Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 20, Issue 5, pp 673–679 | Cite as

The use of HRMAS NMR spectroscopy to study the in vivo intra–cellular carbon/nitrogen ratio of Solieria chordalis (Rhodophyta)

  • S. Bondu
  • N. Kervarec
  • E. Deslandes
  • R. Pichon


The red alga Solieria chordalis (J. Agardh) C. Agardh (Rhodophyta) was used as a model to investigate the effects of changes in seawater salinity on the carbon/nitrogen ratio. Carbohydrates and nitrogenous metabolites are major components of this alga and their metabolisms are intimately linked. Previous publications have provided a solid database for these two primary metabolic pathways from experiments and observations in situ. Storage products (e.g. floridean starch), cell wall polysaccharides (carrageenan) and low molecular weight carbohydrates such as floridoside and digeneaside are major compounds constituting the pool of available carbon. Compounds such as amino acids and peptides, constitute the pool of nitrogen. This study focuses on the intracellular C/N ratio inside the pool of low molecular weight compounds. This C/N ratio can be defined as the balance between carbohydrates and amino acids. High–resolution magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (HRMAS NMR) provides a powerful approach for in vivo analysis of the pool of intracellular organic compounds. These in vivo results were complimented with quantitative data obtained from high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). In vivo and in vitro experimental analyses provided a intracellular molecular balance and defined the C/N ratio. In order to study the effect of salt stress on the carbon/nitrogen ratio, S. chordalis was cultured under controlled conditions. Effects of hyposalinity and hypersalinity stresses (low 22 ‰ and high 50 ‰ salinity) were tested. Both HPLC and NMR data, obtained on stressed and unstressed algae, generated insights into variations of carbonated and nitrogenous metabolites, involving changes of the C/N ratios, and demonstrated the adaptive responses of the seaweed.


Carbon/nitrogen ratio High resolution magic angle spinning Salt stress Solieriaceae 



This work was supported by a fellowship from the French Ministry of Education and Research.

These authors thank Dr. Critchley.A for assistance with the English text contribution n°1042 of the IUEM European Institute for Marine Studies (Plouzane, France).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Bondu
    • 1
  • N. Kervarec
    • 2
  • E. Deslandes
    • 1
  • R. Pichon
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratoire d’Ecophysiologie et de Biotechnologie des Halophytes et des Algues Marines (LEBHAM)Université de Bretagne Occidentale–IUEM, Technôpole de Brest IroisePlouzanéFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Résonance Magnétique NucleaireUniversité de Bretagne Occidentale, UFR Sciences et TechniquesBrestFrance

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