Sulfoquinovose metabolism in marine algae

Sabine Scholz, Manuel Serif, David Schleheck, Martin D.J. Sayer, Alasdair M. Cook, Frithjof Christian Küpper* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


This study aimed to survey algal model organisms, covering phylogenetically representative and ecologically relevant taxa. Reports about the occurrence of sulfonates (particularly sulfoquinovose, taurine, and isethionate) in marine algae are scarce, and their likely relevance in global biogeochemical cycles and ecosystem functioning is poorly known. Using both field-collected
seaweeds from NW Scotland and cultured strains, a combination of enzyme assays, high-performance liquid chromatography and matrix-assisted laser-desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry was used to detect key sulfonates in algal extracts. This was complemented by bioinformatics, mining the publicly available genome sequences of algal models. The results confirm the widespread presence of sulfonates and their biosynthetic pathways in macro- and microalgae. However, it is also clear that catabolic pathways, if present, must be different from those documented from the bacterial systems since no complete cluster of gene homologues of key genes could be detected in algal genomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-312
Number of pages12
JournalBotanica Marina
Issue number4
Early online date19 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2021


  • Ectocarpus
  • Flustra foliacea
  • isethionate
  • sulfoquinovose
  • taurine


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