Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: Chemistry (not Biochemistry)
Brianna Scotland - University of the Virgin Islands
Co-Author(s): Genique Nicholas and Ryan Shaw, University of the Virgin Islands, U.S Virgin Islands, St. Croix
Antioxidants provide many benefits to the human body. They protect the cells against damages caused by oxidation reactions. Antioxidants act as a reducing agent that stops oxidation, which cause free radicals. Prevention of cancer, heart diseases and aging signs are just some benefits of antioxidants. Antioxidants can be found in varieties of foods such vegetables, fruits and algae. The objectives of this experiment were to: 1) determine the antioxidant activity in local algae and 2) correlate the macroalgae phyla with antioxidant activity. Our hypothesis was that the algae within the phylum Phaetophyta would have the higher total antioxidant activity than the algae within the phyla Rhodophyta and Chlorophyta. The methodology used to determine the antioxidant activity was the ABTS/H2O2/HRP decoloration assay. The drop in absorbance was scanned in UVVIS spectrophotometer at 730 nm. The antioxidant activity was reported as µmole Trolox Equivalent (TE) per gram dry weight for algae. Codium isthmocladum (Chlorophyta) had the highest total antioxidant activity (872.96 µmol TE per gram dry weight), relative to all samples. Penicillus capitatus (Chlorophyta) had the lowest total antioxidant activity (56.79 µmol TE per gram dry weight). In conclusion, antioxidant activity was found in the six local algae and Phaetophyta did not have the highest antioxidant activity. Future research will consist of determining the antioxidant activity of the same algae at different depths of water.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): This research was funded by NSF HBCU-UP Grant #1137472
Faculty Advisor: Bernard Castillo II,