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Marine Algae in Egypt: distribution, phytochemical composition and biological uses as bioactive resources (a review)


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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. © 2020, Egyptian Society for the Development of Fisheries and Human Health. All rights reserved.
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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:
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-
Article History:
Received: July 2, 2020
Accepted: July 17, 2020
Online: July 20, 2020
marine algae;
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).
Macroalgae classification
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
al., 2020).
Egyptian Coasts
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 (20082010) 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.
Gemlin) Bornet.
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 6.25μ and these values are very similar to those of regular
amphotericin B (0.63–5μ 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, random6;
16.18%), oleic (C18:1, random9; 15.61%), palmitic (C16:0; 9.18%) and dihomo-α-
linolenic (C20:3, random6; 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
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... Egypt's Red Sea is full of valuable marine algae that still need to be investigated for their bioactivity (Osman et al., 2020). Hormophysa cuneiformis is an abundant brown marine alga that blooms on the coral reefs of the Red Sea, especially when extensive expanses of dead coral are present (Rashad and El-Chaghaby, 2020). Yet, this alga is scarcely investigated for its bioactivity and chemical profiling (Mohamed and Saber, 2019;Osman et al., 2020;Rashad and El-Chaghaby, 2020). ...
... Hormophysa cuneiformis is an abundant brown marine alga that blooms on the coral reefs of the Red Sea, especially when extensive expanses of dead coral are present (Rashad and El-Chaghaby, 2020). Yet, this alga is scarcely investigated for its bioactivity and chemical profiling (Mohamed and Saber, 2019;Osman et al., 2020;Rashad and El-Chaghaby, 2020). Therefore, this research aimed to look into the possible antimicrobial and anticancer properties of ethanol extract from the brown alga H. cuneiformis and having a chemical profile for its extract. ...
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Aim: We investigated the antimicrobial and anticancer properties of an ethanol crude extract of Red Sea brown alga (Hormophysa cuneiformis) from Egypt. Methods: Extraction was achieved by mixing 100 g of sample powder with absolute ethanol, incubating at 37 °C overnight in a shaking incubator, and then collecting the extract. The extract's antimicrobial activity was tested using a well diffusion assay against the tested pathogens (Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Candida albicans) in comparison to commercial antibiotics. Anticancer activity was assessed using MTT assay on MCF-7, HepG-2, and HEP-2 cell lines. The anticancer mechanism of action against the HepG-2 cell line was investigated using cell cycle analysis, Annexin V, and antioxidant enzymes, in addition to transmission electron microscopy. Results: GC-MS phytoconstituent profile of the extract was dominant with fatty acids. A broad antimicrobial effect against all the pathogenic isolates of E. coli, S. aureus, B. subtitles, and C. albicans was demonstrated, especially at the high concentration in comparison to commercial antibiotics. The extract could inhibit the growth of the tested cell lines. We observed the most significant effect on HepG-2 cells, and the concentration of the extract played a role in the level of inhibition (IC50 of 44.6 ± 0.6 µg/ml). The extract had negligible effects on Vero normal cell lines at the lower concentration, with slight toxicity (90.8% viability) at the highest concentration (500 µg/ml). At this same concentration, the extract caused 80-92% inhibition of the cancer cell lines. The extract appears to have demonstrated promising effects on cancer cells. It induces programmed cell death (apoptosis), arrests the cell cycle, and affects the oxidative/antioxidant balance within the cells, potentially leading to the suppression or elimination of cancer cells. These findings are encouraging and may have implications for cancer treatment or further research in this area. More action of extract was seen against bacteria than fungi, with a wide antibacterial impact against all of the tested isolates, notably at the high concentration in comparison to conventional antibiotics. Conclusion: According to the findings, H. cuneiformis may be a valuable source of chemicals that are both antimicrobial and anticancer.
... It is increasingly recognized that ocean contains a huge number of natural products and novel chemical entities with unique biological activities that may be useful in finding the potential drugs with greater efficacy and specificity for the treatment of human diseases. [14,15].This vast marine floral resource will offer a great scope for discovery of new drugs. Marine floras have been used for medicinal purposes in India, China, the Near East and Europe, since ancient times. ...
Evaluation of natural compound obtained from phytochemical screening provides key idea for investigating new drug. Corallina officinalis and Sargassum ilicifolium red & brown seaweeds have reported to exhibit different biological activities such as anticancer, antimicrobial, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant etc. This study intent to explore the antioxidant activity of crude extracts of the seaweed. Ethenolic and Acetone extracts of two seaweeds, collected from Sindhudurga coastal area, Maharashtra, India were evaluated using various in vitro methods. DPPH scavenging method & Hydrogen peroxide scavenging assay showed significant antioxidant activity. Folin-Ciocalteu method was used to determine the total phenolic content of the extracts/fractions, and the results were expressed as mg of gallic acid equivalent (GAE)/g of the seaweed extracts. Since these alga being used as food during ancient time we may conclude that these macroalgae could be further developed as food additives so as to reduce illness naturally and the extracts can be used to hostities various disorders.
... Seaweeds are visible macroalgae that grow on rocks and along the coast, and can be found in a variety of aquatic habitats (Rashad and El-Chaghaby 2020). Marine macroalgae are divided into three groups based on their pigment contents and morphological and anatomical characteristics: green algae (Chlorophyaceae), brown algae (Phaeophyaceae), and red algae (Rhodophyaceae) (Manzelat et al. 2018). ...
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Background Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites made by a variety of molds and fungi. They contaminate a lot of food products and local crops during pre- and post-harvesting under favorable conditions like high temperature and moisture. Aspergillus species are the most common fungi that contaminate food and produce biochemicals known as mycotoxins. Aflatoxins (AFB1, AFB2, AFG1, and AFG2) are the major mycotoxins produced by A. flavus and A. parasiticus that harm animal and human health. These fungi are controlled by chemical fungicides, but these are harmful to the environment. The aim of this study was to determine whether the aflatoxigenic fungi can be exterminated only by marine algal extracts or not. Results The findings showed that the tested seaweed extracts inhibited fungal growth and aflatoxins production to varying degrees. The maximum antifungal activity was recorded in Halimeda opuntia extract against A . parasiticus- 24 and A. flavus -18 and Turbunaria decurrens extract against A. flavus -18 (with an inhibition percentage of 77.78%), followed by Jania rubens extract against A . parasiticus- 16 with inhibition percentage 75.88% compared to the control. Aqueous extract of H . opuntia effectively eliminated aflatoxins (B1, B2, G1, and G2) in A. parasiticus -16 and A. parasiticus- 24. T. decurrens extract could detoxify 100% of aflatoxins in three isolates of A. parasiticus . J. rubens extract eliminated aflatoxins in A. parasiticus -15 and A. parasiticus -16 compared to their normal production using high-performance liquid chromatography. Conclusions According to this study, the macroalgal species with numerous distinctive antifungal properties constituents significantly inhibited the growth and production of aflatoxin in A. parasiticus and A. flavus isolates. The findings supported the use of macroalgae as a biological control agent against fungi and their toxins.
... Seaweeds, also known as marine macroalgae, have been recently used in several industrial and pharmaceutical applications, such as novel food supplements (e.g., Alam et al. 2016;Al Adham et al. 2017;Leandro et al. 2020;Ibrahim et al. 2021Ibrahim et al. , 2022 as they contain abundant multifunctional bioactive compounds such as polysaccharides, carotenoids, polyphenolics, antioxidants, dietary fibers, polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals (Devi et al. 2011;Pereira 2020;Pradhan et al. 2021;Semaida et al. 2022). Several structurally diverse polysaccharides, such as alginates and fucoidan, found within the cell walls of brown seaweeds, are exploited for their powerful pharmaceutical and biomedical properties (Rashad and El-Chaghaby 2020;Rashedy et al. 2021;Saeed et al 2021;Ismail et al. 2022). The genus Sargassum C. Agardh and its related species, known as golden tides, are excellent sources of health-promoting antioxidants and alginate polysaccharides. ...
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Doxorubicin (DOX) is a potent anticancer drug with adverse cardiotoxic effects. Alginates are multifunctional biopolymers and polyelectrolytes derived from the cell walls of brown seaweeds. They are nontoxic, biocompatible, and biodegradable, and hence, utilized in several biomedical and pharmaceutical applications. Here, we investigated the potential cardioprotective effect of thermally treated sodium alginate (TTSA), which was extracted and purified from the seaweed Sargassum aquifolium, in treating acute DOX cardiotoxicity and apoptotic pathways in rats. UV-visible spectroscopy, Fourier-transform infrared, and nuclear magnetic resonance (1 H-NMR) spectroscopy techniques were used to characterize TTSA. CK-MB and AST levels in sera samples were determined. The expression levels of Erk-2 (MAPK-1) and iNOS genes were investigated by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). The protein expression levels of Erk-2, anti-apoptotic p53, and caspase-3 were analyzed using western blotting and ELISA. For the in vivo studies, sixty rats were randomly divided equally into six groups and treated with DOX, followed by TTSA. We revealed that treatment with TTSA, which has low molecular weight and enhanced antioxidant properties, improved DOX-mediated cardiac dysfunction and alleviated DOX-induced myocardial apoptosis. Furthermore, TTSA exhibited a cardioprotective effect against DOX-induced cardiac toxicity, indicated by the increased expression of MAPK-1 (Erk2) and iNOS genes, which are implicated in the adaptive responses regulating DOX-induced myocardial damage. Moreover, TTSA significantly (p < 0.05) suppressed caspase-3 and upregulated anti-apoptotic protein p53 expression. TTSA also rebalanced the cardiomyocyte redox potential by significantly (p < 0.05) increasing the levels of endogenous antioxidant enzymes, including catalase and superoxide dismutase. Our findings suggest that TTSA, particularly at a dose of 400 mg/kg b.w., is a potential prophylactic supplement for treating acute DOX-linked cardiotoxicity.
... Seaweeds contain various inorganic and organic substances that can benefit human health [94]. Due to their ability to synthesize a wide range of secondary metabolites and as a source of bioactive compounds, such as sulfated polysaccharides, proteins, pigments, fatty acids, peptides, lipids, minerals, sterols, and phenolic compounds, seaweeds are known as good renewable sources of antioxidant materials. ...
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Currently, algae arouse a growing interest in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic area due to the fact that they have a great diversity of bioactive compounds with the potential for pharmacological and nutraceutical applications. Due to lifestyle modifications brought on by rapid urbanization, diabetes mellitus, a metabolic illness, is the third largest cause of death globally. The hunt for an efficient natural-based antidiabetic therapy is crucial to battling diabetes and the associated consequences due to the unfavorable side effects of currently available antidiabetic medications. Finding the possible advantages of algae for the control of diabetes is crucial for the creation of natural drugs. Many of algae's metabolic processes produce bioactive secondary metabolites, which give algae their diverse chemical and biological features. Numerous studies have demonstrated the antioxidant and antidiabetic benefits of algae, mostly by blocking carbohydrate hydrolyzing enzyme activity, such as α-amylase and α-glucosidase. Additionally, bioactive components from algae can lessen diabetic symptoms in vivo. Therefore, the current review concentrates on the role of various secondary bioactive substances found naturally in algae and their potential as antioxidants and antidiabetic materials, as well as the urgent need to apply these substances in the pharmaceutical industry.
... They are acknowledged as a source of several significant bioactive chemicals and have a several of advantages. (Rashad and El-Chaghaby, 2020). There are many diverse types of marine algae, typically split into two classes, microalgae and macro algae. ...
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Algal biomass is currently recognized as a potential source of unique and valuable metabolites with particular emphasis on marine subtypes. Stressful marine conditions provoke the production of secondary metabolites with unique biological activities. Brown algae (Phaeophyta) represents one of the three major classes of marine algae characterized by a high concentration of the brown pigment fucoxanthin. The presence of macro- and micronutrients in marine brown algae has led to its recognition as a potential food source for centuries, especially for coastal communities. Besides its nutritional value, brown algae represent a rich source of primary and secondary metabolites with unique biological activities; thus, they act as a potential drug source for medicinal and cosmetic applications, besides their importance as excipients for the drug industry. Brown algal extracts have been investigated for their potential use in treating many common health problems, including diabetes, inflammation, microbial and viral infections, coagulation problems, and different kinds of cancer; their role in the cosmetic industry is due to the high content of antioxidant metabolites. Chemical investigations of different species of brown algae revealed a wide array of secondary metabolites with terpenoids, especially diterpenes, polymeric phenolics, phenolic acids, and flavonoids, differentiating brown algae from other classes of macroalgae.
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Macroalgae are significant biological resources in coastal marine ecosystems. Seasonality influences macroalgae biochemical characteristics, which consequentially affect their ecological and economic values. Here, macroalgae were surveyed from summer 2017 to spring 2018 at three sites at 7 km (south) from El Qusier, 52 km (north) from Marsa Alam and 70 km (south) from Safaga along the Red Sea coast, Egypt. Across all the macroalgae collected, Caulerpa prolifera (green macroalgae), Acanthophora spicifera (red macroalgae) and Cystoseira myrica, Cystoseira trinodis and Turbinaria ornata (brown macroalgae) were the most dominant macroalgal species. These macroalgae were identified at morphological and molecular (18s rRNA) levels. Then, the seasonal variations in macroalgal minerals and biochemical composition were quantified to determine the apt period for harvesting based on the nutritional requirements for commercial utilizations. The chemical composition of macroalgae proved the species and seasonal variation. For instance, minerals were more accumulated in macroalgae C. prolifera, A. spicifera and T. ornata in the winter season, but they were accumulated in both C. myrica and C. trinodis in the summer season. Total sugars, amino acids, fatty acids and phenolic contents were higher in the summer season. Accordingly, macroalgae collected during the summer can be used as food and animal feed. Overall, we suggest the harvesting of macroalgae for different nutrients and metabolites in the respective seasons.
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In the present work, three macroalgae viz; Halimeda tuna, Padina gymnospora and Phacelocarpus tristichus, collected from Egyptian Red Sea shores were investigated for their chemical composition and pharmacological properties. Volatile compounds of 70% methanol extracts of three selected algae were analyzed by GC-MS. Antimicrobial and cytotoxic activities of algal extracts (70% methanol) were tested by agar well diffusion and in vitro cell viability assays, respectively. P. gymnospora showed the maximum antibacterial activity against E. coli (13.90±0.66 mm), followed by P. tristichus (12.97± 0.65mm), while H. tuna inhibited significantly the growth of S. aureus (13.17± 0.67mm). Furthermore, the highest antifungal activity was obtained by P. gymnospora, followed by P. tristichus and finally H. tuna against C. neoformas and A. fumigatus. Also, P. gymnospora showed more cytotoxicity against HepG-2 and MCF-7 cell lines than P. tristichus and H. tuna. Moreover, it is the first report of chemical composition, antimicrobial activity and cytotoxicity of P. tristichus and also this research showed new reports on cytotoxicity of P. gymnospora and H. tuna against new cell lines. In conclusion, the Egyptian marine macroalgae possess antimicrobial and cytotoxic activities, that could be investigated for future application in medicine and recognizing novel drugs from the marine resources after checking their bioavailability in vivo.
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In recent decades, natural antioxidant alternatives have become a trending topic for replacing artificial antioxidants. Microalgae have been reported to display interesting bioactive properties and their antioxidant activity is one of them. This study aims to evaluate the antioxidant capacity, phytochemical constituents and proximate composition of three microalgae Scenedesmus obliquus, Chlorella vulgaris and Spirulina platensis. The performed preliminary phytochemical analysis of the algae extracts revealed that they contain good amounts of bioactive compounds. The results showed that the highest total antioxidant activity found was (3720.67 mgAAE/100g) in Spirulina platensis, followed by Chlorella vulgaris (2794.80 mgAAE/100g). The lowest activity was noticed for Scenedesmus obliquus (1718.53 mgAAE/100g). As for total phenolic content, Spirulina recorded the highest phenolic content (2238.46 mgGAE/Kg.), followed by Chlorella (710.33mg GAE/Kg.), and then Scenedesmus (511.20 mgGAE/Kg). The total flavonoids content of algal extracts expressed as mgQE/Kg varied from (548.66) for Chlorella vulgaris, (142.23) for Spirulina platensis to (66.56) for Scenedesmus obliquus. The proximate analysis results indicated high values of protein for Spirulina platensis (53.30 % dry wt.) whereas the highest fat, ash and moisture percentages were recorded by Scenedesmus obliquus (15.13, 15.07 and 2.57, respectively)
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Mycoses and plant fungal pathogens are limiting factors highly affecting public health and crop production. Some fungal strains have been documented to be resistant to the commonly used drugs. Therefore, finding out new and pivotal antifungal drugs is becoming a global priority. Herein, we evaluated the in vitro antifungal activities of different crude polar (methanol and ethyl acetate) and non-polar (chloroform and petroleum ether) extracts of the mostly untapped brown seaweed Hormophysa cuneiformis (order Fucales, Phaeophyceae), in the Egyptian coastal waters, against eight pathogenic fungi: Aspergillus flavus, A. fumigatus, Candida albicans, and Trichosporon asahii (as human pathogens), and Alternaria alternata, Cladosporium herbarum, Fusarium oxysporum and Penicillium digitatum (as plant pathogens). The agar well diffusion assay was applied. Our findings showed that the chloroform extract only exhibited a potential antifungal activity against all tested fungal isolates, particularly T. asahii, C. albicans, A. fumigatus and C. herbarum, while the other extracts had relatively no remarkable effects. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) ranged between 0.78 and 6.25 µ and these values are very close to those of the standard antifungal drug amphotericin B (0.63–5 µ GC–MS analysis of the crude chloroform extract revealed 45 different bioactive compounds, mainly including 18 different species of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids (71.48%), and some essential oils. The major constituents were arachidonic (C20:4, ω–6; 16.18%), oleic (C18:1, ω–9; 15.61%), palmitic (C16:0; 9.18%) and dihomo-γ-linolenic (C20:3, ω–6; 8.97%) fatty acids.
This review focuses on the diversity of French tropical overseas macroalgae and their biotechnological applications. After listing the specific diversity, i.e. 641 species in French Antilles in the Atlantic Ocean, 560 species in the Indian Ocean, and 1015 species in the South Pacific Ocean, we present the potential of their metabolites and their main uses. Among the great diversity of metabolites, we focus on carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, pigments and secondary metabolites, in particular terpenes and phenolic compounds. The main applications of reef macroalgae are described in human and animal consumptions, phycocolloids extraction, production of active ingredients for health, cosmetics, agriculture, and bioremediation. For each application, we list what has been done, or will be done in French tropical overseas territories and point out the challenges faced when using this chemo-diversity, and problems linked to their exploitation. Finally, we discuss challenges to develop seaweed farming, their uses in carbon sequestration and resilience to global change, their uses for alternative proteins together with the production of bioenergy and biomaterials. As a conclusion, we encourage the research on the chemo-diversity of French reef macroalgae for industrial applications as these organisms represent a reservoir of active ingredients that is still insufficiently explored.