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Nutrient starvation effects on the allelochemical potency of Alexandrium tamarense (Dinophyceae)
Zhu, M.; Tillmann, U. (2012). Nutrient starvation effects on the allelochemical potency of Alexandrium tamarense (Dinophyceae). Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 159(7): 1449-1459.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Zhu, M.
  • Tillmann, U.

    Batch culture experiments were performed to investigate potential effects of nutrient starvation on the allelochemical potency of the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium tamarense. Triplicate cultures with reduced nitrate (-N) or phosphate (-P) seed were compared to nutrient-replete (+N+P) cultures. Total depletion of the dissolved inorganic limiting nutrient, reduced cell quotas, changed mass ratios of C/N/P and reduced cell yield clearly indicate that treatment cultures at stationary phase were starved by either N or P, whereas growth cessation of +N+P cultures was probably due to carbon limitation and/or a direct effect of high pH. Pulsed addition of the limiting nutrient allowed -N and -P cultures to resume growth. Lytic activity of A. tamarense as quantified by a Rhodomonas bioassay was generally high (EC50 around 100 cells mL-1) and was only slightly modulated by growth phase and/or nutrient starvation. Lytic activity per cell increased with time in both +N+P and -P cultures but not -N cultures. P-starved stationary-phase cells were slightly more lytic than +N+P cultures, but this difference may be due to increased cell size and/or accumulation of extracellular compounds. In conclusion, only slight changes but no general and major increase in lytic activity in response to nutrient starvation was observed.

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