Molecular and structural characteristics in toxic algae cultures of Ostreopsis ovata and Ostreopsis spp. evidenced by FTIR and FTNIR spectroscopy

Spectrochim Acta A Mol Biomol Spectrosc. 2011 May;78(5):1572-80. doi: 10.1016/j.saa.2011.02.002. Epub 2011 Mar 5.


In this article we investigated the compositional and structural characteristics of the principal biomolecules such as carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, nucleic acids and chlorophyll pigments present in biofilm cultures of Ostreopsis spp. and in batch cultures of Ostreopsis ovata. Our approach based on the use of infrared (FTIR) and near infrared (FTNIR) spectroscopy showed the marked differences existing between biofilm cultures and batch cultures. FTIR spectroscopy showed the higher contents of polysaccharides and chlorophyll pigments in O. ovata from batch cultures with respect to Ostreopsis spp. Second derivative FTIR spectroscopy showed different features concerning the secondary structure of proteins because in O. ovata samples the beta sheet and beta turn structures were observed whereas in Ostreopsis spp. samples the alpha helix structure was the most evident. FTNIR spectroscopy showed other structural differences observed existing between O. ovata and Ostreopsis spp. mainly related to hydrogen bond interactions determining more packed structures in the nucleus of O. ovata. In addition, the interpretation of FTIR and FTNIR spectral information was also supported by the application of two statistical methods, the independent component analysis (ICA) and the spectral cross correlation analysis (SCCA). ICA was used as spectral deconvolution technique to separate the effects of the interference bicarbonate ion from algal FTIR spectra so to verify the high similar qualitative composition of the three biofilm samples of Ostreopsis spp. At last, SCCA applied to FTIR and FTNIR spectra was useful to evidence some structural differences involving -CH and CH(2) groups of aliphatic chains in O. ovata and Ostreopsis spp. samples. Though preliminary, these results agree with some previous studies suggesting that the presence of different ecophysiological characteristics in O. ovata and Ostreopsis spp. depending on the parameters related to the condition growth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biofilms
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dinoflagellida / chemistry*
  • Dinoflagellida / cytology*
  • Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared
  • Spectroscopy, Near-Infrared / methods*