Raman spectral analysis in the CHx-stretching region as a guiding beacon for non-targeted, disruption-free monitoring of germination and biofilm formation in the green seaweed Ulva

Chemphyschem. 2024 Jun 7:e202400173. doi: 10.1002/cphc.202400173. Online ahead of print.


Raman spectroscopy was used to study the complex interactions and morphogenesis of the green seaweed Ulva (Chlorophyta) and its associated bacteria under controlled conditions in a reductionist model system. Integrating multiple imaging techniques contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of these biological processes. Therefore, Raman spectroscopy was introduced as a non-invasive, label-free tool for examining chemical information of the tripartite community Ulva mutabilis-Roseovarius sp.-Maribacter sp. The study explored cell differentiation, cell wall protrusion, and bacterial-macroalgae interactions of intact algal thalli. Using Raman spectroscopy, the analysis of the CHx-stretching wavenumber region distinguished spatial regions in Ulva germination and cellular malformations under axenic conditions and upon inoculation with a specific bacterium in bipartite communities. The spectral information was used to guide in-depth analyses within the fingerprint region and to identify substance classes such as proteins, lipids, and polysaccharides, including evidence for ulvan found in cell wall protrusions.

Keywords: Bacteria-macroalgae-interactions; Raman; cell wall; seaweed.