As part of the RaNTrans project we are utilising next generation sequencing (NGS) techniques in the seasonally collected bulk seaweed algal mat samples at three densities. So, you might be asking, why is this important? Well, different species of seaweeds can uptake and store nitrogen in different ways and concentrations. Remember that this project is all about nutrient remediation!
NGS allows us to understand the percent species composition of green blooming seaweeds that can cause ecosystem consequences such as eutrophication, and by removal can be used for human beneficial purposes. For example, some seaweeds are edible and is a source of bioactive compounds, such as polysaccharides, which have various functions, including antioxidants, anti-aging, memory improvement and immune regulation. On the other hand, some seaweed contains potentially toxic quantities of inorganic arsenic, although the levels differ significantly between different growing areas, and this is a very important point of caution.
In the figure below NGS species composition per 0.25 m2 is shown at high density in March 2021 for study locations in Holes Bay (Poole Harbour) and Langstone Harbour. These two harbours are less than 60 miles apart but show a very different species composition and can inform us of how to best utilise the seaweeds algal mat that occur naturally.
These seaweed algal mat species are essential for the marine ecosystem and the NGS work by RaNTrans project is providing vital knowledge for their identification and beneficial use.
Image showing next generation sequencing (NGS) species composition per 0.25 m2 at high density in March 2021 for study locations in Holes Bay (Poole Harbour) and Langstone Harbour. (crédit : Dr Annesia Lamb BU)
⏰Save the Date! ⏰RaNTrans is hosting a workshop at @portsmouthuni on November 3rd and 4th 2022. Register your interest here – https://rantransproject.com/rantrans-workshop/
Also check out our latest tweets https://twitter.com/ProjectRaNTrans/status/1512395527828213769