ISSN print edition: 0366-6352
ISSN electronic edition: 1336-9075
Registr. No.: MK SR 9/7

Published monthly

Metal-metabolomics of microalga Chlorella sorokiniana growing in selenium- and iodine-enriched media

Veronica Gómez-Jacinto, Tamara García-Barrera, Ines Garbayo-Nores, Carlos Vilchez-Lobato, and José-Luis Gómez-Ariza

Department of Chemistry and Material Sciences, University of Huelva, Campus El Carmen, 21007 Huelva, Spain



Abstract: The microalga Chlorella sorokiniana has been used to accumulate selenium and iodine from culture media enriched with these elements as a first stage in the production of supplemented foods. The microalgal colony was grown in a conventional culture medium containing iodine (KI) at concentrations in the range of 150–4000 μg mL−1. Similar experiments were performed with selenium (SeO42−) at concentrations in the range of 20–500 μg mL−1. The concentration of iodine and selenium in the culture medium was analytically monitored daily and the viability of the colony was checked by biomass concentration measurement and by evaluation of the total content of chlorophyll and carotenoids. In addition, photosynthetic activity and the number of cells were also monitored. Iodine accumulation in the algal biomass increased rapidly with time and reached a steady state after 4 h of exposure. With Se exposure the colony viability decreased, although the culture grew well with concentrations of the element of 50 μg mL−1 in the culture medium; this experiment produced Se-enrichment in the alga (3 μg g−1) within 100 h. Sequential extraction of an algal pellet was performed in order to separate Se compounds according to their affinity with the following solvents: hot water to recover low molecular mass Se species, enzymatic extraction with driselase for species associated with the cell wall, sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS) for water insoluble selenoproteins and, finally, enzymolysis with lipase and pronase that release and fragment residual selenoproteinsproducing compounds with low molecular mass. Size-exclusion chromatography (SEC) coupled with an ICP-MS detector showed the preponderance of Se-containing molecules with low molecular mass, possibly seleno-amino acids. Only a peak of low intensity located at 10 min was observed in the SDS extract that could be associated with a protein with molecular mass of 67 kDa. Finally, analysis of the aqueous extract of alga by reverse-phase chromatography with inductively-coupled plasma mass-spectrometry (RPC-ICP-MS) detection revealed the presence of selenocysteine (SeCys2), selenomethylselenocysteine (SeMetSeCys), selenomethionine (SeMet), and Se(VI), particularly the last two species.

Keywords: iodine – selenium speciation – Chlorella sorokiniana – metallomics – functional foods – selenomethionine

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.2478/s11696-012-0186-7


Chemical Papers 66 (9) 821–828 (2012)

Thursday, May 30, 2024

SCImago Journal Rank 2021
European Symposium on Analytical Spectrometry ESAS 2022
© 2024 Chemical Papers