To investigate the potential role of photoprotective and antioxidant mechanisms in response to future increases in sea surface temperatures caused by climate change, we conducted laboratory experiments using three intertidal macroalgae model species: Adenocystis utricularis (Ochrophyta, Phaeophyceae), Pyropia endiviifolia (Rhodophyta, Bangiophyceae), and Monostroma hariotii (Chlorophyta, Ulvophyceae). These algae were collected in Punta Artigas (King George Island, Antarctica) and acclimated at 2°C for 48 hours. They were then assessed in laboratory experiments for up to 5 days under two treatments: 1) control conditions at 2°C, and 2) elevated temperature conditions at 8°C, representing the most negative increment in SSTs estimated by the end of the 21st century. Pigments (chlorophylls and carotenoids), Mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs), and Phenolic compounds were quantified after 3 and 5 days of exposure.
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HPLC-ESI-MS analysis allowed us to identify seven different MAA: shinorin, porphyrin-334, Fucoxanthin, palitinol, palitin-serine, mycosporin-glycine, mycosporin-glutamic acid, Violaxanthin, Zeaxanthin, Lutein, Chlorophyll a, Chlorophyll b, β-Carotene, Floroglucin, Galic Acid and Camferol. All these MAAs were recorded in Monostroma hariotii, Adenocystis utricularis and Pyropia endiviifolia.