Abstract: The key organic constituents of marine macroaggregates (macrogels) of prevalently phytoplankton origin, periodically occurring in the northern Adriatic Sea, are proteins, lipids and especially polysaccharides. In this article, the reactivity of various macroaggregate fractions in relation to their composition in order to decode the potentially »bioavailable « fractions is summarized and discussed. The enzymatic hydrolysis of the macroaggregate matrix, using α-amylase, β-glucosidase, protease, proteinase and lipase, revealed the simultaneous degradation of polysaccharides and proteins, while lipids seem largely preserved. In the fresh surface macroaggregate samples, a pronounced degradation of the α-glycosidic bond compared to β-linkages. Degradation of the colloidal fraction proceeded faster in the higher molecular weight (MW) fractions. N-containing polysaccharides can be important constituents of the higher MW fraction while the lower MW constituents can mostly be composed of poly- and oligosaccharides. Since the polysaccharide component in the higher MW fraction is more degradable compared to N-containing polysaccharides, the higher MW fraction represents a possible path of organic nitrogen preservation. Enzymatic hydrolysis, using α-amylase and β-glucosidase, reveale
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