Environmental effects on arsenosugars and arsenolipids in Ectocarpus (Phaeophyta)

Ásta H Pétursdóttir , Kyle Fletcher, Helga Gunnlaugsdóttir, Eva Krupp, Frithjof Küpper , Jörg Feldmann

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Seaweeds have recently been shown to contain a significant proportion of arsenic in the form of arsenolipids (AsLp). Three strains of the filamentous brown alga Ectocarpus species were grown in the laboratory with different simulations of environmental stress: control conditions (1/2 Provasoli-enriched seawater), low nitrate (30 % of the amount of nitrates in the control), low phosphate (30 % of the amount of phosphate in the control) and under oxidative stress levels (2 mM H2O2). Generally, the major AsLp was an arsenic-containing hydrocarbon, AsHC360 (50–80 %), but additionally, several arsenic-containing phospholipids (AsPL) were identified and quantified using high-performance liquid chromatography–inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry (HPLC-ICP-MS/ ESI-MS). The AsLps in cultures were compared with AsLps in Ectocarpusfound in its natural habitat as well as with other brown filamentous algae. The AsLp and arsenosugar profiles differed depending on the experimental conditions. Under
low phosphate conditions, a significant reduction of phosphorus-containing arsenosugars was noticed, and a significant increase of phosphate-containing AsLps was found when compared with the controls. Strains grown under oxidative stress showed a significant increase in AsLps as well as clear physiological changes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-33
Number of pages13
JournalEnvironmental Chemistry
Issue number1
Early online date28 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • chloroplasts
  • cultures
  • lipid-soluble arsenic
  • speciation


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