Marine organisms have yielded a variety of secondary metabolites that possess novel chemical structures and interesting pharmacological activities (Stonik and Elyalov, 1986). Recently, researchers have described a wide range of biological activities for algal compounds including antibiotic, anti-HIV, anticoagulant, anticonvulsant, anti-inflamnatory, antineoplastic, and antitumor (Ayyad et al., 2002; Lincolon et al., 1991).
A number of diterpenes and sterols have been isolated from the brown algae (Ayyad et al., 2001; Banaigs et al.,1983; Combaut et al., 1980; Enoki et al., 1982; Faulkner et al., 1977; Franciso et al., 1977). In the course of our investigation on the biologically active components of the sargassaceae algae, we report, the isolation and characterization of a new saringosterone (3), a known saringosterol (4), and a known diterpene dictyone (1) from the brown alga Sargassum asperifolium.
Where seen? The largest of our brown seaweeds, this golden leafy seaweed with strange air bladders is commonly encountered on our Southern shores, but rarely on our Northern shores. It grows on the rocky shores as well as on coral rubble. It appears to be seasonal, sometimes forming a luxuriant golden carpet that covers vast areas of the shore, and washing up on the high tide line in huge heaps. At other times, only short, sparsely bladed specimens are seen, on coral rubble or rocks.
Features: Sargassum is the largest and most plant-like brown seaweed on our shores. The 'stems' grow to about 20cm or longer. Attached to the stems are leaf-shaped blades and inflated air bladders. The 'leaves' may be narrow, broad or very small (1-5cm long). The small round to oval air bladders interspersed among the 'leaves' are often mistaken for fruits. Seaweeds don't produce fruits like seagrasses do. The sargassum's air bladders help the seaweed stay afloat, closer to sunlight. Thus, long pieces often form floating rafts even after they have broken off from their holdfast. Some sargassum species can reproduce by producing new plants from horizontal creeping 'stems'. This is an adaptation to living on slippery rocks at the splash zone of rocky shores.
According to AlgaeBase: there are more than 580 current Sargassum species.
Sargassum forest: Sargassum seaweeds are often covered with other tiny seaweeds growing on or entangled among the blades. In this tangled mess, all kinds of small creatures lurk, hiding from predator or prey, or both.
Human uses: Sargassum seaweeds are eaten by people, and used fish bait in basket traps, animal feed, fertiliser, insect repellent. Various species are used as medicine for ailments ranging from children's fever, cholesterol problems, cleansing the blood, skin ailments.
In the tropics, sargassum seaweeds are a significant source of alginates. They are also used as a component in animal feed and liquid plant food or plant biostimulants. Supplies come from harvested seaweeds, the seaweeds are not farmed.
Detail Of Sargassum asperifolium
Empire : Eukaryota
Kingdom : Chromista
Subkingdom : Chromobiota
Infrakingdom : Heterokonta
Phylum : Heterokontophyta
Class : Phaeophyceae
Order : Fucales
Family : Sargassaceae
Genus : Sargassum
Species : Sargassum asperifolium Hering & G. Martens ex J. Agardh
Sargassum asperifolium var. dissimile Grunow 1916: 27
Grunow, A. (1916). Additamenta ad cognitionem Sargassorum. Verhandlungen der Kaiserlich-Königlichen Zoologisch-Botanischen Gesellschaft in Wien 66: 1-48, 136-185.
The type species (holotype) of the genus Sargassum is Sargassum bacciferum (Turner) C. Agardh.
Status of name
This name is of an entity that is currently accepted taxonomically.
No synonyms are currently included in AlgaeBase.
This is a marine species.
Detailed distribution with sources
(as Sargassum asperifolium var. dissimile Grunow)
Africa: Ethiopia (Papenfuss 1968).
NCBI Nucleotide Sequences
No sequences have been found on the NCBI site.