Brown macroalgae Saccharina latissima (30–40 individuals) and Alaria esculenta (15–20 individuals) were collected from natural populations in winter in Iceland. The algal thalli were sectioned into different parts (e.g. holdfast, stipe, old frond, young frond and sori-containing frond sections) that differed in age and biological function. The work elucidated that arsenic (As) was not uniformly distributed within the two brown macroalgal species, with lower levels of total As were found in the stipe/midrib compared to other thallus parts. The arsenosugars mirrored the total arsenic in the seaweed mainly due to AsSugSO3 being the most abundant As species. However, arsenic speciation using parallel HPLC-ICP-MS/ESI-MS elucidated that the arsenic-containing lipids (AsL) had a different distribution where the arsenosugarphospholipids (AsPL) differed by approximately a factor of 4 between the sections containing the lowest and highest concentrations of AsPLs. When placing the sections in order of metabolic activity and an estimate of tissue age, there appeared to be a relationship between the activity and AsPLs, with lower levels of AsPLs in oldest parts. This is the first time such a relationship has been shown for AsLs. Hence, by applying sophisticated analytical techniques, it was possible to gain a deeper understanding of arsenolipids in seaweed.
Bibliographical noteOpen access via Springer Compact Agreement
Emeline Moreira is kindly thanked for her assistance with re-analysing a couple of samples for AsSugar measurement. Johannes Beere is thanked for the analysis on the Orbitrap for batch A. Urd Grandorf Bak is thanked for her helpful advice on seaweed.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement no. 656596.
- Accurate mass
- Arsenic speciation
- Mass spectrometry/ICP-MS
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Orbitrap data: Arsenolipids are not uniformly distributed within two brown macroalgal species Saccharina latissima and Alaria esculenta.