Physico-chemical characteristics of the sulfated polysaccharides of the red microalgae Dixoniella grisea and Porphyridium aerugineum

Gal Netanel Liberman, Guy Ochbaum, Margarita Mejubovsky-Mikhelis, Ronit Bitton, Shoshana (Malis) Arad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The sulfated polysaccharides of red microalgae have attracted increasing attention in recent years due to their unique rheological and bioactivities. Todate, most studies are devoted to the polysaccharide of the marine species Porphyridium sp., with limited information about that of the brackish water- Dixoniella grisea and the freshwater- Porphyridium aerugineum. We therefore conducted a comparative study of the two less explored sulfated polysaccharides, emphasizing their similarities and differences in composition, physical properties and biocompatibility. Both polysaccharides were found to be composed of 6–8 monosaccharides, predominantly xylose. Sulfur content was 0.8% for P. aerugineum and 1.6% for D. grisea. Solutions of both polysaccharides were highly viscous and exhibited shear thinning and weak gel behavior. Both were found to be stable in an alkaline environment, whereas in an acidic environment the viscosity of the polysaccharide of the brackish water species increased while that of the freshwater species decreased. Both exhibited a similar morphology, having a porous fibrous structure with a rough amorphous surface. By complementing previous studies on the Porphyridium sp. polysaccharide, we have established a sound basis for elucidating the structure/function relationships that in turn, will promote the development of innovative applications for the biotech industries for pharmaceutics, food and drug-delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1171-1179
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
StatePublished - 15 Feb 2020


  • Red microalgae
  • Rheology
  • Sulfated polysaccharides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Energy (all)


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