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Family Codiaceae
Phylum chlorophyta
Class Ulvophyceae
Order Bryopsidales

Codium intricatum Okamura

Scientific names Common names
Codium intricatum Okamura Pokpoklo (Ilk.)
  Pukpuklo (Ilk.)
  Pupu-lo (Ilk.)
  Finger algae (Engl.)

Pokpoklo is a seaweed with thallus that is generally cylindrical, 3 to 6 millimeters in diameter, and irregularly dichotomously branched, the branches being somewhat compressed at the base. It grows in large, dense, prostrate colonies at a depth of 2 to 3 meters. Most codiums are dioecious and the gametangia are borne laterally on the utricles. (1)

- Reported on rocky and sandy places in Bangui, Ilocos Norte and La Union provinces, where it is abundant from December to March.
- Also observed in the Bubon Island in Ilocos Norte.
- Also occurs in the north Indian Ocean area.

- Study yielded carotenoids constituents: α-carotene, β-carotene, siphonaxanthin and neoxanthin, together with ε-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, tataxanthin, prolycopene like compound, phytofluene like compound, and phytoene like compound. (See study below) (3)
- Yields a considerable amount of iodine, 0.13-0.16% of the dry weight. (4)


- Eaten raw after washing, usually mixed with chopped tomatoes.
- It is never cooked or blanched as it becomes soft and disintegrates from the heat. In Japan, it is preserved in salt. (5)
No folkloric medicinal use found.

Fibrinolytic Enzymes:
Buffer extracts from five species of marine green algae (Codium sp.) were examined for fibrinolytic and protease activities. The C. intricatum extract showed the highest activities in both fibrin plate method and chromogenic assay. Two fibrinolytic enzymes, CIP-I and CIP-II were purified. (2)
Carotenoids: Besides α-carotene, β-carotene, siphonaxanthin and neoxanthin, the existence of ε-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, tataxanthin, prolycopene like compound, phytofluene like compound, and phytoene like compound was confirmed as the constituents of carotenoids in Codium intricatum. (3)
Immunosuppressive: Extracts from Liagora sp., Eisenia bicyclis, Sargassum sagamianum, Amphiroa aberrans, Gracilaria verrucosa, Codium fragile, C. intricatum, and C. divaricatum showed pronounced effects on experimental murine skin rejection models suggesting the algae contain bioactive compounds with immunosuppressive activity. (6)


August 2014

IMAGE SOURCE: Photo / Codium intricatum / Macroalgae of the moment: codium intricatum costata /© Saltwaterfish
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Photo / Codium intricatum Okamura 1913: 74, pl. CXX: figs 9-13 / Kuroshima, Miyazaki "Hyuga", JAPAN. / © Shinji Takahashi / http://natural history.main.jp/Tree_of_life/Eukaryote/Plantae/Ulvophyceae/Codium_intricatum/Codium_intricatum.html / click on image to go to source page /

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Pokpoklo — Botanical description / Plant of the Philippines / Project of the Science Eduction Center, University of the Philippines, 1971
Purification and Characterization of Two Fibrinolytic Enzymes from a Marine Green Alga, Codium intricatum
Kiminori Matsubara, Hiroyuki Sumi, * Kanji Hori, Keisuke Miyazawa / DOI: 10.1016/S0305-0491(97)00303-9
Pharmaceutical Biology of Seaweeds from the Karachi Coast of Pakistan
/ Muhammad Afzal Rizvi and Mustafa Shameel / Pharmaceutical Biology 2005, Vol. 43, No. 2, pp. 97–107
Codiums: Edible around the world / Codium Compendium / Green Deane
Acetylenic Aquatic Anticancer Agents and Related Compounds / Valery M Dembitsky* Dmitri O Levitsky, Tatyana A Gloriozova and Vladimir V Poroikov / NPC—Natural Product Communications, 2006, Vol 1, No 9, pp 773-812

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.

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