Analysis of the agglutinating activity from unicellular algae

  • Chun-Yao Chu
  • Rang Huang
  • Lian-Ping Lin


Agglutinating activity often varies both between and within the algal species assayed. However, it is difficulty to interpret such variation without further analysis. We report a statistical analysis of agglutinating activities against human, cow, sheep, and pig erythrocytes, using cell extracts from 43 taxa (strains) of freshwater microalgae. Most of the extracts agglutinated erythrocytes from at least one of the sources, but pig erythrocytes appeared to be most suitable for the detection of agglutination reactions. Chlorella cell extracts preferentially agglutinated human erythrocytes, whereas extracts of other taxa were less active against mammalian erythrocytes. Cluster analysis generated four distinct subclusters of taxa, characterized by different specificities for antigens or carbohydrate receptors on the erythrocytes. Principal component analysis further separated the agglutination characteristics of Chlamydomonas from Chlorella on the first two components. Specificity for pig erythrocytes accounted for most of the clustering or grouping of algal taxa in multivariate analysis. However, clustering or grouping patterns of Chlorella species on haemagglutinating activity resembled that based on DNA sequences, revealing a possible genetic connection of agglutinins and their biochemical characteristics in algal cells. Variability of agglutination reactions among the algae investigated is simplified and interpreted most easily using multivariate analysis.

Key words

agglutinating activity microalgae cluster analysis principal component analysis 



We thank the National Science Council of the Republic of China (Taiwan) for supporting this study (NSC: 92-2317-B-002-030). We also thank Mr. Chen Yua-Sin (Good Biotech Co.) for providing erythrocytes for agglutination assay.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Microbiology and BiochemistryNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan, R.O.C.
  2. 2.Institute of OceanographyNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan, R.O.C.

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