Asparagopsis genus: what we really know about Its biological activities and chemical composition

Ponte, J.M.S., Seca, A.M.L. & Barreto, M.C. (2022) Asparagopsis genus: what we really know about Its biological activities and chemical composition.

Molecules, 27(6), 1787. DOI:10.3390/molecules27061787 (IF2020 4,411; Q2 Qhemistry, Multidisciplinary)
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  • Mar, 2022


Although the genus Asparagopsis includes only two taxonomically accepted species, the published literature is unanimous about the invasive nature of this genus in different regions of the globe, and about the availability of large amounts of biomass for which it is important to find a commercial application. This review shows that extracts from Asparagospsis species have already been evaluated for antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antifouling, cytotoxic, antimethanogenic and enzyme-inhibitory activity. However, the tables presented herein show, with few exceptions, that the activity level displayed is generally low when compared with positive controls. Studies involving pure compounds being identified in Asparagopsis species are rare. The chemical compositions of most of the evaluated extracts are unknown. At best, the families of the compounds present are suggested. This review also shows that the volatile halogenated compounds, fatty acids and sterols that are biosynthesized by the Asparagopsis species are relatively well known. Many other non-volatile metabolites (halogen compounds, flavonoids, other phenolic compounds) seem to be produced by these species, but their chemical structures and properties haven’been investigated. This shows how much remains to be investigated regarding the secondary-metabolite composition of these species, suggesting further studies following more targeted methodologies.