Research Report

Epiphytic and Ice-ice Diseases of Seaweed, Kappaphycus alvarezii and its Effect on Growth Rate and Carrageenan Quality  

Alexander Rantetondok , Gunarto Latama
Department of Fisheries, Faculty of Marine Science and Fisheries, Hasanuddin University, Makassar, Indonesia
Author    Correspondence author
International Journal of Aquaculture, 2017, Vol. 7, No. 21   doi: 10.5376/ija.2017.07.0021
Received: 08 Sep., 2017    Accepted: 31 Oct., 2017    Published: 30 Nov., 2017
© 2017 BioPublisher Publishing Platform
This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Preferred citation for this article:

Rantetondok A., and Latama G., 2017, Epiphytic and ice-ice diseases of seaweed, Kappaphycus alvarezii and its effect on growth rate and carrageenan quality, International Journal of Aquaculture, 7(21): 134-138 (doi: 10.5376/ija.2017.07.0021)


Seaweed is an important export commodity, making a substantial contribution to the income of coastal fish farmers in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. In particular, kappa carrageenan from Kappaphycus alvarezii is a widely used raw material in the pharmaceutical, food, and other industries and Indonesia is currently ranked as the top carrageenan-producing sea weed exporting country. Crop failure in seaweed cultivation is mostly caused by disease. In Kappaphycus alvarezii crops, ice-ice and epiphytic diseases have been identified, and more information is required to develop ways to control these diseases. This study aimed to investigate these diseases and their effect on growth and carrageenan quality in this species. The research was conducted in Malosoro Bay, Jeneponto District, South Sulawesi. Observations on the effect of disease on seaweeds grown using a long line culture method were conducted “insitu”. Observation on carrageenan quality was conducted in the laboratory using a Completely Randomized Design. Growth and carrageenan content data were analyzed using a one way ANOVA. The results showed that presence of these diseases had a significant effect (P<0.05) on K. alvarezii growth, thallus strength and integrity, and carrageenan content.

Carrageenan; Ice-ice; Disease; Epiphytic; Kappaphycus alvarezii; Seaweed

1 Background

Indonesia is the leading seaweed producer in the world (FAO, 2016). Currently, the seaweed export from Indonesia has reached 169,113 tons per year or equivalent to USD$ 134,348,000 (Statistics Department of Commerce, 2012) where Sulawesi contributes approximately 60% of the volume. The cultured seaweed in Sulawesi is dominated by Kappaphycus spp. foremost K. alvarezii.


Presently, there are several problems faced by the seaweed farmers in Sulawesi that the cultured seaweed has infected by diseases for example epiphyte parasites and ice-ice diseases. Besides that, the quality of the seed is also gradually decreased due to multiple used of the thallus. These conditions led to the production decline and even threatened to harvest failure (Afrianto and Liviawati, 1993).


Post-harvest handling is still constrained in conjunction with the drying mainly in the rainy season and drying technique is simple and does not consider the quality of seaweed on the results of the process of drying on the sand, roadside and other techniques that do not support to find the products seaweed quality. Seaweed processing is also just up the seaweed processing of raw materials or semi-finished namely dried seaweed, which is processed into chips and semi refine carrageenan, then exported.


The low attention to make a plan in order to increase the maximum added value as a plan activities that make an assessment at the stage of implementation of an activity from upstream to downstream or from aquaculture production to production-ready material. Seaweed production is currently based solely on a two (2) genus that is Kappaphycus spp. reared in sea and Gracillaria spp. reared in brackish-water ponds which both the genus was first developed in the Philippines. Indonesia is rich in germplasm which very clear for the discovery of the species of seaweed which have an important economic value. These are needs to be studied and developed in the future.


In the social aspect, aquaculture often leads to social tensions that have the potential for conflict in respect of the use of transportation of fishing grounds for fishermen and seaweed farming activities. For economic issues, especially on the chain of sea kelp trading system, it is needs attention so that the price at the farm level which is very volatile can be stabilized. Seaweed can be addressed as well as incentives for good quality seaweed needs to be contemplated to maintain the quality of seaweed in the future.


Some problems faced for social and economic aspects that influence economic seaweed activity:

(1) The weakness of institutions on the on-farm, access to sources of innovation, market information, market guarantees, capital and partnership are still weak.

(2) The limited capital for business development.

(3) Human resources who manage the business is still very minimal in terms of both knowledge and skills.

(4) The lack of net-works and partnerships between farmers, processors, entrepreneurs/private and government.

(5) The lack of facilities and infrastructure for the smooth production and marketing of refined products produced.


The number of these problems led to the need for a vehicle in the form of a center of excellence so that the settlement of the problems associated with the cultivation of seaweed of provision of quality seeds of seaweed, repairs enlargement techniques, pest and disease management and the environment to the handling of post-harvest to increase the added value high in the form of processed products or prototypes of products for industrial as well as social and economic problems. These problems can be solved by conducted in thorough and comprehensive that consider various factors faced in overcome these problems. The main objective of the study is to know the effect of the epiphytic and ice-ice diseases in seaweed Kappaficus alvarezii, on the growth and carrageenan content.


Results of the studies will be carried out on the public dissemination or “stakeholders”, so it can benefit the community and enhance the nation’s competitiveness.


2 Materials and Methods

2.1 Site and time

The seaweed Kappaphycus alvarezii sample was collected from Libukang Village, Jeneponto District, South Sulawesi Province, Indonesia from July-November 2014. The observation of ice-ice and epiphytes diseases were done in the Laboratory of Parasitic Fish Diseases Department of Fisheries Faculty of Marine Science and Fisheries of Hasanuddin University, Makassar, Indonesia.


2.2 Sample collection

The infected thallus weretaken randomly for the samples. The thallus were put into a sterile plastic bags and kept on a ice box (4°C) and then transported to laboratory for further analysis.


2.3 Carrageenan extraction

Extraction of carrageenan was done using the alkali and acid treatment method (Santaley, 1987; Ohno et al., 1994). Dried materials (50 g) were washed with tap water to remove salt, and then dried at room temperature for 3 h. The materials were incubated in 2 L 6% KOH (alkali treatment) followed by washing in tap water for 1 h. Another set of samples were kept in 2 L 5% H2SO4 (pH 3.0) (acid treatment) at 30°C for 3 h. This was followed by washing for one hour in tap water, then boiled for at least 1 hour and the carrageenan extract was filtered under vacuum. Persentage of carrageenan content seaweed can be count, using the Formula of Boot (1975, in Gimaruddin, 2006) as follows:



2.4 Growth rate measurement

The specific growth rate (SGR) data were taken every 10 days interval for 40 days, while the content of carrageenan rendement was taken at the end of the study. The SGR was calculated based on Poncomulyo et al. (2006) as follow:


Where, DGR = Specificy growth rate (%/day), Wt = weight gain at the end of study (g), W0 = initial weight of seaweed (g), t = Duration of culture (day)


2.5 Water quality

The water quality such as nitrate, phosphate were measured using Spectrophotometer in the laboratory.


2.6 Data analysis

Daily growth specific and carrageenan content data during the research were analyzes using analysis of Variant (ANOVA). Due to the effect of treatment is highly significant (P<0.05) then the data were analyzed using the Tukey test.


3 Results and Discussion

3.1 Prevalence

The exsistence of a disease of seaweed cause by epiphyte can promote the bacteria attract the seaweed which found in the waters environment (Vairappan, 2006). Furthermore it is said that sometimes the presence of epiphytic followed by ice-ice disease presence. The results of the research in the field observations indicate that the prevalence of epiphytes can reach 70-75%. It is in accordance with Borlongan et al. (2011). The research indicates that also ice-ice decreases the production of seaweed from 25-40%. It is in accordance with Trono (2003) and Mendoza et al. (2003). Epiphytic disease is one disease parasite on seaweed that can cause crop failure. The disease is caused by parasite Neosiphoniaapiculata, (Vairappan et al., 2008), also due to drastic changes in salinity and temperature (Vairappan, 2006). Epiphytic infection can occurred on the entire surface thallus of seaweed (Figure 1). The data obtained showed that the epiphytic also affects the ability of seaweed to survive on the ropes of thallus stretch of submarine maintenance during the culture period. The ice-ice disease, infection starts at the base thallus as well as the end of the end portion of thallus (Figure 2).


Figure 1 (a) The infection of epiphyte on the surface thallus of seaweed; (b) The thallus of seaweed infected by ice-ice


Figure 2 The ability to survive on the ropes stretch during culture period


The ice-ice disease characterized by the affected part is white and very fragile, if the disease attacks at the base of a binding seaweed, it can cause the release of the rope stretch. From the results of this study show that low ability of seaweed hang on rope stretch lead to less than 20% that can survive on the ropes stretch during culture period (Figure 3). The ice-ice and epiphyte diseases can cause both high mortality and decreasing of quality of carrageenan that is the viscosity, gel strength (Mendoza et al., 2003).


Figure 3 (a) Absolute growth during the research period (40 days); (b) Carrageenan content found the research period (40 days)


3.2 Growth rate and carrageenan quality

During the culture period of the research, shown that the low growth occurred in all treatments due to the low nutrient content especially the phospat and nitrate in the water event some time the phosphate was undetected. The water quality measured during the study period is shown in (Table 1). The effect epiphyte and ice-ice infection on seaweed can depress its growth. Data observation shows that it is tendency the lower growth of the seaweed infected by epiphyte and ice-ice compare to control (Figure 3a). The result of the research shown that there was no significant different of effect of parasite epiphyte and ice-ice disease on the quality of carrageenan (Figure 3b). This is due to the proportion of thallus infected by such diseases the carrageenan conten only 1 percent of the whole thallus (Mendoza et al., 2003). According to Breden and Bird (1994) the carrageenan content mostly effected by environments such as irradiation, water temperature, and N content in the water. Irradiance and water temperature affected thallus substratum coverage and water gel strength of the carrageenan. N-enriched cultures showed decreased gel yields, higher viscosities and higher water gel strengths in the carrageenan extracted from these cultures. The present study shows that the N content (NO3 form) of the water was low (Table 1).


Table 1 The water quality measured during the study period (SD = 0.058819)


4 Conclusion

Epiphyte and ice-ice diseases are the common diseases on the seaweed at Jeneponto region and its surrounding. The existence of the seaweed diseases especially the ice-ice can decrease the production of seaweed due to the failure of harvest because the seaweed infected by ice-ice cannot survive on the ropes stretch. The existence of the seaweed diseases are not significant effect of parasite epiphyte and ice-ice disease on the quality of carrageenan.


Authors’ contributions

This research was carried out by two authors. Authors Rantetondok and Latama designed the study and wrote the protocol, Author Rantetondok as a coordinator the research.  Authors Rantetondok and Latama  performed the experiment . Author Latama conducted the statistical analysis as well as managed the literature searches. Author Rantetondok wrote the first draft of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



The authors wish to thank Rector of Hasanuddin University for her support the research and suggest to publish the manuscript in the International Journal and to the Ministry of the Research and Technology and the Directorate of High Education for provided funding of the research.



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Vairappan C.S., Chung C.S., Hurtado A.Q., Soya F.E., Lhonneur G.B., and Critchley A., 2008, Distribution and symptoms of epiphyte infection in major carrageenophyte-producing farms, Journal of Applied Phycology, 20(5): 477-483

International Journal of Aquaculture
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