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Comparative Study of Carrageenans from Reproductive and Sterile Forms of Tichocarpus crinitus (Gmel.) Rupr (Rhodophyta, Tichocarpaceae)

A. O. Barabanova1*, I. M. Yermak1, V. P. Glazunov1, V. V. Isakov1, E. A. Titlyanov2, and T. F. Solov'eva1

1Pacific Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Far-East Division of the Russian Academy of Sciences, pr. 100-letiya Vladivostoka 159, 690022 Vladivostok, Russia; fax: (4232) 31-4050; E-mail: anuta@piboc.dvo.ru

2Institute of Marine Biology, Far-East Division of the Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Palchevskogo 17, 690041 Vladivostok, Russia; fax: (4232) 31-0900; E-mail: titlyanov@hotmail.com

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received May 6, 2004; Revision received June 3, 2004
A comparative study of the structure and properties of the sulfated polysaccharides (carrageenans) isolated from the vegetative and reproductive forms of the red alga Tichocarpus crinitus was performed. The polysaccharides were separated into the gelling (KCl-insoluble) and non-gelling (KCl-soluble) fractions by precipitation with 4% KCl. The total content of polysaccharides extracted from the reproductive form of the alga was 1.8-fold more than that extracted from the vegetative form, and in the first case, the gelling polysaccharides mostly accumulated. The gelling polysaccharides from the vegetative form have the highest molecular weight (354 kD). According to the results of FT-IR and 13C-NMR spectroscopy, the gelling polysaccharide fractions from both forms are kappa/beta carrageenans. The differences concern the content of the kappa- and beta-disaccharide units and the presence of a small content of the sulfated disaccharide segments (precursors of the kappa-carrageenans) in the polysaccharide from the reproductive form of the alga. The non-gelling polysaccharide fractions from both forms of the plant are mixtures of sulfated galactans with a low content of 3,6-anhydrogalactose.
KEY WORDS: T. crinitus, carrageenan, life history stage of algae, 13C-NMR spectroscopy, FT-IR spectroscopy