Toxicity of Cryoprotectants to Gametophytic Thalli of Red Algae <italic>Porphyra yezoensis</italic>
Toxicity of Cryoprotectants to Gametophytic Thalli of Red Algae Porphyra yezoensis
Fisheries and aquatic sciences. 2012. Mar, 15(1): 77-81
Copyright ©2012, The Korean Society of Fisheries and Aquatic Science
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
  • Received : November 11, 2011
  • Accepted : February 02, 2012
  • Published : March 30, 2012
Export by style
Cited by
About the Authors
Youn Hee Choi
Fisheries Science Research Center, Pukyong National University, Busan 619-911, Korea
We assessed the toxicity of cryoprotectant agents (CPAs) to gametophytic thalli of red alga Porphyra yezoensis at room tempera-ture. The CPAs used were: dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), ethylene glycol (EG), glycerol (GC), 1,2-bu-tanediol (1,2-BD), 1,3-bu-tanediol (1,3-BD), 2,3-butanediol (2,3-BD), 1,3-propanediol (1,3-PD) and propylene glycol (PG). CPA concentrations of 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, and 50% were employed with 30 or 60 s immersion. The toxicity of the eight CPAs to gametophytic thalli of P. yezoensis was in the order: 1,3-BD < DMSO ≈ 2,3-BD ≈ PG ≈ EG < GC < 1,3-PD ≈ 1,2-BD. All thalli were more sensitive to high CPA concentrations, and most (>75%) thalli survived exposure to 10-25% CPA for 60 s. These data will facilitate selection of the optimal cryoprotectant concentration for cryopreservation of P. yezoensis thalli.
Cryoprotectant agents (CPAs) are chosen because of their useful non-crystallization property of hydrate formation at low temperatures in aqueous solution (Wowk, 2010). How-ever, the toxicity of which is a fundamental limiting factor for the successful cryopreservation of living cells (Fahy, 2010). So far, most reports of CPA toxicities were focused on fin-fishes such as flounder embryos/sperm (Zhang et al., 2005), zebrafish (Zhang and Rawson, 1993; Liu et al., 2001), medaka (Yang et al., 2010), and so on. However, little research on the toxicity of CPAs to macroalgae has been conducted.
In order to determine the tolerance of gametophytic thalli of Porphyra yezoensis to their toxicity without freezing, we used eight CPAs (sulfoxide, diol and tiol groups) - dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), ethylene glycol (ethane-1,2-diol, EG), glycerol (propan-1,2,3-tiol, GC), 1,2-butanediol (1,2-BD), 1,3-butanediol (1,3-BD), 2,3-butanediol (2,3-BD), propylene glycol (1,2-propanediol, PG) and 1,3-propanediol (1,3-PD).
Materials and Methods
- Algal strains and culture conditions
Gametophytic thalli of P. yezoensis were obtained from TU-1 (Kuwano et al., 1996). Thalli were cultured in a 1 L flask containing Provasoli’s enriched seawater medium (Provasoli, 1968) and pieces of synthetic fiber (3-5 cm in length, 0.25 mm in diameter) at 15℃ and irradiated at 60 ㎛ol photons m -2 s -1 with a 10:14 h light:dark photoperiod for two weeks. Mono-spores were released from thalli attached to the synthetic fi-bers and grew into young thalli of identical genotype.
- CPA toxicity test
Nine concentrations (10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50%) of each of the eight CPAs (DMSO, EG, GC, 1,2-BD, 1,3-BD, 2,3-BD, PG and 1,3-PD) were tested. All chemicals were re-agent-grade, and cryoprotectant solutions were prepared in 0.2 ㎛-filtered seawater. Synthetic fibers with attached thalli were cut to 0.5-1 cm lengths and transferred to CPA solutions for 30 or 60 s. Thalli were then stained with 0.1% erythrosine (in seawater) for 20 min and washed with fresh seawater.
Thalli viability was examined under a light microscope (BX-50; Olympus, Tokyo, Japan). The survival rates were ex-
PPT Slide
Lager Image
Toxicity of different concentrations of cryoprotectants to gametophytic thalli of Porphyra yezoensis illustrated as photograph. DMSO, dimethyl sulfoxide. Scale bars = 50 ㎛.
pressed as the ratio of the number of living thalli to the total number observed.
Results and Discussion
Fig. 1 shows survival of the gametophytic thalli of P. yezoensis according to CPA toxicity. The ability of thalli to survive exposure to CPAs differed, and their tolerance of CPA toxicity tended to decrease with increasing CPA concentra-tion. The thalli showed the highest tolerance to 1,3-BD, and the lowest to 1,2-BD. Glycerol and 1,3-PD were lethal to thalli at 40%, and no thalli survived exposure to 35% 1,2-BD. How-ever, thalli maintained viability (>70%) when exposed to 50% 1,3-BD for 30 s. Therefore, 1,3-BD exhibited the lowest toxic-ity, followed by DMSO, 2,3-BD, PG and 1,2-BD.
PPT Slide
Lager Image
In aqueous solutions, 2,3-BD exhibits glass formation supe-rior to that of other CPA, including 1,2-PD and 1,3-PD (Bau-dot et al., 1996). Shaw et al. (1995) reported that propanediol forms a stable vitreous state on cooling to a greater degree than other CPA in human and mouse embryos. We found that gametophytic thalli of P. yezoensis were highly tolerant of 1,3-BD, even though the determinations were conducted at room temperature.
Selection of a suitable CPA is important for successful cryopreservation. In general, DMSO, GC and methanol have been widely used in algae (Taylor and Fletcher, 1999). DMSO is the most-commonly used CPA for macroalgae, Porphyra spp. (Kuwano et al., 1996; Liu et al., 2004; Zhou et al., 2007), Gracilaria spp. (van der Meer and Simpson, 1984), and mi-croalgae (Cañavate and Lubian, 1994). Glycerol is a polyol with three hydroxyl groups and is a highly hydroscopic, vis-cous, odorless, and sweet-tasting fluid of low toxicity (Fluhr
PPT Slide
Lager Image
et al., 2008). In this study, glycerol was less toxic than DMSO. Gwo et al. (2005) reported low glycerol toxicity in the micro-algae, Nannochloropsis oculata at room temperature.
CPA toxicity depends on species, developmental stage and storage temperature. In particular, it is known that DMSO is less toxic at 0-5℃ than at higher temperatures (Hubálek, 2003). Therefore, the viability of thalli may be enhanced by low temperature preservation.
CPA toxicity occurs after permeating into the cell, so the more toxic CPAs are likely to be more membrane permeable, and vice versa . However, greater protection also requires more permeability (Zhang et al., 2005). To date, CPA concentrations before freezing have been considered because they are cryo-protective to cells, but induce cryoinjury in themselves (Fahy, 1986). Moreover, determining the optimum CPA requires a process of trial and error. Therefore, more investigation is re-quired to determine the optimum CPA and its relationship with chemical reactions, temperature, and so on.
Baudot A , Peyridieu JF , Boutron P , Mazuer J , Odin J 1996 Ef-fect of saccharides on the glass-forming tendency and stability of solutions of 2,3-butanediol, 1,2-propanediol, or 1,3-butanediol in water, phosphate-buffered saline, Euro-Collins solution, or Saint Thomas cardioplegic solution. Cryobiology 33 363 - 375
Cañavate JP , Lubian LM 1994 Tolerance of six marine microalgae to the cryoprotectants dimethyl sulfoxide and methanol. J Phycol 30 559 - 565
Fahy GM 1986 The relevance of cryoprotectant “Toxicity” to cryobiol-ogy. Cryobiology 23 1 - 13
Fahy GM 2010 Cryoprotectant toxicity neutralization. Cryobiology 60 (3 Suppl) S45 - S53
Fluhr JW , Darlenski R , Surber C 2008 Glycerol and the skin: holis-tic approach to its origin and functions. Br J Dermatol 159 23 - 34
Gwo JC , Chiu JY , Chou CC , Cheng HY 2005 Cryopreservation of a marine microalgae, Nannochloropsis oculata (Eustigmatophy-ceae). Cryobiology 50 338 - 343
Hubálek Z 2003 Protectants used in cryopreservation of microorgan-isms. Cryobiology 46 205 - 229
Kuwano K , Aruga Y , Saga N 1996 Cryopreservation of clonal ga-metophytic thalli of Porphyra (Rhodophyta). Plant Sci 116 117 - 124
Liu H , Yu W , Dai J , Gong Q , Yang K , Lu X 2004 Cryopreservation of protoplasts of the alga Prophyra yezoensis by vitirfication. Plant Sci 166 97 - 102
Liu XH , Zhang T , Rawson DM 2001 Differential scanning calorim-etry studies of intraembryonic freezing and cryoprotectant penetra-tion in zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryo. J Exp Zool 290 299 - 310
Provasoli L 1968 Media and prospects for the cultivation of marine algae. In: Cultures and Collections of Algae, Proceedings of U.S. Japan Conference. Watanabe A and Hattori A, eds. Japanese Soci-ety of Plant Physiology Kyoto, JP 63 - 75
Shaw JM , Ward C , Trounson AO 1995 Survival of mouse blasto-cysts slow cooled in propanediol or ethylene glycol is influenced by the thawing procedure, sucrose and antifreeze proteins. Therio-genology 43 1289 - 1300
Taylor R , Fletcher RL 1999 Cryopreservation of eukaryotic algae: a review of methodologies. J Appl Phycol 10 481 - 501
van der Meer JP , Simpson FJ 1984 Cryopreservation of Gracilaria tikvahiae (Rhodophyta) and other macrophytic marine algae. Phy-cologia 23 195 - 202
Wowk B 2010 Thermodynamic aspects of vitrification. Cryobiology 60 11 - 22
Yang H , Norris M , Winn R , Tiersch TR 2010 Evaluation of cryoprotectant and cooling rate for sperm cryo-preservation in the eury-haline fish medaka Oryzias latipes. Cryobiology 61 211 - 219
Zhang T , Rawson DM 1993 Cryoprotectant toxicity and permeabil-ity studies on zebrafish (Brachydanio rerio) embryos. Cryobiology 30 640 -
Zhang YZ , Zhang SC , Liu XZ , Xu YJ , Hu JH , Xu YY , Li J , Chen SL 2005 Toxicity and protective efficiency of cryoprotectants to flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus) embryos. Theriogenology 63 763 - 773
Zhou W , Li Y , Dai J 2007 Study on cryopreservation of Porphyra yezoensis conchocelis. J Ocean Univ China 6 299 - 302