Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 18, Issue 6, pp 787–794 | Cite as

Extracellular secretion of phenolic substances from living brown algae

  • Toshiyuki ShibataEmail author
  • Yoichiro Hama
  • Taiko Miyasaki
  • Makoto Ito
  • Takashi Nakamura
Original Article


The chemical structures of ultraviolet (UV)- absorbing substances secreted from the healthy living brown algae, Eisenia bicyclis and Ecklonia kurome, were demonstrated. The living activity of algal cells was critically examined using a confocal laser-scanning microscope after incorporation of fluorescein diacetate (FDA) into the cells. Using thin-layer chromatography (TLC), reversed-phase three-dimensional high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-3D-HPLC) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), it was found that the UV-absorbing substances (λmax 265–270 nm) secreted from the living brown algae mainly consisted of the three monomeric bromophenols, 2,4-dibromophenol, 2,4,6-tribromophenol and dibromo-iodophenol, but not phloroglucinol or phlorotannins. The other minor compounds detected in the secretions were as follows: benzothiazole, fatty acids (14:1, 16:0 and 18:0 acids), franesol, 3-hydroxy-2,4,4-trimethylpentyl 2-methylpropanoate and squalene. Exudation of phloroglucinol and phlorotannins was ascertained to take place only after the cell death of these algae. These results indicate that, whilst the algae are alive, polymeric phlorotannins are strictly kept within the algal body, and only monomeric bromophenols are secreted into the seawater medium.


Bromophenols Ecklonia kurome Eisenia bicyclis Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry Phlorotannins Thin-layer chromatography 



fluorescein diacetate


gas chromatography-mass spectrometry


thin-layer chromatography


reversed-phase three-dimensional high-performance liquid chromatography






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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Toshiyuki Shibata
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yoichiro Hama
    • 2
  • Taiko Miyasaki
    • 3
  • Makoto Ito
    • 4
  • Takashi Nakamura
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Life, Environment and Materials Science, Faculty of EngineeringFukuoka Institute of TechnologyHigashi-kuJapan
  2. 2.Department of Applied Biological Science, Faculty of AgricultureSaga UniversitySagaJapan
  3. 3.Department of Food ScienceNational University of FisheriesShimonosekiJapan
  4. 4.Laboratory of Marine Resource Chemistry, Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Graduate School of AgricultureKyushu UniversityHigashi-kuJapan

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