Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 17, Issue 5, pp 447–460 | Cite as

An evaluation of methods for extraction and quantification of protein from marine macro- and microalgae

  • Elisabete Barbarino
  • Sergio O. LourençoEmail author


Comparison of data of protein content in algae is very difficult, primarily due to differences in the analytical methods employed. The different extraction procedures (exposure to water, grinding, etc.), protein precipitation using different amounts of 25% trichloroacetic acid and quantification of protein by two different methods and using two protein standards were evaluated. All procedures were tested using freeze-dried samples of three macroalgae: Porphyra acanthophora var. acanthophora, Sargassum vulgare and Ulva fasciata. Based on these results, a protocol for protein extraction was developed, involving the immersion of samples in 4.0 mL ultra-pure water for 12 h, followed by complete grinding of the samples with a Potter homogeniser. The precipitation of protein should be done with 2.5:1 25% TCA:homogenate (v/v). The protocol for extraction and precipitation of protein developed in this study was tested with other macroalgae (Aglaothamnion uruguayense, Caulerpa fastigiata, Chnoospora minima, Codium decorticatum, Dictyota menstrualis, Padina gymnospora and Pterocladiella capillacea) and microalgae (Amphidinium carterae, Dunaliella tertiolecta, Hillea sp., Isochrysis galbana and Skeletonema costatum). Comparison with the actual protein content determined from the sum of amino acid residues, suggests that Lowry's method should be used instead of Bradford's using bovine serum albumin (BSA) as protein standard instead of casein. This may be related to the reactivity of the protein standards and the greater similarity in the amino acid composition of BSA and algae. The current results should contribute to more accurate protein determinations in marine algae.

Key words

amino acids marine macroalgae marine microalgae nitrogen protein determination seaweeds 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Programa de Pós-Graduação em Biotecnologia VegetalUniversidade Federal do Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Departamento de Biologia MarinhaUniversidade Federal FluminenseNiteróiBrazil

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