• Gomathi K Department of Biochemistry, School of Life Sciences, Vels University, Pallavaram, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
  • Anna Sheba L Department of Biochemistry, School of Life Sciences, Vels University, Pallavaram, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.


 Objective: Ulva reticulata is a marine edible green seaweed widely distributed along the coastal lines of India. The present study was designed to screen the phytochemicals and evaluate heavy metals content of U. reticulata collected from Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu, India, in the perspective of assessing their therapeutic value and/or safety in relation to its uses.

Method: The seaweed sample was subjected to extraction with solvents of different polarities (methanol, ethanol, acetone, chloroform, and petroleum ether) and screened for phytochemicals according to standard methods. Heavy metal analysis was also performed with the dried sample powder using inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrophotometer (ICP-OES).

Result: Preliminary phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of reducing sugar, proteins, flavonoids, glycosides, alkaloids, and anthraquinones. ICP-OES indicated the seaweed to contain relative amount of heavy metals in the order of iron (Fe) > chromium (Cr) > Zinc (Zn) > nickel (Ni) > copper (Cu) > lead (Pb) - cadmium (Cd) and is within the permissible limits set by the WHO/FAO, except Fe and Cr.

Conclusion: The different solvent extracts of U. reticulata showed the presence of the number of phytochemicals. Furthermore, the present study has revealed the presence of heavy metals in U. reticulata which can be a representative picture of the dissolved metals in the aquatic phase.

Keywords: Ulva reticulata, Phytochemicals, Inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrophotometer, Heavy metals.


1. Carte BK. Biomedical potential of marine natural products: Marine organisms are yielding novel molecules for use in basic research and medical applications. Biosci 1996;46:271-86.
2. Arasaki S, Arasaki T. Low Calories, High Nutrition: Vegetables from the Sea to Help you Look and Feel Better. Tokyo: Japan Publications; 1983.
3. Dhargalkar VK, Pereira N. Seaweed: Promising plant of the Millennium. Sci Cult 2005;71:60-6.
4. Patia MP, Sharma SD, Nayaka L, Panda CR. Uses of seaweed and its application to Human welfare: A Review. Int J Pharm Pharm Sci 2016;8:12-20.
5. MacArtain P, Gill CI, Brooks M, Campbell R, Rowland IR. Nutritional value of edible seaweeds. Nutr Rev 2007;65:535-43.
6. Wang H, Ooi EV, Ang PO Jr. Antiviral activities of extracts from Hong Kong seaweeds. J Zhejiang Univ Sci B 2008;9:969-76.
7. Indu H, Seenivasan R. In vitro antioxidant activity of selected seaweeds from Southeast coast of India. Int J Pharm Pharm Sci 2013;5:474-84.
8. Santhanam S, Aseer M, Sugathan S, Joseph S, George SK, Kalimuthusamy NS. Antimicrobial activity of seaweeds extracts against multiresistant pathogens. Anna Microbiol 2008;58:535-41.
9. Rao P, Parekh K. Antibacterial activity of Indian seaweed extracts. Bot Mar 2009;24:577-82.
10. Noda H, Amano H, Arashima K. Antitumor activity of marine algae. Hydrobiologia 1990;204-205:577-84.
11. Faezah S, Khoo KS, Hoe SZ, Lam SK. Antihypertensive effects of edible brown seaweeds in rats. Int J Adv Appl Sci 2016;3:103-9.
12. Yoon NY, Kim HR, Chung HY, Choi JS. Anti-hyperlipidemic effect of an edible brown algae, Ecklonia stolonifera, and its constituents on poloxamer 407-induced hyperlipidemic and cholesterol-fed rats. Arch Pharm Res 2008;31:1564-71.
13. Afef D, Syrine L, Valerie LM, Jacques R, Abderrahman B. Antiproliferative activity and phenolics of the Mediterranean seaweed Laurencia obusta. Ind Crops Prod 2013;47:252-5.
14. Bhakuni DS, Rawat DS. Bioactive Marine Natural Products. 1st ed. India: Anamya Publishers; 2005.
15. Ansari TM, Marr IL, Tariq N. Heavy Metals in Marine Pollution Perspective-A Mini Review. J Appl Sci 2004;4:1-20.
16. Tchounwou PB, Yedjou CG, Patlolla AK, Sutton DJ. Heavy metal toxicity and the environment. In: Luch A, editros. Molecular, Clinical and Environmental Toxicology. Experientia Supplementum. 1st ed. Basel: Springer; 2012. p. 165-217.
17. Wolf MA, Sciuto K, Andreoli C, Moro I. Ulva (Chlorophyta, Ulvales) biodiversity in the North Adriatic sea (Mediterranean, Italy): Cryptic species and new introductions. J Phycol 2012;48:1510-21.
18. Kong F, Mao Y, Cui F, Zhang X, Gao Z. Morphology and molecular identification of Ulva forming green tides in Qingdao China. J Ocean Univ China 2011;10:73-9.
19. CABI. Ulva reticulata. In: Invasive Species Compendium. Wallingford, UK: CAB International; 2017. Available from:
20. Guiry MD, Guiry GM. Algae Base. Galway: World-Wide Electronic Publication, National University of Ireland; 2017.
21. Savithramma N, Rao ML, Rukmini K, Devi PS. Antimicrobial activity of silver nanoparticles synthesized by using medicinal plants. Int J Chemtech Res 2011;3:1394-402.
22. Harborne JB. Phytochemical Methods. 2nd ed. London: Chapman and Hall; 1984.
23. Markert BA, Breure AM, Zechmeister HG editors. Bioindicators and Biomonitors: Principles, Concepts, and Applications. UK: Elseiver; 2003.
24. Harborne JB. Phytochemical methods a guide to modern techniques of plant analysis. Plant Pathol J 1999;48:146.
25. Renuka B, Sanjeev B, Ranganathan D. Evaluation of phytoconstituents of Caralluma nilagiriana by FTIR and UV-VIS spectroscopic analysis. J Pharmacogn Phytochem 2016;5:105-8.
26. Ismail GA. Biochemical composition of some Egyptian seaweeds with potent nutritive and antioxidant properties. Food Sci Technol 2017;37:294-302.
27. Sudha PN, Aisverya S, Nithya R, Vijayalakshmi K. Industrial applications of marine carbohydrates. Adv Food Nutr Res 2014;73:145-81.
28. Patel S. Therapeutic importance of sulfated polysaccharides from seaweeds: Updating the recent findings. 3 Biotech 2012;2:171-85.
29. Vinayak RC, Sudha SA, Chatterji A. Bio-screening of a few green seaweeds from India for their cytotoxic and antioxidant potential. J Sci Food Agric 2011;91:2471-6.
30. Elsherif KM, Najah Z, Kawan E. Phytochemical screening and heavy metals contents of Nicotiana glauca plant. Int J Pharm Pharam Res Human 2015;4:82-91.
31. Roberts MF, Wink M. Alkaloids Biochemistry, Ecology, and Medicinal Application. New York and London: Plenum Press; 1998.
32. Raj GA, Chandrasekaran M, Jegan S, Venkatesalu V. Phytochemical analysis and antifungal activity of Ulva Species from the Kanniyakumari Gulf of Mannar, South Coast India. Nat Prod Ind J 2016;12:104.
33. Abdel-Khaliq A, Hassan HM, Rateb ME, Hammouda O. Antimicrobial activity of three Ulva species collected from some Egyptian Mediterranean seashores. Int J Eng Res Gen Sci 2014;2:648-69.
34. Kren V, Martinkova L. Glycosides in medicine: The role of glycosidic residue in biological activity. Curr Med Chem 2001;8:1303-28.
35. Chien SC, Wu YC, Chen ZW, Yang WC. Naturally occurring anthraquinones: Chemistry and therapeutic potential in autoimmune diabetes. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2015;2015:357357.
36. Kotnala S, Garg A, Chatterji A. Screening for the presence of antimicrobial activity in few Indian seaweeds. Pertanika J Trop Agric Sci 2009;32:69-75.
37. Babu A, Johnson M, Patric RD. Chemical profile of selected green seaweeds of Southern coast of Tamil Nadu, India. Int J Res Engg Biosci 2014;2:103-13.
38. Talbot V, Chegwidden A. Cadmium and other heavy metal concentrations in selected biota from Cockburn Sound, Western Australia. Aust J Mar Freshw Res 1982;33:779-88.
39. Haritonidis S, Malea P. Seasonal and local variation of Cr, Ni and Co concentrations in Ulva rigida C. Agardh and Enteromorpha linza (Linnaeus) from Thermaikos Gulf, Greece. Environ Pollut 1995;89:319-27.
40. Roy S, Anantharaman P. Heavy metals accumulation of different parts of Turbinaria spp. along the olaikuda Coast, Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu, India. Int Adv Res J Sci Eng Tech 2017;4:99-102.
41. Evaluation of certain food additives and contaminants. Thirty-third report of the joint FAO/WHO expert committee on food additives. World Health Organ Tech Rep Ser 1989;776:1-64.
42. Claude B, Paule S. The Manual of Natural Living. 1st ed. Guildford Surrey: Biddles Limited; 1979.
43. CEVA. Edible Seaweed and French Regulation - Synthesis Made by CEVA. France: CEVA; 2014.
44. Llanos NL, Dalawampu SM. Heavy metals in edible seaweeds from coastal areas of Manila Bay and Roxas city, Philippines. Int J Adv Res 2017;5:1429-34.
45. Naithani V, Pathak N, Chaudhary M. Evaluation of heavy metals in two major ingredients of ampucare. Int J Pharm Sci Drug Res 2010;2:137-41.
46. Chandaka M, Murali K, Ramanji R, Mohammed O. Comparative studies on phytochemical screening and metal analysis of hydro alcoholic extracts of Beta Vulgaris, Carica Papaya, and Vitis vinifera. Juniper Online J Public Health 2017;2:1429-34.
47. Das K, Das S, Dhundasi S. Nickel, its adverse health effects and oxidative stress. Indian J Med Res 2008;128:412-25.
48. Ayaz M, Junaid M, Subhan F, Ullah F, Sadiq A, Ahmad S, et al. Heavy metals analysis, phytochemical, phytotoxic and anthelmintic investigations of crude methanolic extract, subsequent fractions and crude saponins from Polygonum hydropiper L. BMC Complement Altern Med 2014;14:465.
49. Rajendran K, Sampathkumar P, Govindasamy C, Ganesan M, Kannan R, Kannan L. Levels of trace metals (Mn, Fe, Cu and Zn) in some Indian seaweeds. Mar Pollut Bull 1993;26:283-5
207 Views | 272 Downloads
How to Cite
K, G., and A. Sheba L. “PHYTOCHEMICAL SCREENING AND HEAVY METAL ANALYSIS OF ULVA RETICULATA”. Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research, Vol. 11, no. 4, Apr. 2018, pp. 84-88, doi:10.22159/ajpcr.2018.v11i4.23012.
Original Article(s)