-text available
Red alga species belonging to the Porphyra and Pyropia genera (commonly known as Nori), which are widely consumed and commercialized due to their high nutritional value. These species have a carotenoid profile dominated by xanthophylls, mostly lutein and zeaxanthin, which have rel-evant benefits for human health. The effects of different abiotic fa...
Article
Full-text available
Heavy metals (HMs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are persistent toxicants in coastal environments. Notably, in comparison to individual metal toxicity, knowledge about the effects of HMs and PAHs mixtures on kelps remains scarce. Accordingly, we performed in vitro experiments to determine the individual and combined effects of Cu, Cd...
Article
Full-text available
Macrocystis pyrifera reaches distant areas after detachment, accumulate heavy metals, and serve as trophic subsidy. In this context, effects on both adults and larvae of Tetrapygus niger fed with polluted kelps were determined by assessing growth, fertility, and early larval development. Results revealed that sea urchins fed with polluted kelps fro...
Article
Macrocystis pyrifera reaches distant areas after detachment, accumulate heavy metals, and serve as trophic subsidy. In this context, effects on both adults and larvae of Tetrapygus niger fed with polluted kelp were determined by assessing growth, fertility, and early larval development. Results revealed that sea urchins fed with polluted kelp from...
Article
In this study we evaluated the productivity of an outdoor cultivation system based in secondary attachment discs (SADs) of Chondracanthus chamissoi as propagation strategy to produce and maintain a permanent thalli stock. For that, re-attachment of fronds, survival of SADs, growth rate of new erect axes, coverage and productivity were evaluated in...
Patent
The invention relates to a pharmaceutical composition of Agarophyton chilensis extract which has an antiproliferative effect on prostate cancer and comprises: a) from 0.1% to 90% of an Agarophyton chilensis oleoresin with the main components of palmitic acid, arachidonic acid, oleic acid, stearic acid, myristic acid, linoleic acid; and b) from 10%...
Article
Full-text available
The industrial park of Quintero Bay (QB) in the central coast of Chile was established in the 1960s, presents high levels of pollution due to the industrial activity, and it is known as one of the five Chilean “sacrifice zones”. Lessonia spicata is the most important habitat-forming kelp species in the intertidal along the central and south shores...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, we report for the first time the appearance of an endophytic filamentous red alga, living associated with the edible red seaweed Chondracanthus chamissoi. Molecular identification, growth, and reproduction of this endophyte are described under different conditions: photoperiod (8:16, 12:12, and 16:08 L:D), temperature (10 and 15 °C),...
Patent
The invention relates to a device and method for the culture of red algae spores, which comprises: a structure with U-shaped guide frames that supports a system of frames supporting a substrate for the settlement of spores in an inclined position, which is handled from outside the water by means of a lever connected to two horizontal bars that supp...
Article
In the present study we introduce the development and implementation of a new technology for improving the seeding in the spore-based cultures on red algae (excluding Porphyra), using a spore re-suspending technology (SRT). Such technology has two operation differences with the current methods: (i) it allows the use of vertically placed frames, and...
Article
Full-text available
Members of the genus Chondracanthus (Rhodophyta, Gigartinales) inhabit the shores of both hemispheres, and for decades in some countries have been used as raw material for carrageenan extraction, and in some cases destined for human consumption. This has created potential business opportunities, which has drawn the attention of scientists and produ...
Article
Full-text available
Mariculture of edible Porphyra/Pyropia species, which are cosmopolitan red foliose algae, represent an important source of income for the pharmaceutical and food industries. In Chile, the most common alga of this complex is Pyropia orbicularis (Bangiales, Rhodophyta). Here we report 6 microsatellite markers obtained from P. orbicularis through a ge...
Article
Full-text available
The red seaweed Pyropia orbicularis is an economic important species that occurs predominantly in the high intertidal zone along the chilean coast where it experiences extreme conditions under daily turning tides. Its gametophytic phase has been demonstrated to have a high desiccation tolerance, both at the genomic and proteomic levels but studies...
Article
Recently 18 Bangiales seaweed species were reported for the Chilean coast, including Pyropia orbicularis and Pyropia variabilis (large [LM] and green [GM] morphotypes). Porphyra/Pyropia spp. occur mainly in the upper intertidal where desiccation stress is triggered by tidal fluctuations. However, the influence of environmental and ecophysiological...
Article
Recently eighteen Bangiales seaweed species were reported for the Chilean coast, including Pyropia orbicularis, and Pyropia variabilis [large (LM) and green (GM) morphotypes]. Porphyra/Pyropia spp. occur mainly in the upper intertidal where desiccation stress is triggered by tidal fluctuations. However, the influence of environmental and ecophysiol...
Article
Full-text available
Emiliania huxleyi is a cosmopolitan coccolithophore exhibiting a high degree of genetic and physiological variability among strains and life-cycle stages. Here we investigated whether responses to copper (Cu) toxicity and oxidative stress varied by environmental origin or life cycle stage. We compared responses to toxic concentrations of Cu and sho...
Chapter
Biochar is a carbon-rich solid derived from thermally stabilized organic material, meaning that this product can be stored and applied to soils for improving its quality. Biochar differs from other solid products derived from thermochemical conversion, such as charcoal or active carbon, in that long-term carbon storage is an objective, than the...
Chapter
Marine macrophytes (including seaweeds and seagrasses) are the assemblage of diverse groups of phototrophic marine plants and are considered marine ecological engineers. Both provide a range of ecologically and economically valuable biological services; however, they are under constant threat from a wide range of anthropogenic stressors, climate...
Article
Full-text available
Records on the diversity of algae serve as a foundation for establishing management and environmental protection programs, as well as for determining new commercial uses of algae. With this context in mind, the goal of the present study was to determine the richness, coverage, and composition of the macroalgae assemblage in the intertidal zone of M...
Article
Records on the diversity of algae serve as a foundation for establishing management and environmental protection programs, as well as for determining new commercial uses of algae. With this context in mind, the goal of the present study was to determine the richness, coverage, and composition of the macroalgae assemblage in the intertidal zone of M...
Chapter
Marine macrophytes including seaweeds and sea grasses are the ecosystem engineers and experience constant threats from a wide range of anthropogenic stressors and climate fluctuations in their ecological niche. Marine macrophytes acclimate and/or tolerate these external perturbations by reprogramming their metabolite networks. Among the various met...
Chapter
Full-text available
Seaweeds are sessile organisms that inhabit coastal benthic systems and are key species for the equilibrium of marine communities. Rocky intertidal zone seaweeds are distributed in marked patterns determined by interactions between biotic and abiotic factors influenced by tide levels. It has been proposed that the distribution and abundance of orga...
Chapter
Full-text available
Heavy metals are significant pollutants continuously released into the biosphere, both naturally and anthropogenically. Conceptually, metal speciation, bioavailability, and associated toxicity in marine organisms depend on a wide array of abiotic and biotic factors. Among these, pH variation is one of the most important environmental factors influe...
Article
Full-text available
Main conclusion: The transcriptional modulation of desiccation tolerance factors in P. orbicularis explains its successful recuperation after water deficit. Differential responses to air exposure clarify seaweed distribution along intertidal rocky zones. Desiccation-tolerant seaweed species, such as Pyropia orbicularis, can tolerate near 96% water...
Article
Full-text available
Microalgae are photosynthetic eukariotic microorganisms capable of producing a wide range of compounds of commercial interest, such as vitamins, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and immunostimulants like ß-glucans. ß-glucans are D-glucose polymers linked by ß-1,3 and/or ß-1,4 bonds, which can present branches of ß-1,6 bonds. The most well known i...
Article
Seagrasses are marine ecosystem engineers that are currently declining in abundance at an alarming rate due to both natural and anthropogenic disturbances in ecological niches. Despite reports on the morphological and physiological adaptations of seagrasses to extreme environments, little is known of the molecular mechanisms underlying photo-acclim...
Data
Rapid Light Curve measurements for Zostera muelleri seagrass plants exposed to saturating light (SL Control; 200 μmol photons m−2 = s−1), super-saturating light (SSL, 600 μmol photons m−2s−1), and limited light (LL, 20 μmol photons m−2s−1) irradiance at (A) day 0 (T0) and (B) day 10 (T10) of the experiment.
Data
Relative volume variation of Zostera muelleri protein spots between super-saturating light (SSL; 600 μmol photons m−2s−1) and saturating light (SL, Control; 200 μmol photons m−2s−1) irradiance conditions. Numbers in brackets correspond to the spot number of each identified protein as given in Table 1. The relative protein spot volume variation in a...
Data
List of proteins identified, their peptide sequences and associated statistics for (Sheet A) super-saturating light (SSL; 600 μmol photons m−2s−1) and saturating light (SL, Control; 200 μmol photons m−2s−1) irradiance conditions; and for (Sheet B) limited light (LL; 20 μmol photons m−2s−1) and saturating light (SL, Control; 200 μmol photons ms−1) i...
Data
Relative volume variation of Zostera muelleri protein spots between limited light (LL; 20 μmol photons m−2s−1) and saturating light (SL, Control; 200 μmol photons ms−1) irradiance conditions. Numbers in brackets correspond to the spot number of each identified protein as given in Table 2. The relative protein spot volume variation in all the differ...
Article
Full-text available
Microalgae are photosynthetic eukariotic microorganisms capable of producing a wide range of compounds of commercial interest, such as vitamins, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and immunostimulants like β-glucans. β-glucans are D-glucose polymers linked by β-1,3 and/or β-1,4 bonds, which can present branches of β-1,6 bonds. The most well known i...
Article
Full-text available
Main conclusion: The hormone ABA regulates the oxidative stress state under desiccation in seaweed species; an environmental condition generated during daily tidal changes. Desiccation is one of the most important factors that determine the distribution pattern of intertidal seaweeds. Among most tolerant seaweed is Pyropia orbicularis, which colon...
Article
Full-text available
In primary producers, diverse stressors cause an over-production of methylglyoxal (MG), which is principally detoxified by glyoxalase I (GLO1) activity. A recent proteomic study found that GLO1 was up-regulated during natural desiccation in the red seaweed Pyropia orbicularis, which inhabits the upper intertidal rocky zone and compared to other spe...
Article
Full-text available
Extreme reduction in cellular water content leads to desiccation, which, if persistent, affects the physiology of organisms, mainly through oxidative stress. Some organisms are highly tolerant to desiccation, including resurrection plants and certain intertidal seaweeds. One such species is Pyropia orbicularis, a rhodophycean that colonizes upper i...
Article
Full-text available
Due to overconsumption of fossil fuels, microalgae have arrived as an alternative source of biofuel. Looking forward to generate a sustainable process, it is proposed to couple the cultures to CO2 emission sources, reaching in this way higher biomass performance and helping in the way with the capture of carbon released by the combustion processes....
Article
Full-text available
A new species of bladed Bangiales, Pyropia orbicularis sp. nov., has been described for the first time from the central coast of Chile based on morphology and molecular analyses. The new species was incorrectly known previously as Porphyra columbina (now Pyropia columbina), and it can be distinguished from other species of Pyropia through a range o...
Article
Full-text available
In rocky shores, desiccation is triggered by daily tide changes, and experimental evidence suggests that local distribution of algal species across the intertidal rocky zone is related to their capacity to tolerate desiccation. In this context, the permanence of Pyropia columbina in the high intertidal rocky zone is explained by its exceptional...
Article
Full-text available
Tolerance to air exposure should be an important feature in determining the geographic distribution of seaweeds. Two sibling kelp species with contrasting latitudinal distributions were selected to test the relationship between their distribution and air exposure tolerance: Lessonia berteroana distributed between 18° and 30°S and Lessonia spicata,...
Article
In rocky shores, desiccation is triggered by daily tide changes, and experimental evidence suggests that local distribution of algal species across the intertidal rocky zone is related to their capacity to tolerate desiccation. In this context, the permanence of Pyropia columbina in the high intertidal rocky zone is explained by its exceptional phy...
Article
Among thiol-dependent peroxidases (TDPs) peroxiredoxins (PRXs) standout, since they are enzymes capable of reducing hydrogen peroxide, alkylhydroperoxides and peroxynitrite, and have been detected in a proteomic study of the copper-tolerant species Scytosiphon gracilis. In order to determine the importance of these enzymes in copper-stress toleranc...