Seagriculture Speaker

Seagriculture USA

6 - 7 September 2023

Portland, ME, USA

Protein content and bioactive peptides in the red seaweed Palmaria palmata (dulse)

Pierre Edouard Liboureau, PhD fellow, University of Stavanger, Norway

About the speaker:

A PhD student the University of Stavanger with a background in chemistry and kelp ecophysiology, Pierre’s interests include using molecular biology to improve seaweed cultivation. His research on the red seaweed Palmaria palmata (dulse), focuses primarily on mechanisms and drivers of reproduction, growth and nutritional quality.

Company info: 


The University of Stavanger (UiS), on the Southwest Coast of Norway, has 12,000 students and 1,600 faculty, administration and service staff. Research group on Ecotoxicology and Environmental Monitoring lead by Professor Daniela M. Pampanin focuses on the development of biological markers using molecular biology techniques for the purpose of environmental monitoring.


Palmaria palmata is red seaweed widely distributed in the North Atlantic and traditionally consumed as foodstuff in the region. High protein and fiber contents and bioactive properties make it a prime candidate for the development of sustainable, sea-based cultures for human consumption. The NORA-funded Sølstain project strives to develop and promote sustainable dulse aquaculture across consortium countries (Norway, Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland). As part of this effort, our study investigated the evolution of protein content during the early growth of meristematic fragments from two distinct population. Further, we measured the antioxidant properties of protein extracts and conducted proteomics analysis on select samples to characterise proteins and record relative abundances. We also identified known bioactive peptides present in the protein sequenced to correlate in vitro results and obtain further insights.

Our results indicate strong, consistent growth of the fragments (~5%/day), with protein contents increasing in older, larger and thicker fragments. Antioxidant activity was highest during early phases of the experiment and may be linked to wound healing. The most common proteins were light-harvesting phycobiliproteins and metabolic ATP synthases, but a wide range of proteins and bioactive peptides were identified. Overall, our study shows the variability in the nutritional value of dulse and identifies key areas where further research will increase yields and quality of farmed products.


Nutrition, protein content, bioactivity, dulse