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Microalgae, Lectins, Hemagglutination activity, Carbohydrate-binding specificity


Lectins are a group of proteins with specific carbohydrate-binding properties, gained importance as a potential bio-component for applications in therapeutic and biotechnology field. They are naturally present in various sources such as plants, algae, animals, bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Detection of multiple disease biomarkers which are present in the biological samples can be analyzed by using these proteins as a diagnostic tool. In the present study, forty different freshwater microalgae were isolated from various local water-bodies and characterized as Chlorophyta and Ochrophyta strains. Hemagglutination activity of algal extracts was conducted for all isolated strains to evaluate the presence of lectin content using both native and enzyme-treated erythrocytes of different animals such as sheep, goat, chicken, and humans. Further, the hemagglutination inhibition test was carried out by using various carbohydrates and glycoproteins. All the tested algal extracts exhibited hemagglutination activity for at least one source of erythrocytes. With sheep erythrocytes 60% of the total algae tested showed agglutination, 45% with chicken erythrocytes, 20% with goat erythrocytes, and 5% with human O-type erythrocytes. Among 40 isolates, 24 species exhibited higher hemagglutinating titer value with trypsin treated erythrocytes. Whereas, specific oligosaccharides and glycoproteins inhibited the hemagglutination activity of the algal extracts. Hence, obtained results suggest that native freshwater microalgae can be a good source of lectins with biological significance.

Author Biography

Arekal Nagaraja Roopashri, Department of Microbiology and Biotechnology Bangalore University, Jnanabharathi campus, Bengaluru – 560056

Dr. A.N. Roopashri

Post Doctoral Fellow

First Author 


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How to Cite

Roopashri, A. N., & Savitha, J. (2022). SCREENING OF FRESHWATER MICROALGAE SPECIES FOR OCCURRENCE OF LECTINS AND THEIR CARBOHYDRATE-BINDING SPECIFICITY. Journal of Applied Biological Sciences, 16(1), 24–34. Retrieved from