Microalgae are the source for many nutritionally important bioactive compounds and potential drugs.. Even though edible microalgae are rich in nutraceutical, bioavailability of all these molecules is very less due to their rigid recalcitrant cell wall. For example, the cell wall of Scenedesmus quadricauda CASA CC202 is made up of three layers comprising of rigid outer pectin and inner cellulosic layer separated by a thin middle layer. In the present investigation, a comprehensive method has been developed for the selective degradation of S. quadricauda CASA CC202 cell wall, by employing both mechanical and enzymatic treatments. The efficiency of cell wall removal was evaluated by measuring total reducing sugar (TRS), tannic acid–ferric chloride staining, calcoflour white staining, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis. It was confirmed that the yield of TRS increased from 129.82 mg/g in 14 h from pectinase treatment alone to 352.44 mg/g by combined sonication and enzymatic treatment within 12 h. As a result, the combination method was found to be effective for the selective degradation of S. quadricauda CASA CC202 cell wall. This study will form a base for our future works where this will help to enhance the digestibility and nutritional availability of nutraceutically important proteins.
Planta. 2017 Jul 6. doi: 10.1007/s00425-017-2732-6. [Epub ahead of print]