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Hypoxia and sulphide influence gamete production in Ulva sp.
Corradi, M.G.; Gorbi, G.; Zanni, C. (2006). Hypoxia and sulphide influence gamete production in Ulva sp. Aquat. Bot. 84(2): 144-150
In: Aquatic Botany. Elsevier Science: Tokyo; Oxford; New York; London; Amsterdam. ISSN 0304-3770, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Dehydration; Gametes; Hypoxia; Sulphides; Ulva Linnaeus, 1753 [WoRMS]; MED, Italy, Po R. [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Corradi, M.G.
  • Gorbi, G.
  • Zanni, C.

Abstract
    Gamete production after exposure to hypoxia or sulphide was studied in the marine macroalga Ulva sp. collected in the Sacca di Goro, Italy. Experiments were carried out on discs (12 mm diameter) of thalli cultured in artificial sea water in laboratory at 20 ± 1 °C, 152 μmol m−2 s−1, 16 h photoperiod and 30‰ salinity. Dehydration of thallus was used as inducer of gametogenesis and growth and gamete release during recovery after 10, 20, 30 or 40 min dehydration (20 ± 1 °C, 25% humidity) were analysed. Unlike non-dehydrated thalli the dehydrated ones produced gametes. Thallus discs, non-dehydrated or subjected to 30 min dehydration, were exposed to hypoxia (1.78–4.02 μmol O2 L−1) or sulphide (1 mM) for 3, 5, or 7 days at 20 °C in the dark. Non-dehydrated and dehydrated thalli maintained in normoxic conditions in the dark were the controls. Gamete density was checked by counting at the end of the incubation period and during the subsequent 7 days of recovery under 16 h photoperiod in normoxic conditions. Non-dehydrated thalli maintained in normoxic conditions in the dark released gametes when returned to light suggesting that dark constitutes a stimulus to gamete production. The presence of gametes at the end of 3 days incubation of dehydrated thalli in normoxia demonstrated that gametogenesis can occur even in the dark. However, gametes were not present at the end of incubation in hypoxic and sulphidic conditions. Actually, during hypoxic incubation oxygen consumption in D-thalli was very low, only 0.117 × 10−3 μmol O2 mg−1 h−1 compared to 5.93 × 10−3 μmol O2 mg−1 h−1 in normoxia, denoting a reduction of the metabolic rate that could not sustain gametogenesis. During recovery after incubation in normoxic, hypoxic or sulphidic conditions densities of gametes from dehydrated thalli showed significant differences and resulted after hypoxia > after normoxia > after sulphide. Differences in non-dehydrated thalli were not significant. Dehydrated thalli, still green at the end of the incubation period, underwent blanching in the course of recovery in parallel to gamete production, while non-dehydrated thalli maintained their green colour even after exposure to sulphide. Our findings suggest that macroalga Ulva sp. can survive exposure to darkness, severe hypoxia and high sulphide levels and can maintain gamete production even when the exposure to these stress conditions is joined to dehydration.

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