Egyptian Journal of Aquatic Biology & Fisheries
Zoology Department, Faculty of Science,
Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.
ISSN 1110 – 6131
Vol. 24(5): 147 – 160 (2020)
Marine Algae in Egypt: distribution, phytochemical composition and biological uses
as bioactive resources (a review)
Sayed Rashad* and Ghadir A. El-Chaghaby
Regional Center for Food and Feed, Agricultural Research Center, Giza, Egypt
*Corresponding Author: email@example.com
Algae are photosynthetic organisms with a wide variety of forms ranging from
unicellular to multicellular macroalgae (Çakir Arica et al., 2017). Marine algae contain a
number of different species, which are usually divided into two classes, microalgae and
macroalgae in particular. Microalgae species like phytoplankton survive suspended in the
water column, while macroalgae (commonly referred to as seaweed) are plant-like
organisms that range in size from a few centimeters to several meters in length
(Hernández Fariñas et al., 2017). The huge kelp for instance rises from the seafloor to
form massive underwater forests. Seaweeds have evolved to live in a number of
environments, ranging from small tidal rock pools close to shore or living several
kilometers offshore in depths of seawater capable of obtaining enough light to encourage
photosynthesis (Fawcett et al., 2017). Algae are commonly divided into three groups
based on algal body or thallus pigmentation. Marine macro algae are generally
categorized into three major pigmentation groups; Phaeophyta (brown algae),
Chlorophyta (green algae), and Rhodophyta (red algae) (Manzelat et al., 2018).
Marine macro algae are one of the most biologically active resources of nature,
because they possess a wealth of bioactive compounds. Several marine macroalgae-
Received: July 2, 2020
Accepted: July 17, 2020
Online: July 20, 2020
Marine algae (Seaweeds) are photosynthetic organisms living in seas and
oceans. They are known to have several benefits and are recognized as a
source of several important bioactive compounds. In the present review, we
present brief information concerning marine algae, their classification,
distribution, and importance. Also, we are focusing on studies concerning
marine algae collected from Egyptian coasts. The review highlights the
important studies concerned by evaluating the bioactivity and chemical
composition of marine algae in Egypt. The present review contains the main
results of experimental studies discussing the antioxidant, antibacterial and
anti-cancer activities of seaweeds. It also contains principle results for
studies about the use of seaweed biomass as adsorbents for water treatment
and as environmental pollution bio-monitors. The data provided in this
review offer a scientific background about marine algae in Egypt that could
be very helpful for researchers working in this area.
148 Rashad and El-Chaghaby, 2020
isolated compounds have demonstrated numerous biological activities, including
antibacterial activity, antioxidant ability, anti-inflammatory properties, anticoagulant
activity, antiviral activity, apoptotic activity and prebiotic activity (Ibraheem et al., 2017;
El-din and El-ahwany, 2016; Rashad, et al., 2019).
Macroalgae are known to be rich source of dietary fiber, nutrients, lipids, fats,
omega-3 fatty acids, essential amino acids, polysaccharides, and several vitamins.
Different bioactive substances from aquatic species have been experimentally evaluated
to research the biological impact of newly produced medications in detail (Hamed et al.,
2018). Seaweeds are an outstanding source of components such as polysaccharides,
tannins, flavonoids, phenolic acids, bromophenols, carotenoids, and provide a range of
biological processes that express their solubility and polarity (Ganesan, et al., 2019; El-
Chaghaby et al., 2019).
Despite the conveniences of the twenty-first century, environmental issues,
industrialization and their consequences have a negative impact on public wellbeing. At
this stage algae lead people who struggle with many different diseases such as
cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, fatigue, cancer, hypertension, etc(Çakir Arica et
al., 2017). This study aimed to give an overview about marine algae and the use and
benefits of algae in different areas. The present work also summarizes some studies
concerning the different marine algae collected from Egypt with focusing on their
distribution, composition, bioactivity and applications.
Marine algae/ Seaweeds
Seaweed is a term applied to multicellular, marine algae that are large enough to
be unassisted by the body. Some can grow to a length of 60 meters (Karupanan and
Sutlana, 2017). Seaweeds are macroscopic marine algae, multicellular, and renewable
resources. They are characterized as non-vascular plants that shape primary ocean
producers and follow the "Protista" and not "Planta" kingdom. Like plants, they use
chlorophyll pigment for photosynthesis, but they also produce other pigments that may be
red, blue, brown or gold colored. Seaweed is a term applied to multicellular, marine algae
that are large enough to be unassisted by the body. They are categorized into three
specific classes based on pigmentation which absorb light from different wavelengths and
gives them their distinctive green , brown or red colors (Kandale et al., 2011), anatomy,
morphology and biochemical composition such as brown (Phaeophyta), red
(Rhodophyta), and green seaweed. (Chlorophyta) (El-Said and El-Sikaily, 2013).
The Phylogenetic tree showing the polyphyletic group of seaweeds with
illustrations of species belonging to green, red and brown macroalgae are presented in
Figure (1) (Stiger-Pouvreau and Zubia, 2020).
149 Marine Algae in Egypt: distribution, phytochemical composition and biological uses
Figure (1): (A) Phylogenetic tree showing the polyphyletic group of seaweeds
positioned in several lineages. (B, C, D) Illustrations of species belonging to
green, red and brown macroalgae (Stiger-Pouvreau and Zubia, 2020).
By fact, seaweeds are usually heterogeneous, benthic and photosynthetic species.
Both the specific species of seaweeds have a commonality within the general nature of
the higher green plants but they are structurally distinct from each other. Because of
similarities in form and environment in underwater environments, higher aquatic species,
such as salt marsh grasses and seagrasses, are classified among the marine algae. Algae
are generally split into two main types, namely macroalgae and microalgae (Johnsen,
2019). The total number of algae species worldwide accounts for about 50,000 plants,
about 10 % of the total plant population (Gnanavel et al., 2019).
Marine algae represent a wide group of species between marine organisms.
According to a recent analysis, an estimated 72,500 algal species have been described
worldwide, while the majority are marine (Fernando et al., 2016).
The macroalgae are categorized as red (Rhodophyta), green (Chlorophyta), and
brown (Ochrophyta) algae. These algae are evolutionarily distinct yet interrelated by the
endosymbiotic events which gave rise to plastids. There are about 660 red algae species
in the Mediterranean Sea, 180 green algae species and 280 brown algae species. Since
algae have no roots, only a few species can survive on sedimentary bottoms, such as. Spp.
Caulerpa. Rhodophyta's red color stems from the dominance of pigments such as
150 Rashad and El-Chaghaby, 2020
phycoerythrin and phycocyanin, which mask other pigments, e.g. Chl a, beta-carotene,
and other xanthophylls. Chlorophyta's green color derives from Chl a and b which masks
accessory pigments, such as beta carotene and various characteristic xanthophylls (Lewis
and McCourt, 2004). Ochrophyta's brown color is the product of xanthophyll pigment
predominance fucoxanthin, masking the other pigments, e.g. Chl a and c, beta-carotene,
xanthophyls (van den Hoek et al., 1998). Long-living brown macroalgae of the
Cystoseira genus are particularly important for the Mediterranean benthic ecosystem,
since their benthic communities display a three-dimensional structure that provides
habitat and shelter for smaller algae, invertebrates and fish. Degradation of benthic
ecosystems is currently considered the most widespread threat to the Mediterranean's
macroalgal biodiversity (Bonanno and Orlando-Bonaca, 2018).
Importance of marine algae
Marine algae have been documented to develop a large range of secondary
bioactive metabolites as antimicrobial, cytotoxic agents that include alkaloids,
polyketides, cyclic peptides, polysaccharides, phlorotannins, diterpenoids, sterols,
quinones, glycerol-lipids. Marine macro-algae are the real sources of some strongly
regulated bioactive compounds. Seaweeds provide the pharmaceutical industry with a
new source of bioactive compounds in drug production (Hamed et al., 2018). Many of the
seaweeds have bioactive components which inhibit some of the Gram positive and Gram
negative bacterial pathogens from growing. Research on the chemistry of marine algae
has increased in recent years due to the need for compounds that possess bioactivities of
potential pharmaceutical applications or other potential economic properties. Because
marine organisms exist in an ecosystem that is drastically different from terrestrial
species, it is fair to conclude that their secondary metabolites vary significantly (Morsy et
Egypt's coasts extend along the Eastern Mediterranean and the Red Sea for more
than 3,500 kilometers. Figure (2) shows a map for Egypt’s coastal zones (AbdeL-Latif et
al., 2012). Egypt's Mediterranean coast can be divided into four major sub-areas (Frihy
and El-Sayed, 2012): The coastal field extends northwest from Sallum to Alexandria.
This can be described as particularly suitable for leisure and tourism activities.
Alexandria's coastal area extends further east, from Hammam to Abu Qir. Then the
coastal sector of the Nile Delta extends eastwards all the way to Port Said. The
easternmost region of Egypt's Mediterranean coast is the coastal region of North Sinai,
which extends from Port Said to Rafah. This sector consists of large dunes which can
reach considerable heights and thus protect the coastal area of course (Masria et al.,
The Egyptian Mediterranean coast extends approximately 970 km from Rafah (Sinai
Peninsula) to Salloum (east of the Libyan border), with five natural lakes extending from
northern Sinai to Alexandria. (Shabaka, 2018).
The Red Sea is the northernmost tropical sea on earth. For some researchers the Red
Sea coastal plain of Egypt was of great interest. The Egyptian Red Sea and Gulf of Aqaba
contain an estimated 1,500 km of coral reef along the coastal and island margins, of
151 Marine Algae in Egypt: distribution, phytochemical composition and biological uses
which 800 km of fringing reef stretches from Hurghada to the Egyptian-Sudanese borders
only at the east. ( El-Asmar et al., 2015).
Figure (2): Egypt costal zones (AbdeL-Latif et al., 2012)
Distribution of marine algae in Egypt
Mofeed et al., (2015) collected macrooalgal groups throughout one year from five
sites along the Suez Canal (Port Said, Qantara, Ismailia, Fayed, and Suez). The authors
reported a total of 34 macroalgal species (14 Chlorophyta, 12 Phaeophyta, and 8
Rhodophyta). Phaeophyta organisms occupied the three middle sites (Qantara, Ismailia,
and Faied); Chlorophyta had the dominance within Suez and Port Said. Meanwhile,
regarding the abundance of macroalgal plants, Chlorophyta dominated Phaeophyta and
Rhodophyta in three sites (Suez, Fayed and Port Said), where 89% of the total macroalgal
vegetation was contained in Suez and 51% in Fayed, but 44% in Port Said. In the
meantime Rhodophyta occupied the other macroalgal community at Ismailia.
El-Said and El-Sikaily, (2013) assembled several species of seaweed along
Egyptian Mediterranean coast (Alexandria) during April 2011. The seaweeds were
belonging to different classes including red (Jania rubens, Gracilaria compressa,
Gracilaria verrucosa, Pterocladia capillacea, and Hypnea musciformis), green (Ulva
lactuca, Codium tomentosum, and Enteromorpha intestinalis) and brown (Colpomenia
sinuosa and Sargassum linifolium) and were collected from seven sites (Abu Qir Bay, El
Montazah, Sidi Bishir, El Shatby, Eastern Harbor, El Mex Bay, and 21 km).
El-Said and El-Sikaily, (2013) reported the collection of 18 algal samples
representing three algal groups over 3 years (2008–2010) a total of were collected at the
beach of the tourist site "Bardiss," located at the extreme western head of Abu Qir Bay.
Chlorophyceae was represented by the Ulvales order which consisted of one family:
152 Rashad and El-Chaghaby, 2020
Ulvaceae, represented by two species, Enteromorpha compressa (Linnaeus) Nees and
Ulva fasciata Delile. The class Phaeophyceae was represented by order Dictyotales
comprising the family Dictyotaceae represented only by the species Padina boryana
Thivy, while the third class Rhodophyceae was represented by three orders (Corallinales,
Gigartinales, and Gelidiales) consisting of one family each (Corallinaceae, Hypneaceae,
Pterocladiaceae), each with one species, Jania rubens (Linnaeus) J. V. lamouroux,
Hypnea musciformis (Wulfen) J. V. lamouroux, and Pterocladia capillacea (S. G.
Pytochemical studies on “Marine algae in Egypt”
In Egypt, several researchers have focused their studies on collecting and
evaluating marine algae / seaweeds in terms of their chemical and biochemical
compositions, nutritional and pharmaceutical uses as well as biomass utilization. A
summary of these studies is given as follows:
In October 2017, specimens from the brown seaweed Hormophysa cuneiformis
were collected from the rocky coastal littoral zone in Hurghada region, Egypt's Red Sea
coast. Specific crude polar (methanol and ethyl acetate) and non-polar (chloroform and
petroleum ether) extracts of the often-untapped brown marine algae Hormophysa
cuneiformis were tested against eight pathogenic fungi for in vitro antifungal activity.
Results suggested that only possible antifungal activity demonstrated by the chloroform
extract against all fungal isolates studied. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs)
ranged from 0.78 to 6.25μg.ml-1 and these values are very similar to those of regular
amphotericin B (0.63–5μg.ml-1) antifungal drug. GC – MS crude chloroform extract
analysis identified 45 different bioactive compounds, including mainly 18 species of
saturated, monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids (71,48%) and
essential oils. The key constituents were fatty acids arachidonic (C20:4, random–6;
16.18%), oleic (C18:1, random–9; 15.61%), palmitic (C16:0; 9.18%) and dihomo-α-
linolenic (C20:3, random–6; 8.97%) (Mohamed and Saber, 2019).
Three species of algae belonging to the Phaeophyta; Turbinaria ornata (Turner)
J. Cystosiera myrica (S.G. Gmelin) C.Agardh and Padina pavonica (Linnaeus) Thivy,
were obtained from the Egyptian Red Sea at Wadi El Gemal National Park, Agardh.
Antibacterial behavior of the algae extracts was tested against three pathogens. Results
from the analysis indicate T. Ornata is a functional algae used as an antimicrobial agent
in foodstuffs, pharmacology and medicinal applications (Madkour et al. 2019).
Six macroalgae Caulerpa racemosa, Cystoseira myrica, Digenea simplex,
Hormophysa cuneiformis, Padina pavonica and Sargassum cinereum were collected and
used for biomonitoring of heavy metals from three sites along the northern Red Sea
coastline. Cystoseira myrica had the highest Fe (575.88 μg / g dry wt.) and Mn (164.12
μg / g dry wt), Caulerpa racemosa had the highest Cu average (91.10 μg / g dry wt),
while Sargassum cinereum had the highest Zn and Co averages (33.88 and 16.56 μg / g
dry wt.). Padina pavonica has had the highest Ni and Cd averages (10.46, 2.05 μg / g dry
wt).( Madkour et al., 2019) .
Marine algae Cystoseira barbata from the Safaga coast was obtained at Red Sea,
Egypt. The algae has been evaluated for its bioactivities and its extract has proved to have
effective action against low to moderate inhibition bacterial and fungal species.
Phytochemical analyzes revealed C. Barbata reported the highest percentage of
153 Marine Algae in Egypt: distribution, phytochemical composition and biological uses
flavonoids, phenols, and saccharides. Among the bioflavonoids found in the analysed
alga were Acacetin, Kaemp.3-(2-pcomaroyl) glucose, Rosmarinic, and phenols E-
Vanillic, Benzoic, and Ferulic. The results showed potential for using this alga as a
source of antibacterial and antimicrobial substances (Mostafa et al., 2017).
During June 2009, the Red Sea Coastal Area, Hurghada, Egypt, collected the
seaweeds Sargassum dentifolium and Padina gymnospora belonging to the class
Phaeophyceae. Seaweed extracts were applied to faba bean seeds and it was shown that
application of 1% aqueous extract of S. dentifolium or P. gymnospora by seed soaking
was accompanied by stimulation in growth, photosynthetic pigments and the activity of
antioxidant enzymes. The higher activity was observed for extract of S. dentifolium. In
contrast, treatment with seaweed water extracts resulted in significantly decreased in
MDA content, which increased under salinity stress. All the previous findings suggested
the possibility that seaweed water extracts may play an important role in increasing plant
resistance by stimulating the antioxidant enzyme system which associated with a marked
retardation in the MDA content (Farghl et al., 2013).
In May 2012, Laurencia obtusa was collected from shallow water adjacent to the
Red Sea shore of Safaga and Corallina elongata and Jania rubens were collected from
shallow water adjacent to the Meditrenean Sea shore at the Egyptian Abou Quair
peninsula. These three types of red marine algae were evaluated as biofertilizers for corn
(Zea mays L.) plants. The results of the study indicated that application of single algae or
their mixtures as biofertilizers resulted in an increase in parameters of plant production.
(Safinaz and Ragaa, 2013).
Algal samples of Halimeda fish, Padina gymnospora and Phacelocarpus
tristichus have been obtained from Quseir and Marsa Alam in Algae for their chemical
composition and pharmacological properties at the Red Sea shores in Egypt (2016-2017).
P. gymnospora showed optimum antibacterial activity to E. Coli (13.90±0.66 mm),
followed by P. tristichus (12.97±0.65 mm), and H. tuna greatly inhibited the
development of S. Aureus (0.67 mm ± 13.17). In addition, P. gymnospora obtained the
highest antifungal activity, followed by P. tristichus and finally, H. Tuna over C.
Neoformas, A. Fumigate and P. gymnospora also exhibited more cytotoxicity to the cell
lines HepG-2 and MCF-7 than P. tristichus and H. Thunfisch. This study is one of the
first studies on the chemical composition, antimicrobial activity and cytotoxicity of P.
tristichus and this work also revealed new data on the cytotoxicity of P. gymnospora and
H. Tunas on new line of cell (Abdelrheem et al., 2012).
Salem, et al., (2011) collected eight distinct algae Phaeophyaceae (Cystoesira
myrica, Cystoesira trinodis, Padina gymnospora, Sargassum dentifolium and Sargassum
hystrix); Rhodophaceae (Actinotrichia fragilis) and Chlorophyceae (Caulerpa racemosa
and Codium fragile) from Red Sea at Hurghada, Egypt during June 2009. Different
solvent extracts of these algae were prepared. The seaweed extracts have been tested both
against Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria for their antibacterial activities. Ethyl
acetate extracts of C. racemosa, C. fragile and P. gymnospora; methanolic extracts of P.
gymnospora and C. fragile showed higher antibacterial activities than other members of
the tested algae.
A study has tested extracts of ethanol, methanol, ethyl acetate, hexane,
chloroform, and acetone from five species of green and red algae from Abu-Qir Bay,
Alexandria, Egypt for their antimicrobial , antioxidant, and cytototoxicity activities
154 Rashad and El-Chaghaby, 2020
against four cell lines. The chloroform extracts Ulva lactuca and Ulva fasciata exhibited
the highest zones of inhibition against the pathogenic bacteria being tested. The extracts
of U. Lactuca and U. Fasciata displayed the highest antioxidant activity (IC50
6.32±0.29mg / ml and 6.61±0.27mg / ml), using DPPH (2, 2- diphenyl-1- picrylhydrazyl)
scavenging method and total antioxidant ability assay (2.13 and 1.51 mg ascorbic acid
equivalent / gram dry weight, respectively). Checking for cytotoxicity using MTT assay
revealed U. lactuca extract had a good activity against cell lines MCF-7 and Hela (IC50
10.83±1.0, 12.43±1.3μg / ml , respectively), and U. Fasciata displayed good activity
against cell lines PC3 and HepG2 (IC50 12.99±1.2, 16.75±1.5μg / ml, respectively). The
most active antimicrobial fractions in U., as determined by Ultraviolet spectra, Fourier
Transform Infrared Spectra, and Mass Spectroscopy of Gas Chromatography after
column chromatographic purification. Lactuca, U. Fasciata extracts contain an aromatic
compound with various active groups (-C = O, phenyl ring and -OH); di-isoctyl phthalate
molecular weight is equivalent to 390,56g / mol and not limited to 390,56g / mol,
respectively (Saeed et al., 2020).
Three species of Marine Algae Ulva lactuca (U. lactuca), Pterocladia capillacea
(P. capillacea) and Jania rubens (J. rubens) extracts with LC50 values 121, 111.3 and 127
ppm respectively were evaluated to pick the most effective molluscicides to regulate
Lymnaea natalensis (L. natalensis) against fascioliasis The protein content for L.
natalensis snail tissues after treatment with U. lactuca, P. capillacea and J. rubens
extracts was 243.6± 0.03. 196.6 ± 0.03 and 280.3 ± 0.05 µg/ml respectively and there was
a significant decrease in protein contents of the treated snail tissues than controlled ones.
The electrophoretic separation of snail tissues treated with mentioned algal extracts using
Gel Electrophoresis, revealed several bands for each algal extract ranged from 21 to 205
kDa. The alteration in electrophoretic profile of treated snails includes appearance of new
protein bands, disappearance of bands and change in the concentrations of shared bands
with control snails. Based on these alterations, it was concluded that the algal extracts
have molluscicidal effect on L. natalensis snails (Abdel-rahman et al., 2020).
Four separate marine algae species; two species belonging to the Chlorophyceae
(green algae) family; Ulva lactuca and Enteromorpha intestinalis and two species
belonging to the Rhodophyceae (red algae) family; Pterocladia capillacea and Jania
rubens have been collected from exposed rocky sites along the west edge of Abou-Qir
Bay, Alexandria, Egypt. Aqueous and ethanol extracts from the four different marine
algae species have been prepared and tested for their lethal effect on the snail Lymnaea
natalensis (L. natalensis), the intermediate host of the trematode parasite; Fasciola
gigantica, (F. gigantica). The most potent extracts by calculating LC50 were P.
capillacaea and J. rubens aqueous extract (red algae); 111.3 and 127 ppm respectively
and U. lactuca ethanolic extract (green algae) 121 ppm. This work announced marine
algae to exert promising molluscicidal activity on L. natalensis snail. Also, aqueous
extracts of P. capillacaea and J. rubens as well as U. lactuca ethanolic extract were found
to be most potent and highly significant ones in the net reproductive rate and reduction
(Saad et al., 2019).
Marine algae from the Alexandrian region's Egyptian Mediterranean Sea coast
were collected at Abu Quir, Sheraton, Stanly, El-Shatby, Eastern Harbor and Agamy. The
results indicated high concentrations of the important minerals such as Na , K, Ca and
Mg. Brown algae have received high Na and K values followed by red and green algae.
155 Marine Algae in Egypt: distribution, phytochemical composition and biological uses
Thus, Ca and Mg were distributed in red algae followed by large concentrations of brown
and green algae. On the other hand, the basic trace elements (Fe, Cu, Zn and Mn)
followed as Fe > Mn > Zn > Cu. The estimated algae content (carbohydrates and
proteins) recorded in the three types of algae revealed that carbohydrate content was in
the order: red algae > green algae > brown algae,. Meanwhile the protein concentration
followed as red algae > brunette > green algae ( Salem et al., 2018).
In October 2016 six types of seaweed were collected from Abu Qir on the
Egyptian Mediterranean Sea coast in rocky Abu Qir Bay, Egypt. For the different species
of seaweed, the biochemical constituents and key elements were determined. The
moisture level ranged from 30.26 percent in Corallina mediterranea to 77.57 percent in
Padina boryana. The ash content in Sargassum wightii ranged from 25.53 per cent in
Jania rubens to 88.84 per cent. Enteromorpha linza reported the highest concentrations
of lipids and carbohydrates. The Mediterranean had the lowest lipid content (0.5%), and
the carbohydrate content (38.12%) Brown species held the largest number of elements
followed by red and green seaweeds. All tested seaweed extracts except Ulva lactuca
were observed with high reducing power capacity (Ismail et al., 2017).
Six algae (Sargassum dentifolium, Padina boryana, Dictyota dichotoma,
Gelidium latifolium, Gracilaria dura, and Enteromorpha intestinalis) were collected
from marine (euhalopic) ecosystems in Alexandria, Hurghada, Fayed, Egypt. Some
biochemical comparative work between the freshwater algae and the six marine algae
was performed to determine how marine algae would cope with salinity in seawater.
Results obtained showed that fluorescence peaks within the same class for the species
being examined were relatively uniform, but varied for different classes or divisions. The
protein profile studied revealed the presence of only three common protein bands (125,
15 and 8 kDa) in the euhalopic algal group, and finally, only one common protein band
(240 kDa) in all oligohalopic algae members. The amount of proline showed peculiar
differences under investigation between the marine and the fresh algae. Mannitol is found
only in brown algae. Furthermore, the level of marine algae in minerals (sodium and
potassium) and glycerol is substantially higher than in fresh algae. Glycerol-3-phosphate
dehydrogenase (G3PDH) has had a significant effect on biosynthesis of glycerol. In this
analysis, we analyze the differential expression of marine algal group (G3PDH)
compared to that of freshwater group one. Results indicated that the expression level of
(G3PDH) mRNA was significantly higher in marine algal groups (Mansour and Emmam,
2017). Pterocladia capillace (c. Agardh) a genus of red macro-algae and Ulva lactuca
linneals (Gmel) Born a genus of green macro-algae were collected from the
Mediterranean Sea Shore of Alexandria in 2014. The two marine macro-algae were tested
for elimination of chloramphenicol, clofibric acid, acetyl salicylic acid, nonylphenol, and
bisphenol in aqueous solutions. Results showed that chlorophyll "a" content of both algal
biomasses decreased with rising pharmaceutical concentrations. The findings showed that
the maximum biosorption of pharmaceutical and endocrine disruptor compounds in
nonylphenol > acetyl salicylic acid > clofibric acid > bisphenol > chloramphenicol was
recorded for Pterocladia capillacea, while the maximum biosorption of Ulva lactuca was
observed for acetyl salicylic acid > bisphenol > nonylphenol > chloramphenicol at 12
hours contact period. All the algae examined suffered oxidative stress due to antibiotic
exposure and endocrine disruptor compounds. The research results indicated an increase
156 Rashad and El-Chaghaby, 2020
in the levels of the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase ( SOD), ascorbate
peroxidase (APO), catalase ( CAT) in the algae studied following exposure to various
pharmaceuticals in relation to their control activities (Mohy El.Din et al., 2017).
Ulva samples were collected from two stations, Ras Al-Tin (station A) and El-
Muntazah (station B) along the coast of Alexandria in the Mediterranean Sea, in 12
sampling periods (January to December 2012). At each station, each three samples were
plotted to reflect a single season. The chemical characterization of the lipid fractions was
done and results showed that Ulva lipid content is relatively high (9.4±1.5 and 12.2±2.7
percent DW, respectively at stations A and B), which can be explained by station A's
higher emission level. Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) accounted for 17.6-33.4
percent of the TFAs. High percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acids ( PUFAs) occurred
in Ulva extraction, reaching a high in both winter and spring stations, at stations A and B
around 38.4 and 30.5 percent of TFAs respectively ( Moustafa and Batran, 2014).
From the Abu Qir, Alexandria, three marine cyanobacteria Oscillatoria
simplicissima, Oscillatoria acutissima, and Spirulina platensis were collected. Their
antimicrobial activities have been tested. Results showed that the three-algal methanol
extract was very effective against bacterial and fungal strains in comparison with other
extracts at pH 8.0, 30oC and 3000 lux. No antimicrobial activity was found in the water
extracts. This material was developed for Oscillatoria simplicissima, Spirulina sp. and
Oscillatoria acutissima. Incubation time 12, 14, 12 days. The results indicated potential
for the use of these microalgae as an antimicrobial source (Ismael and Halim, 2012).
The Pterocladia capillacea Red Marine macroalgae had been collected from Abo-
Quir Bay, Alexandria, Egypt. The macroalgae biomass was used for activated carbon
manufacturing to eliminate poisonous hexavalent chromium from the aqueous solution.
The report demonstrated that the activated carbon derived from the red alga P. capillacea
can be used as a promising activated carbon to remove toxic chromium from synthetic
sea water , natural sea water and wastewater (El Nemr et al., 2011).
The present work gives a brief review concerning marine algae with special reference to
marine algae in Egypt. The review documents the distribution of marine algae along the
Egyptian coasts. After summarizing the studies investigating uses and composition of
marine algae in Egypt, it can be affirmed that macroalgae are important sources of natural
components extraction. These algae can be collected and widely used in Egypt and other
countries in nutrition and therapy and the biomass could be valorized to produce
adsorbents in water treatment filters or as source of biofuel.
AbdeL-Latif, T.; Ramadan, S.T. and Galal, A.M. (2012). Egyptian coastal regions
development through economic diversity for its coastal cities. HBRC J. 8, 252–262.
Abdel-rahman, E.H.; Saad, A.E.A. and Hassanain, M.A. (2020). Electrophoretic profile
157 Marine Algae in Egypt: distribution, phytochemical composition and biological uses
of treated Lymnaea natalensis snails with Pterocladia capillacea , Jania rubens and
Ulva lactuca algal extracts 24: 443–451.
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