|(A)biotic lifecycle controls of multiannual delayed gametophytes of Laminariales (brown seaweeds)
Ebbing, A. (2022). (A)biotic lifecycle controls of multiannual delayed gametophytes of Laminariales (brown seaweeds). PhD Thesis. University of Groningen: Groningen. 169 pp. https://dx.doi.org/10.33612/diss.206631219
Seaweed is an alternative source of renewable protein and seaweed is getting increasingly more attention as an alternative for conventional agriculture. Seaweed can be cultivated without fresh water, without fertilizer, and without the use of arable land. In order to make seaweed cultivation possible it is necessary to understand its lifecycle. Kelp is the most cultivated species of seaweed and belongs to the group of brown seaweeds. Just like ferns kelp produces spores, which are dispersed throughout the water column until they attach themselves to substrates. These spores then develop into male and female gametophytes. These gametophytes have interesting characteristics since they are able to photosynthesize and can reproduce sexually as well as asexually.Alexander Ebbing researched the environmental factors that initiate the sexual reproduction of kelp gametophytes. His research mapped how factors like light, temperature, and culture concentrations influence the reproduction of these gametophytes. This research is not only important from a fundamental perspective, but also from the point of view of the seaweed industry. With this new knowledge we have a much better control of the life cycle of kelp and thus gain the ability to produce enough kelp for kelp farms at any moment of the year. The research also opened up novel ways to breed outperforming kelp varieties. With the PhD research of Alexander Ebbing an important step was taken into the domestication of kelp, bringing open ocean large scale seaweed aquaculture one step closer to reality.