Asexual propagation of Asparagopsis armata gametophytes: fragmentation, regrowth and attachment mechanisms for sea-based cultivation

Wright, Jeffrey T., Kennedy, Elysha J., de Nys, Rocky, and Tatsumi, Masayuki (2022) Asexual propagation of Asparagopsis armata gametophytes: fragmentation, regrowth and attachment mechanisms for sea-based cultivation. Journal of Applied Phycology, 34. pp. 2135-2144.

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The red algal genus Asparagopsis produces secondary metabolites that when fed to ruminants reduce methane production by up to 98%. However, cultivation methods for Asparagopsis are nascent and fundamental information on reproduction, which is essential for large-scale cultivation, is lacking. In this study we examined asexual propagation in Asparagopsis armata, the regrowth of fragments and mechanisms of attachment to assess the potential for fragments to be used in sea-based cultivation. Asparagopsis armata gametophytes grow specialised structures, barbs, that hook fragments onto substrata. Surveys revealed barbs were abundant occurring at ~ 1 barb every 3–4 cm on gametophyte branches. Barbs did not regrow, but fronds did, either when attached to a barb or on their own. In contrast, fronds doubled in size with most developing barbs within 4 weeks. Barbs were, however, critical for the reattachment of fragments: barbs attached to substrata at four times the rate of frond fragments without barbs and they also attached in higher proportions to mussel rope than polypropylene rope, and two types of net. Utilising fragmentation for the propagation of A. armata gametophytes in sea-based cultivation requires that fragments can attach to a substratum and regrow once attached. We have shown that A. armata fragments in Tasmania require barbs for attachment and frond tissue for growth, which has implications for cultivation. Optimising fragmentation, attachment and out-planting methods are important future steps in establishing fragmentation as a method for sea-based cultivation in A. armata.

Item ID: 74876
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1573-5176
Keywords: Asparagopsis, Rhodophyta, Asexual reproduction, Fragments, Red algae, Seaweed aquaculture
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Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2022 07:36
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3108 Plant biology > 310801 Phycology (incl. marine grasses) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1903 Mitigation of climate change > 190302 Management of greenhouse gas emissions from animal production @ 50%
26 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 2699 Other plant production and plant primary products > 269999 Other plant production and plant primary products not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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