|CtLight - Effects of light on the photobiology and growth of the commercially valuable macroalgae Codium tomentosum|
Programme - Programa Operacional da Competitividade e Internacionalização (02/SAICT/2017)
Execution dates - 2018-09-01 - 2021-08-31 (36 Months)
Funding Entity - FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia; FEDER - Fundo Europeu de Desenvolvimento Regional
Funding for CESAM - 239995 €
Total Funding - 239995 €
Proponent Institution - Universidade de Aveiro
Portugal has one of the largest exclusive economic zones of the world and a coastline of approximately 950 km, making its marine resources and aquaculture vital sectors for the Portuguese economy. The green macroalga Codium tomentosum is currently produced by the company ALGAplus in a land-based integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) system and sold for human consumption (gourmet restaurants) and production of cosmeceuticals. This IMTA system integrates fish (e.g. sea bass and gilthead sea bream) and macroalgae (e.g. Codium, Porphyra, Ulva) aquaculture, using the nutrient-rich effluent water from fishponds to boost algal production. Due to the reduction of effluent nutrient loads, this is a more environmentally sound and sustainable option when compared to conventional aquaculture. While C. tomentosum holds a high-yield potential, their production is yet to be optimized. Large-scale cultivation of macroalgal biomass in open systems benefits from the low cost of using natural sunlight, but may encounter problems such as photoinhibition. While light is a paramount parameter for photosynthesis, high irradiance leads to the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that damage the photosynthetic apparatus, hampering growth and reducing productivity.