Preliminary Examinations of Phenotypical Changes in Land-Based Long-Term Tumble Culture of Palmaria palmata

Stefan Sebök, Martina Strittmatter, Claire M. M. Gachon, Dieter Hanelt

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Within the last decade, the red alga P. palmata gained increasing interest as a food additive in Europe. Traditionally, P. palmata is harvested from wild stocks, but higher biomass demands request a shift towards industrial cultivation of this species. Using a land-based tumble culture approach, we have successfully grown P. palmata via vegetative propagation over a 2-year period. One year after the initial setup, phenotypic changes represented in the formation of randomly shaped, mostly circular galls and homogeneous greenish–white spots with significantly reduced photosynthetic activity were observed on the algal thalli. With progressing time, galls increased into large flat or sunken structures, whereas the tissue in the center of the greenish–white spots weakened. In later stages, the weakened tissue is disrupted, forming holes in the thallus. In this study, we present observations, microscopy analysis, PAM results, and biotechnological approaches to describe a possible infection of P. palmata. Test results showed that light quantity might be the most important factor for the propagation behavior of the infection, whereas the pH level might be secondary, and the nutrient level and biomass density might be of minor relevance. Similarly, changes in light quality could also influence the occurrence of pathological changes in P. palmata.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-519
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2023


  • Palmaria
  • disease
  • infection
  • cultivation


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