Chemotaxonomic evidence for the similarity between Botryococcus braunii L race and Botryococcus neglectus

P. Metzger*, Y. Pouet, R. Summons

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    24 Citations (Scopus)


    The hydrocarbon distribution patterns of nine strains of the green alga Botryococcus originating from four lakes and one pond are reported from GC- mass spectrometric analyses; they complement previously published investigations on Botryococcus braunii. Seven strains from four different origins (Australia, Bolivia, England and Portugal) contain very-long-chain hydrocarbons, mainly dienes and trienes, odd-carbon-numbered, ranging on the whole from C23 to C33; these compounds are characteristic of the A chemical race of B. braunii. Depending on the strain, a C27, C29 or C31 prevalence is observed. In the Australian strains, the presence of n- C29 and n-C31 trienes exhibiting two conjugated double bonds in the midchain in a cis, trans configuration is reported for the first time in this alga. Two strains of Botryococcus neglectus isolated from a water sample collected in an Indian lake produce trans, trans-lycopadiene as the main hydrocarbon; this acyclic tetraterpenoid is typical of the L chemical race of B. braunii. This result strongly suggests that B. neglectus and B. braunii L race constitute the same taxa. The hydrocarbon contents vary from about 28% of the dry weight in the English strain to less than 0.1% in the Indian ones.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1071-1075
    Number of pages5
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 1997


    • A and L chemical races
    • alga
    • Botryococcus braunii
    • Botryococcus neglectus
    • chemical variability
    • chemosystematics
    • Chlorophyceae
    • hydrocarbons
    • lycopadiene
    • n-alkadienes and trienes
    • tetraterpene


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