Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 26, Issue 5, pp 1989–1999 | Cite as

Ulva lactuca and U. flexuosa (Chlorophyta, Ulvophyceae) cultivation in Brazilian tropical waters: recruitment, growth, and ulvan yield

  • Beatriz CastelarEmail author
  • Renata P. Reis
  • Ana Carolina dos Santos Calheiros
IV Latin American Congress of Algae Biotechnology (CLABA) and IV Redealgas Workshop


Ulva spp. are used in a wide range of commercial applications, including bioremediation, food, bioenergy, pharmaceuticals, and agriculture. The sulfated polysaccharide ulvan obtained from Ulva spp. is of interest for triggering plant defenses against disease. However, the cultivation of Ulva spp. is still in its infancy. This study verified the feasibility of cultivating Ulva lactuca and Ulva flexuosa at two sites on the tropical Brazilian coast. We investigated the following: (a) methods to induce sporulation, (b) comparison of seeding ropes inoculated in vitro versus seeding at sea over 40 days, (c) production and harvest cycles at 15 and 30 days, (d) growth productivity of U. flexuosa at sea and in outdoor tanks, and (e) comparison of ulvan yields from biomass cultivated in tanks and the sea. High nutrient treatment was the most efficient method to induce sporulation (7,540 ± 3,133 spores m−1). Sea-based cultivation of U. flexuosa was only successful at one site. Seeding of ropes in vitro was more efficient than seeding at sea (0.31 ± 0.20 g m−2 day−1), and 15-day harvest cycles were most efficient (20.1 ± 1.8 % day−1; 0.46 ± 0.11 g m−2 day−1). Despite differences in plant growth in tanks (27.9 ± 4.4 % day−1) and at sea (20.1 ± 1.8 % day−1), the dry biomass and ulvan yields (17.7 ± 5.0 %) did not differ between these systems. Cultivation of U. flexuosa was feasible at sea using in vitro seeding with a production cycle of 15 days in Brazilian tropical waters and tanks with high irradiance and enriched seawater.


Aquaculture Propagation Growth Cycle production 



This research was financed by the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES), and Carlos Chagas Filho Foundation for Research Support of the Rio de Janeiro State (FAPERJ). We thank The Eco-Development Institute of Ilha Grande Bay (IEDBIG) and Algamar Ltd. for field support, and The Laboratory of Marine Organic Geochemistry of Rio de Janeiro State University for support in the nutrient analysis.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beatriz Castelar
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Renata P. Reis
    • 1
  • Ana Carolina dos Santos Calheiros
    • 1
  1. 1.Instituto de Pesquisas Jardim Botânico do Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Fundação Instituto de Pesca do Estado do Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil

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