Strain selection and physiology in the development of Gracilaria mariculture
Gracilaria species have been the focus of active research that seeks to provide an alternative source of agar over that from the slower-growing Gelidium species. The quality of agar from the genus Gracilaria is highly variable. Few species tested produce agar suitable for biomedical purposes. Furthermore, the suitability is dependent upon the extraction process (Santos, 1980). If the world’s needs for quality agar are to be met in part by Gracilaria, then the species must meet initial criteria before production or mariculture experiments can be considered. The agar must be within acceptable standards and the species should have a tendency toward vegetative rather than sexual reproduction.
Keywordsseaweed Gracilaria photosynthesis mariculture agar carbon limitation
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