High-Resolution Lipidomics of the Early Life Stages of the Red Seaweed Porphyra dioica


Porphyra dioica is a commercial seaweed consumed all over the world, mostly in the shape of nori sheets used for sushi preparation. It is a well-known part of the Asian diet with health benefits, which have been associated, among others, to the high levels of n-3 and n-6 fatty acids in this red alga. However, other highly valued lipids of Porphyra are polar lipids that remain largely undescribed and can have both nutritional value and bioactivity, thus could contribute to the valorization of this seaweed. In this context, the present work aims to identify the lipidome of two life cycle stages of the Atlantic species Porphyra dioica: the early life stage conchocelis produced in an indoor-nursery, and young blades produced outdoors using an integrated multitrophic aquaculture (IMTA) framework. Both the blades (gametophyte) and conchocelis (sporophyte) are commercialized in the food and cosmetics sectors. Liquid chromatography coupled to Q-Exactive high resolution-mass spectrometry (MS) platform was used to gain insight into the lipidome of these species. Our results allowed the identification of 110 and 100 lipid molecular species in the lipidome of the blade and conchocelis, respectively. These lipid molecular species were distributed as follows (blade/conchocelis): 14/15 glycolipids (GLs), 93/79 phospholipids (PLs), and 3/6 betaine lipids. Both life stages displayed a similar profile of GLs and comprised 20:4(n-6) and 20:5(n-3) fatty acids that contribute to n-3 and n-6 fatty acid pool recorded and rank among the molecular species with higher potential bioactivity. PLs' profile was different between the two life stages surveyed, mainly due to the number and relative abundance of molecular species. This finding suggests that differences between both life stages were more likely related with shifts in the lipids of extraplastidial membranes rather than in plastidial membranes. PLs contained n-6 and n-3 precursors and in both life stages of Porphyra dioica the n-6/n-3 ratio recorded was less than 2, highlighting the potential benefits of using these life stages in human diet to prevent chronic diseases. Atherogenic and thrombogenic indexes of blades (0.85 and 0.49, respectively) and conchocelis (0.34 and 0.30, respectively) are much lower than those reported for other Rhodophyta, which highlights their potential application as food or as functional ingredients. Overall, MS-based platforms represent a powerful tool to characterize lipid metabolism and target lipids along different life stages of algal species displaying complex life cycles (such as Porphyra dioica), contributing to their biotechnological application.



subject category

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology; Chemistry


da Costa, E; Azevedo, V; Melo, T; Rego, AM; Evtuguin, DV; Domingues, P; Calado, R; Pereira, R; Abreu, MH; Domingues, MR

our authors


The authors are grateful to ALGAplus-Producao e Comercio de Algas e seus Derivados, Lda. for supplying the seaweed samples. Thanks are due to Fundacao para a Ciencia e a Tecnologia (FCT, Portugal), European Union, QREN, POPH, FEDER and COMPETE for funding the QOPNA research unit (FCT UID/QUI/00062/2013), to RNEM (REDE/1504/REM/2005) for the Portuguese Mass Spectrometry Network, to CESAM (UID/AMB/50017/2013) and to CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials (FCT UID/CTM/50011/2013), financed by Portuguese funds through the FCT/MEC and when applicable co-financed by FEDER under the PT2020 Partnership Agreement. Elisabete da Costa (SFRH/BD/52499/2014) and Tania Melo (BPD/UI51/5388/2017 from RNEM/2013/UA) are grateful to FCT for their grants. This work is a contribution of Marine Lipidomics Laboratory and was supported by the Integrated Programme of SR&TD "Smart Valorization of Endogenous Marine Biological Resources Under a Changing Climate" (Centro-01-0145-FEDER-000018), co-funded by Centro 2020 program, Portugal 2020, European Union, through the European Regional Development Fund.

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