Spirulina Lautan

389Marine Spirulina Large

  • Marine spirulina is scientifically known as Spirulina subsalsa.
  • Found to be one of the components which cause algae bloom that produce cyanotoxin (Krienitz et al., 2003 and Ballot et al., 2004).
  • Currently, SBC’s microalgae library has a total of 4 locally isolated marine spirulina.

Natural Habitat

  • Marine Spirulina can be found in freshwater and marine environment (Vonshak, 1997).
  • SBC’s marine spirulina were isolated from marine envionment.
  • Number of strains isolated in Sarawak:
Division  No. of Strains 
Kuching 4


  • Size (µm)
    • Ranged from 3 to 5 µm diameter and form tightly coiled spiral (Witkowski, 1993).
    • The marine spirulina in the SBC's microalgae library ranged from 2 to 3 µm in diameter.
  • Flagella
    • Non flagella
  • Motile
    • Motile (rotating) trichomes (Turpin, 1827).
  • Shape
    • The tightly and regularly screw-like coiled filaments are constructed of cylindrical cells.
    • Filamentous structures, usually in clusters or in fine mats which were macroscopically visible (Turpin, 1827).
  • Any other published scientific info
    • Glide with typical oscillatory, screw-like movements over the substrate (Witkowski, 1993).

Algae Bioeconomy/Industry

  • Bioremediation
    • This species is used as (Chakraborty et al., 2011, Huang and Zhihui, 2002).
    • Immobilization of marine Spirulina to remove triphenyltin from water. Triphenyltin has been used extensively as algicides and molluscicides. There has been concern on the usage because the chemical is persistent organic pollutant.
    • Marine Spirulina is used as a biosensor for toxicity assessment of estuarine waters (Campanella et al., 2001).
  • Biopolymer
    • This species is also a source of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), the environmentally friendly biopolymers (Shrivastav et al., 2010).
    • PHA are polymers of biological origin, and are completely broken down to water and carbon dioxide by microorganisms found in a wide range of environments, such as soil, water, and sewage (Reddy et. al., 2003).


Ballot, A., Krienitz, L., Kotut, K., Wiegand, C. & Pflugmacher, S. (2005). Cyanobacteria and cyanobacterial toxins in the alkaline crater lakes Sonachi and Simbi, Kenya. Harmful Algae, 4:139–150.

Campanella, L., Cubadda, F., Sammartino, M.P. & Saoncella. A. (2001).  An algal biosensor for the monitoring of water toxicity in estuarine environments. Water Research, 35 (1), 69-76.

Chakraborty, N., Banerjee, A. & Pal, R. (2011). Accumulation of lead by free and immobilized cyanobacteria with special reference to accumulation factor and recover. Bioresource Technology, 102 (5), 4191-4195.

Huang, G.-L. & Zhihui, S. (2002). Immobilization of Spirulina subsalsa for removal of triphenyltin from water. Artificial Cell Blood Substitutes and Biotechnology, 30 (4), 293-305.

Krienitz, L., Ballot, A., Kotut, K., Wiegand, C., Pütz, S., Metcalf, J.S., Codd, G.A., Pflugmacher, S.(2003). Contribution of hot spring cyanobacteria to the mysterious deaths of lesser Flamingos at Lake Bogoria, Kenya. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 43 (2),141-148,

Shrivastav, A., Mishra, S.K. & Mishra, S. (2010). Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) synthesis by Spirulina subsalsa from Gujarat coast of India. International Journalof Biological Macromolecules., 46 (2), 255-260.

Witkowski, A. (1993). Microphytobenthos. K. Korzeniowski (Ed.), Puck Bay, Inst. Oceanogr. Univ. Gdańsk., Gdańsk, pp. 395-415

Reddy, C.S.K., Ghai, R., Rashmi & Kalia, V.C. (2003). Review paper Polyhydroxyalkanoates. Bioresource Technology, 87, 137–146.

Vonshak, A. (1997). Spirulina platensis (Arthrospira): Physiology, Cell Biology and Biotechnology. Taylor and Francis, London.



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