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Other Activities of Caulerpa Preparations
THE POTENTIAL OF CAULERPA SPP. FOR BIOTECHNOLOGICAL
Chemopreventive effect of C. prolifera extract against aflatoxin B1-initiated
hepatotoxicity in female rats was investigated by Abdel-Wahhab et al. (2006).
Sivasankari et al. (2006) proposed Caulerpa chemnitzia as a seaweed liquid
fertiliser, since its positive effects on growth and biochemical constituents of Vigna
sinensis were observed. Cavas et al. (2007) confirmed that C. racemosa could also
be used as a biostimulator for the growth of Phaselus vulgaris seedlings. It might
be speculated that this effect is due to the pigment caulerpin, which has been previously identified from Caulerpa spp. (Maiti et al., 1978). Root growth assays with
pure caulerpin gave essentially the same results as assays with the known plant
growth promotor indole-3-acetic acid (IAA). The pigment resembles structurally
this plant hormone and might thus mimic its activity (Raub et al., 1987).
In vitro nematicidal activities from C. racemosa, C. scalpelliformis and
C. taxifolia were reported by Rizvi and Shameel (2006).
Paul and de Nys (2008) studied the possible use of Caulerpa species bioremediation in an integrated plant−animal tropical aquaculture. Marine macroalgae with
high growth rates can effectively strip nutrients from marine aquaculture effluent.
Because Caulerpa spp., as bloom-forming green tide algae, have high growth rates
and are free floating, these seaweeds offer to be an excellent option for culture
in settlement ponds, the most common bioremediation infrastructure in tropical
aquaculture. Especially, since certain isolates of C. racemosa are consumed by
humans as ‘sea grape’, it can be speculated that one aquaculture might provide two
commercially interesting products – fish and edible algae. This would maximise
profit and simultaneously reduce pollutants (Paul and de Nys, 2008).
The radical-scavenging and reducing ability of C. lentillifera and C. racemosa
extracts were showed by Matanjun et al. (2008).
According to a recent study (Cengiz et al., 2008), a dried and powdered form of
C. racemosa was proposed to be used as a low-cost immobilisation agent for bovine
serum albumin, which is a model protein for protein immobilisation studies.
Several patents on Caulerpa preparations, extracts and purified metabolites have
been approved, illustrating the high potential of these green seaweeds as resources
for commercially attractive products. These include patents on cosmetics like hair
treatment agents, plant growth regulators or medicinal applications. Here, for
example, treatments of inflammation, diabetes or retardation of cardiovascular
disorders based on Caulerpa spp.-derived products have been claimed.
Exotic Caulerpa species, C. taxifolia and C. racemosa, have spread rapidly in the
Mediterranean Sea. So far, no valid eradication method has been developed and
the amount of biomass currently found in the Mediterranean suggests that a
LEVENT CAVAS AND GEORG POHNERT
mechanical eradication is out of reach. The extensive body of literature reviewed
here makes it evident that these species could be exploited in many biotechnological and medical purposes. Exploitation of this resource might be interesting
owing to the apparent nearly unlimited supply. A targeted economic development
of these Caulerpa species from the Mediterranean might thus lead to a control of
The genus Caulerpa contains over 75 marine green algal species found in temperate
and tropical waters. This genus has recently attracted much attention because of
two invasive members, Caulerpa taxifolia and C. racemosa var. cylindracea, which
occur in the Mediterranean Sea. These species have covered the sub-littoral habitats along vast coastal stretches of the Mediterranean Sea. Several often costly
and unsuccessful efforts have been undertaken to control this invasion by mechanical
or chemical eradication. In parallel, scientists have focused on exploitable traits
that can be derived from these algae. Commercial products from these algae might
motivate a control of the invasion by harvesting efforts. In this chapter, we focus
on the properties of crude extracts as well as purified metabolites of Caulerpa sp.
and their potential for commercial exploitation.
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THE POTENTIAL OF CAULERPA SPP. FOR BIOTECHNOLOGICAL
Aravindhan, R., Rao, J.R. and Nair, B.U. (2007b) Removal of basic yellow dye from aqueous solution
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THE POTENTIAL OF CAULERPA SPP. FOR BIOTECHNOLOGICAL
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Biodata of Klaus Konrad Klostermaier, author of “Ecology, Science and
Klaus Konrad Klostermaier, F.R.S.C., is University Distinguished Professor
Emeritus (1999) at the University of Manitoba. He obtained a Dr. Phil. in
Philosophy in 1961 from the Gregorian University, Rome, and a Ph.D. in Ancient
Indian History and Culture from the University of Bombay (now Mumbai)
in 1969. He joined the Department of Religion at the University of Manitoba
(Canada) in 1970 and held the headship from 1986 to 1997. His areas of research
and teaching are history of religions, especially Indian religions, and science and
religion. Among his major publications are Mythologies and Philosophies of Salvation in the Theistic Traditions of India, Wilfrid Laurier University Press (1984),
A Survey of Hinduism, State University of New York Press (1989, 1994, and 2007),
Buddhism: A Short Introduction, Oneworld Oxford (1999 and 2001), Hinduism:
A Short History, Oneworld Oxford (2000), The Nature of Nature: Explorations in
Science, Philosophy and Religion, Theosophical Publishing House Adyar, Madras
2004. He continues to write and to teach at the University of Manitoba.
A. Israel et al. (eds.), Seaweeds and their Role in Globally Changing Environments,
Cellular Origin, Life in Extreme Habitats and Astrobiology 15, 401–421
DOI 10.1007/978-90-481-8569-6_23, © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010
ECOLOGY, SCIENCE, AND RELIGION
KLAUS K. KLOSTERMAIER
Department of Religion, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg,
MB, R3T 2N2, Canada
1. Religious Roots of the Ecological Crisis?
No less an authority than world historian Arnold J. Toynbee identified in a paper in
the International Journal of Environmental Studies “monotheism” as the root cause
of our environmental crisis. Referring specifically to Genesis I, 28 [“Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and conquer it. Be masters of the fish in the sea, the bird of
heaven and all living animals on earth” (The Jerusalem Bible, p. 6)]. Toynbee not
only questioned the right of humans to use and abuse the earth but also challenged
the authority of the one who supposedly had given this command, asking: “Has
nature no rights against this autocratic creator and against man, God’s aggressive
licensee?” Recalling ancient European traditions of nature worship, he concluded:
“Monotheism, as enunciated in the Book of Genesis, has removed the age-old
restraint that was once placed on man’s greed by his awe. This primitive inhibition
has been removed by the rise and spread of monotheism.” Eastern religions, like the
pre-Christian European, “counsel man even when he is applying his human science
to coax nature into bestowing her bounty on man” (Toynbee, 1971, p. 141).
Toynbee’s charge expanded and sharpened a thesis proposed in 1967 by Lynn
White Jr., a historian of mediaeval technology. White had called Christianity
“the most anthropocentric religion the world has ever seen,” through whose influence “the old inhibitions to the exploitation of nature crumbled” and suggested –
paradoxically – to name Francis of Assisi the patron saint of environmentalists
In response to accusations like these, a great number of monographs and
learned papers were published, not only defending “monotheism” by offering
alternative interpretations of Genesis I, 28, but also highlighting the ecological
potential of the world’s religions. A series of major conferences were convened at
Harvard University in the 1990s, whose proceedings appeared in a series of ten
impressive volumes published by Harvard University Press under the title
Religions of the World and Ecology, covering virtually every living religion from
tribal traditions to Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Taoism, Shinto, Confucianism,
Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Out of these conferences developed the
International Forum on Religion and Ecology, co-chaired by John Grim and Mary
Evelyn Tucker, editors of several of the volumes in the series.
KLAUS K. KLOSTERMAIER
Harold Coward, Director of the Center for Studies in Religion and Society
at Victoria University, B.C., arranged in 1993 a high-powered workshop at
Chateau Whistler, B.C., where religion scholars interacted with specialists from
various sciences and economists to address questions of (over-)population,
resource consumption, and the environment (Coward, 1995).
The environment was also a central topic at the 1993 meeting of the World
Parliament of Religions in 1993, where Hans Küng tabled a document on Global
Ethic and Responsibility (Küng, 1991).
As far as literature is concerned, the Internet offers numerous bibliographies
on Religion and Ecology in general as well as more specific ones, such as Hinduism
and the Environment (Noyce, 2002). The Oxford Handbook of Religion and
Ecology (Gottlieb, 2006) is a useful one-volume reference work for the field.
If Toynbee and White had identified the Abrahamic religions as the root of
the world’s ecological crisis, Anil Agarwal, an Indian engineer turned journalist
and ecological activist, made Hinduism, India’s majority tradition, responsible
for India’s ecological malaise. “Hinduism,” he says, “is a highly individualistic
religion: the primary concern is to do one’s own dharma for the sake of one’s own
well-being. Under the onslaught of modern-day secularism this has brought out
the worst type of individualism in Hinduism” (Agarwal, 2000, p. 165).
Going one step further, W. Ophuls sees the ecological crisis as “primarily a
moral crisis in which the ugliness and destruction outside in our environment
simply mirror the spiritual wasteland within.” And “the sickness of the earth
reflects the sickness of the soul in modern industrial man, whose life is given over
to gain, to the disease of endless getting and spending” (Ophuls, 1992).
2. The Ambiguity of Religions
David Kinsley’s Ecology and Religion – a widely used text for university
courses – juxtaposes chapters on “Christianity as Ecologically Harmful” and
“Christianity as Ecologically Responsible,” illustrating the ambiguous record
of Christianity with regard to its attitude toward nature: on the one side extolling
the greatness of nature as God’s handiwork and on the other condemning nature
as the source of humankind’s downfall. A similar ambiguity can also be found in
all other major traditions. None of the ancient religions directly addressed ecological issues or the need to protect the natural environment from human interference: all of them were built around other core concerns.
The “Abrahamic religions” are focused on God and salvation, sin and atonement. The Decalogue, the source of all Judeo–Christian ethics, is concerned with
the majesty of God and interhuman relations: it does not contain any “ecological
commandment.” The Hebrew Bible condemns the worship of nature deities practiced by the people of Canaan. Paul, the most influential voice in early Christianity,
held the whole of nature mortally afflicted with Adam’s “original sin,” and “groaning to be redeemed” by Christ. The writers of the Gospels saw the proof of Jesus’