Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 97–102 | Cite as

Tank cultivation of Ulva prolifera in deep seawater using a new “germling cluster” method

  • Masanori HiraokaEmail author
  • Naohiro Oka


A new “germling cluster” method is proposed for tank cultivation of seaweed in a free-floating form. This method was applied to the tank cultivation of Ulva prolifera using deep seawater (DSW) pumped up from over 300 m depth off the cape of Muroto in southwest Japan. Numerous zoids of U. prolifera were induced by cutting thalli into 1–2 mm long pieces. Three days after fragment production, the zoids were released. The zoid suspension was concentrated to a density of more than 104 zoids per mL medium, and placed in a Petri dish for culture. The dense, germinating zoids began to adhere to each other and form aggregations. The germling aggregations were then removed from the bottom of the dish and torn into a large number of small “germling clusters” using an electric mixer. Each cluster contained 10–100 germlings. Once the germling clusters had attained more than 5 mm diameter in culture, they were transplanted as free-floating forms to a 500 L outdoor tank with continuous aeration, to which DSW was supplied at an exchange rate of 3 volumes per day. As a result, the average daily growth rate (DGR) in the tank throughout the year was 37%, though the DGR fluctuated with seasonal temperature changes.


Chlorophyta Deep seawater Free-floating form “Germling cluster” Tank cultivation Ulva prolifera 



The authors wish to thank the staff of Kochi Prefectural Deep Seawater Laboratory for their cooperation during this study; Dr. Masao Migita (Faculty of Education, Shiga University, Japan) for statistic analysis; and Stephan Gale (Kochi Prefectural Makino Botanical Garden, Japan) and Felix Bast (Usa Marine Biological Institute, Kochi University, Japan) for correcting the English manuscript. This study was partly supported by a NEDO fellowship.


  1. Dan A, Hiraoka M, Ohno M, Critchley AT (2002) Observations on the effect of salinity and photon fluence rate on the induction of sporulation and rhizoid formation in the green alga Enteromorpha prolifera (Müller) J. Agardh (Chlorophyta, Ulvales). Fish Sci 68:1182–1188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Dan A, Ohno M (1997) Growth of the green seaweed Enteromorpha prolifera under different seeding methods. Suisanzoshoku 45: 1–4 (In Japanese)Google Scholar
  3. DeBuck TA, Blakeslee M, Ryther JH (1986) Studies on the outdoor cultivation of Ulva lactuca L. Bot Mar 29:381–386Google Scholar
  4. Hanisak MD (1987) Cultivation of Gracilaria and other macroalgae in Florida for energy production. In: Bird KT, Benson PH (eds) Seaweed cultivation for renewable resources. Developments in aquaculture and fisheries science, 16. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 191–218Google Scholar
  5. Hiraoka M, Dan A, Hagihira M, Ohno M (1999) Growth and maturity of clonal thalli in Enteromorpha prolifera under different temperature conditions. Nipp Sui Gakkai 65:302–303 (In Japanese)Google Scholar
  6. Hiraoka M, Dan A, Shimada S, Hagihira M, Migita M, Ohno M (2003) Different life histories of Enteromorpha prolifera (Ulvales, Chlorophyta) from four rivers on Shikoku Island, Japan. Phycologia 42:275–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hirata H, Kohirata E, Guo F, Xu BT, Danakusumah E (1993) Culture of the sterile Ulva sp. (Chlorophyceae) in a mariculture farm. Suisanzoshoku 41:541–545Google Scholar
  8. Komatsu S, Ishida Y, Kawashima Y, Tokuda H (1994) Photosynthetic CO2 fixation by a marine green macroalga, Enteromorpha prolifera (Müller) J. Agardh. Suisanzoshoku 42:512–520 (In Japanese)Google Scholar
  9. Migita S. 1985. The sterile mutant Ulva pertusa Kjellman from Ohmura Bay. Bull Fac Fish., Nagasaki Univ 57:33–37. (In Japanese)Google Scholar
  10. Ohno M (1993) Cultivation of the green algae, Monostroma and Enteromorpha “Aonori”. In: Ohno M, Critchley AT (eds) Seaweed Cultivation and Marine Ranching. JICA, Kanagawa, Yokosuka, Japan., pp 7–15Google Scholar
  11. Ohno M, Miyanoue K (1980) The ecology of the food alga Enteromorpha prolifera. Rep Usa Mar Biol Stn 2:11–17Google Scholar
  12. Ohno M, Dan A, Hiraoka M, Nabeshima H (2000) Indoor tank culture of Undaria pinnatifida using mixed deep and surface seawater in the off season. Nipp Sui Gakkai 66:737–738. (In Japanese)Google Scholar
  13. Ohno M, Yano M, Hiraoka M, Oka N, Taniguchi M (2001) Tank culture of Eucheuma serra and Meristotheca papulosa using deep sea water. Bull Mar Sci Fish., Kochi Univ 20:35–40. (In Japanese)Google Scholar
  14. Oza RM, Rao S (1977) Effect of different culture media on growth and sporulation of laboratory raised germlings of Ulva fasciata Delile. Bot Mar 20:427–431Google Scholar
  15. Pandey RS, Ohno M (1985) An ecological study of cultivated Enteromorpha. Rep Usa Mar Biol Inst Kochi Univ 7:21–31Google Scholar
  16. Penniman CA, Mathieson AC, Penniman CE (1986) Reproductive phenology and growth of Gracilaria tikvahiae MacLachlan (Gigartinales, Rhodophyta) in the Great Bay Estuary, New Hampshire. Bot Mar 29:147–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Provasoli L (1968) Media and prospects for the cultivation of marine algae. In: Watanabe A, Hattori A (eds.) Cultures and Collections of Algae. Proceedings of the U.S.-Japan Conference, Hakone, September. Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists, Tokyo. pp 63–75Google Scholar
  18. Subbaramaiah K (1970) Growth and reproduction of Ulva fasciata Delile in nature and in culture. Bot Mar 13:25–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Watanabe F, Takenaka S, Katsura H, Masumder SAMZH, Abe K, Tamura Y, Nakano Y (1999) Dried green and purple lavers (Nori) contain substantial amounts of biologically active vitamin B12 but less of dietary iodine relative to other edible seaweeds. J Agric Food Chem 47:2341–2343PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Yamaguchi M, Tashima K, Yamanaka M, Okamura Y (1994) Larger seaweed culture using deep seawater. Gekkankaiyou 285:156–158 (In Japanese)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Usa Marine Biological InstituteKochi UniversityTosaJapan
  2. 2.Sea Lab Ltd (Umi-no-kenkyusha)MurotoJapan

Personalised recommendations