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Chemical compounds and antioxidant activity of Antarctic lichens

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 December 2021

Olga Kandelinskaya*
V.F. KuprevichInstitute of Experimental Botany of National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Akademicheskaya 27, 220072Minsk, Belarus
Helena Grischenko
V.F. KuprevichInstitute of Experimental Botany of National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Akademicheskaya 27, 220072Minsk, Belarus
Yury Hihinyak
Scientific and Practical Center for Bioresources of National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Akademicheskaya 27, 220072Minsk, Belarus
Mikhail Andreev
Komarov Botanical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Professor Popov St, 2, 197376, St Petersburg, Russia
Peter Convey
British Antarctic Survey, NERC, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0ET, UK Department of Zoology, University of Johannesburg, PO Box 524, Auckland Park 2006, South Africa
Dzmitry Lukashanets
Scientific and Practical Center for Bioresources of National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Akademicheskaya 27, 220072Minsk, Belarus
Nikolai Kozel
Institute of Biophysics and Cell Engineering of National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Akademicheskaya 27, 220072Minsk, Belarus
Ilya Prokopiev
Institute of Biological Problems of Cryolithozone of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Lenin Ave. 41, 677007, Yakutsk, Yakutia, Russia


We assessed the content of some major and trace elements and lichen compounds as well as antioxidant activity in eight lichen species representing four families collected in areas > 1 km distant from Bellingshausen (King George Island) and > 1 km distant from Molodezhnaya (Thala Hills, Enderby Land) research stations. Content levels of Cu, Pb, Cd, Zn and As in Physcia caesia, Physconia muscigena, Umbilicaria aprina, Umbilicaria decussata and Usnea aurantiaco-atra thalli were similar to or lower than previously reported for these species in the Maritime and Continental Antarctic, as well as from reference sites. The first data on the contents of 15 elements in Ramalina terebrata and Thamnolecania brialmontii thalli from the Maritime Antarctic are reported. Our analyses confirmed the presence of the main photosynthetic pigments in the species examined (chlorophyll a and b, phaeophytin a and b, neoxanthin, violaxanthin, lutein and β-carotene). We identified protolichesterinic acid in T. brialmontii thalli for the first time. Antioxidant activity varied from 190 μg/g dry weight (U. decussata) to 14,740 μg/g dry weight (T. brialmontii). The data obtained complement previous research while also providing new baseline data that will have utility in monitoring and identifying future change.

Biological Sciences
Copyright © Antarctic Science Ltd 2021

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