Although in the last decades significant advances have been made to improve antifouling formulations, the main current options continue to be highly toxic to marine environment, leading to an urgent need for new safer alternatives. For anti-adherence studies, barnacles and mussels are commonly the first choice for experimental purposes. However, the use of these organisms involves a series of laborious and time-consuming stages. In the present work, a new approach for testing antifouling formulations was developed under known formulations and novel proposed options. Due to their high resilience, ability of surviving in hostile environments and high abundance in different ecosystems, medusa polyps present themselves as prospect candidates for antifouling protocols. Thus, a complete protocol to test antifouling formulations using polyps is presented, while the antifouling properties of two invasive seaweeds, Asparagopsis armata and Sargassum muticum, were evaluated within this new test model framework. The use of medusa polyps as model to test antifouling substances revealed to be a reliable alternative to the conventional organisms, presenting several advantages since the protocol is less laborious, less time-consuming and reproductive. The results also show that the seaweeds A. armata and S. muticum produce compounds with anti-adherence properties being therefore potential candidates for the development of new greener antifouling formulations.
Keywords: Asparagopsis armata; Aurelia aurita; Biofouling; Marine natural products; New anti-adherence protocol; Phyllorhiza punctata; Sargassum muticum.
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