Characterization of Ice-Binding Proteins from Sea-Ice Microalgae

  • Maddalena Bayer-GiraldiEmail author
  • EonSeon Jin
  • Peter W. Wilson
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 2156)


Several species of polar microalgae are able to live and thrive in the extreme environment found within sea ice, where ice crystals may reduce the organisms’ living space and cause mechanical damage to the cells. Among the strategies adopted by these organisms to cope with the harsh conditions in their environment, ice-binding proteins (IBPs) seem to play a key role and possibly contribute to the success of microalgae in sea ice. Indeed, IBPs from microalgae predominantly belong to the so-called “DUF 3494-IBP” family, which today represents the most widespread IBP family. Since IBPs have the ability to control ice crystal growth, their mechanism of function is of interest for many potential applications. Here, we describe methods for a classical determination of the IBP activity (thermal hysteresis, recrystallization inhibition) and further methods for protein activity characterization (ice pitting assay, determination of the nucleating temperature).

Key words

Sea-ice microalgae Diatoms Ice-binding proteins Antifreeze Thermal hysteresis (TH) Clifton nanoliter osmometer Ice recrystallization inhibition (IRI) Recrystallometer Pitting assay Nucleation Supercooling Lag time 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maddalena Bayer-Giraldi
    • 1
    Email author
  • EonSeon Jin
    • 2
  • Peter W. Wilson
    • 3
  1. 1.Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine ResearchAlfred Wegener InstituteBremerhavenGermany
  2. 2.Hanyang UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Southern Cross UniversityLismoreAustralia

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