Caulerpa racemosa var. cylindracea is a potential invader of the Mediterranean Sea and 11 Mediterranean countries are under threat from this alga. In the present study, in order to investigate seasonal changes in the antioxidant status of C. racemosa var. cylindracea, antioxidant enzyme activities such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), and lipid peroxidation (LPO) levels were determined in C. racemosa var. cylindracea samples, which were collected in May 2003, September 2003, December 2003, and March 2004 from Turkish coastlines. SOD and CAT activities showed similar trends. These enzymes increased from May to December, then sharp decreases were observed. On the other hand, GSH-Px enzyme activities showed a fluctuation between May 2003 and March 2004. In contrast to increases in SOD and CAT activities up to December 2003, LPO level decreased in this period. No significant correlation was observed between antioxidant status and solar radiation. In conclusion, the antioxidant status of C. racemosa var. cylindracea is strictly not affected by both solar radiation and seawater temperature; however, the growth of epiphytes on fronds may change antioxidant status. Further investigations are strongly warranted to understand the contributions of non-enzyme-based antioxidants such as glutathione, vitamin E, and vitamin C. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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