Asparagopsis taxiformis

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Limu Kohu
Asparagopsis taxiformis.jpg
Asparagopsis taxiformis in Mayotte.
Scientific classification edit
(unranked): Archaeplastida
Division: Rhodophyta
Class: Florideophyceae
Order: Bonnemaisoniales
Family: Bonnemaisoniaceae
Genus: Asparagopsis
Species:
A. taxiformis
Binomial name
Asparagopsis taxiformis
Synonyms

Asparagopsis sanfordiana

Asparagopsis taxiformis, (red sea plume or limu kohu) formerly A. sanfordiana,[1] is a species of red algae, with cosmopolitan distribution in tropical to warm temperate waters.[2] Researchers have demonstrated that feeding ruminants a diet containing one to two percent red seaweed reduced their methane emissions by over 90 percent. Of 20 types of seaweed tested, A. taxiformis showed the most promise, with nearly 99 percent effectiveness.

Lifecycle[edit]

Like many red algae, A. taxiformis has a haplodiplophasic lifecycle, with each phase morphologically distinct. The species' haploid stage was initially described as Falkenbergia hillebrandii (Bornet) Falkenberg 1901 because it was thought to be a separate species.

Culinary uses[edit]

Ahi limu poke.

Asparagopsis is one of the most popular types of limu.[3] in the cuisine of Hawaii, it is principally a condiment.[4] It is known as Limu kohu in the Hawaiian language, meaning "pleasing seaweed".[5] Limu kohu has a bitter taste, somewhat reminiscent of iodine,[6] and is a traditional ingredient in poke.

The essential oil of limu kohu is 80% bromoform (tri-bromo-methane) by weight.[7] It also includes many other bromine- and iodine-containing organic compounds.[4]

Methane emissions reduction in cattle[edit]

A. taxiformis in its habitat on the bottom of the ocean.
Cows burp tons of the greenhouse gas methane that comes from their foregut fermentation. However, if only a small percentage of their diet is A. taxiformis, this is greatly reduced.

In 2014, researchers at CSIRO and James Cook University demonstrated that feeding ruminants a diet containing one to two percent red seaweed reduced their methane emissions by over 90 percent.[8] Of 20 types of seaweed tested, A. taxiformis showed the most promise, with nearly 99 percent effectiveness.[9]

The findings spurred interest from leading academic and trade organizations to further investigate its effects on ruminant animal production.[10] Some findings of research on these effects have been that the dichloromethane extract (found in A. taxiformis) was the most potent bioactive, reducing methane production by 79%. Other bioactives found were bromoform, dibromochloromethane, bromochloroacetic acid, and dibromoacetic acid.[11]

Supply from wild harvest is not expected to be adequate to support broad adoption. A. taxiformis has yet to be commercially farmed at scale. A research/development initiative called Greener Grazing is seeking to close the life cycle of A. taxiformis and demonstrate ocean-based grow-out.[12] A startup out of KTH Royal Institute of Technology; Volta Greentech and Symbrosia from Yale University, are both working to grow A. taxiformis. Symbrosia is looking to integrate the cultivation with whiteleg shrimp on land, using a patent-pending technology.[13] Sea-based cultivation has been proposed as a path to scale production and "drive the cost down so it can be used by beef and dairy farmers around the world".[14]

In 2020, FutureFeed won a Food Planet Prize worth $1 million for an Asparagopsis product that reduces methane emissions in livestock.[15][16]

Blue Ocean Barns, based in Hawaii, is backed by venture capital funds. Large dairy producers Mars Wrigley and Land O'Lakes selected the company at the Empower Possiblities 2019 pitch event to participate in a pilot project with up to $200,000 in support from Mars Wrigley.[17][18][19] It is growing its asparagopsis in vertical near-shore land-based tanks, using deep seawater to provide the proper temperature and nutrients.[17][20][21] Blue Ocean Barns plans to have products available by the end of 2021, focusing on California, where farmers are mandated by law to reduce methane emissions.[18]

See also[edit]

  • Algaculture – Aquaculture involving the farming of algae
  • Edible seaweed – Algae that can be eaten and used for culinary purposes
  • Limu (algae) – Edible plants living under water or near water

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ní Chualáin, F.; Maggs, C.A.; Saunders, G.W. & Guiry, M.D. (2004). "The invasive genus Asparagopsis (Bonnemaisoniaceae, Rhodophyta): molecular systematics, morphology, and ecophysiology of Falkenbergia isolates". Journal of Phycology. 40 (6): 1112–1126. doi:10.1111/j.1529-8817.2004.03135.x. S2CID 53065361.
  2. ^ ":: Algaebase". www.algaebase.org. Retrieved 2016-10-19.
  3. ^ Mary Kawena Pukui and Samuel Hoyt Elbert (2003). "lookup of limu kohu". in Hawaiian Dictionary. Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library, University of Hawaii Press. Retrieved October 8, 2010.
  4. ^ a b B. Jay Burreson; et al. (1976). "Volatile halogen compounds in the alga Asparagopsis taxiformis (Rhodophyta)". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 24 (4): 856–861. doi:10.1021/jf60206a040.
  5. ^ Mary Kawena Pukui and Samuel Hoyt Elbert (2003). "lookup of kohu". in Hawaiian Dictionary. Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library, University of Hawaii Press. Retrieved October 8, 2010.
  6. ^ Fortner, Heather J. (1978). "The Limu Eater: a cookbook of Hawaiian seaweed" (PDF). Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  7. ^ Burreson, B. Jay; Moore, Richard E.; Roller, Peter P. (1976). "Volatile halogen compounds in the alga Asparagopsis taxiformis (Rhodophyta)". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 24 (4): 856. doi:10.1021/jf60206a040.
  8. ^ Machado, Lorenna; Magnusson, Marie; Paul, Nicholas A.; de Nys, Rocky; Tomkins, Nigel (2014-01-22). "Effects of Marine and Freshwater Macroalgae on In Vitro Total Gas and Methane Production". PLOS ONE. 9 (1): e85289. Bibcode:2014PLoSO...985289M. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0085289. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 3898960. PMID 24465524.
  9. ^ "Seaweed could hold the key to cutting methane emissions from cow burps - CSIROscope". CSIROscope. 2016-10-14. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  10. ^ "Can Seaweed Cut Methane Emissions on Dairy Farms?". UC Davis. 2018-05-24. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  11. ^ "Identification of bioactives from the red seaweed Asparagopsis taxiformis that promote antimethanogenic activity in vitro". ResearchGate.
  12. ^ "Gassy cows are bad for the planet; could seaweed diet help?". AP News. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  13. ^ "Symbrosia". Retrieved 2018-11-21.
  14. ^ Boys, Callan (15 February 2020). "The fish farmer growing seaweed to feed cows and save the planet". Good Food. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  15. ^ "Food Planet Prize". Future Feed. December 2020.
  16. ^ Marchant, Gabriella (19 December 2020). "Australian 'super seaweed' supplement to reduce cattle gas emissions wins $1m international prize". ABC News.
  17. ^ a b Tatiana Schlossberg (November 27, 2020). "An unusual snack for cows, a powerful fix for climate; Feeding them seaweed slashes the amount of methane they burp into the atmosphere," The Washington Post.
  18. ^ a b Jesse Klein (August 12, 2020). "5 feed companies that could relieve the cow burp methane problem". Greenbiz.
  19. ^ [1]
  20. ^ Duggan, Tara (October 27, 2021). "Dairy cows' greenhouse gas emissions cut by 52% after eating seaweed at Bay Area farm". San Francisco Chronicle.
  21. ^ "Feeding cows algae dramatically reduces their emissions". 6Park News. October 29, 2021.

External links[edit]