Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 1403–1413 | Cite as

Towards the valorization of the invasive seaweeds Caulerpa cylindracea and Asparagopsis taxiformis in the Mediterranean Sea: applications for in vitro plant regeneration and crop protection

  • Nuria AlburquerqueEmail author
  • Lydia Faize
  • Mohamed Faize
  • Maria Dolores Nortes
  • Jaime Bernardeau
  • Juan Manuel Ruiz Fernandez
  • Lorenzo Burgos


Caulerpa cylindracea and Asparagopsis taxiformis are both invasive seaweeds representing a major threat to indigenous species and the native ecosystems of certain regions of the Mediterranean Sea. This work examines the possibility of adding value to this abundant biomass in the fields of in vitro culture and plant protection. Results showed that using a 10% aqueous extract from C. cylindracea and A. taxiformis to in vitro culture media enhanced the regeneration percentage of apricot hypocotyl slices, as well as the diameter of explants and the number of regenerating buds per explant. The combination of extracts from these two seaweeds with an increasing concentration of conventional plant growth regulators further significantly enhanced most of these parameters. In addition, the data showed that soaking seeds of Nicotiana benthamiana in a 1.5% solution of aqueous extracts of C. cylindracea resulted in seedlings with reduced disease severity, when inoculated with the plum pox virus. These observations demonstrated that it would be possible to transform and perhaps manage the biomass of these invasive algae, which could pave the way to multiple valorizations.


Caulerpa cylindracea Asparagopsis taxiformis Invasive seaweeds Plant regeneration Plum pox virus Plant protection 



MF was supported by the University Chouaib Doukkali, El Jadida (Morocco). The authors want to thank Dr. Alfonso Albacete for his technical assistance with the hormonal analysis. This work was partially supported by the project INIA RTA2017-00011-C03-02 (co-financed by FEDER funds).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Group of Fruit Tree Biotechnology, Department of Plant BreedingCEBAS-CSICMurciaSpain
  2. 2.Laboratory of Plant Biotechnology and Ecosystem Valorisation, Faculty of SciencesUniversity Chouaib DoukkaliEl JadidaMorocco
  3. 3.Seagrass Ecology GroupSpanish Institute of Oceanography, Oceanographic Center of MurciaMurciaSpain

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