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Allelopathy in phytoplankton - biochemical, ecological and evolutionary aspects

Legrand, C; Rengefors, Karin LU ; Fistarol, G O and Graneli, Edna LU (2003) In Phycologia 42(4). p.406-419
Abstract
It is considered self-evident that chemical interactions are a component of competition in terrestrial systems, but they are largely unknown in aquatic systems. In this review, we propose that chemical interactions, specifically allelopathy, are an important part of phytoplankton competition. Allelopathy, as defined here, applies only to the inhibitory effects of secondary metabolites produced by one species on the growth or physiological function of another phytoplankton species. A number of approaches are used to study allelopathy, but there is no standard methodology available. One of the methods used is cross-culturing, in which the cell-free filtrate of a donor alga is added to the medium of the target species. Another is to study the... (More)
It is considered self-evident that chemical interactions are a component of competition in terrestrial systems, but they are largely unknown in aquatic systems. In this review, we propose that chemical interactions, specifically allelopathy, are an important part of phytoplankton competition. Allelopathy, as defined here, applies only to the inhibitory effects of secondary metabolites produced by one species on the growth or physiological function of another phytoplankton species. A number of approaches are used to study allelopathy, but there is no standard methodology available. One of the methods used is cross-culturing, in which the cell-free filtrate of a donor alga is added to the medium of the target species. Another is to study the effect of cell extracts of unknown constituents, isolated exudates or purified allelochemicals on the growth of other algal species. There is a clear lack of controlled field experiments because few allelochemicals have been identified. Molecular methods will be important in future to study the expression and regulation of allelochemicals. Most of the identified allelochemicals have been described for cyanobacteria but some known toxins of marine dinoflagellates and freshwater cyanobacteria also have an allelochemical effect. The mode of action of allelochemicals spans a wide range. The most common effect is to cause cell lysis, blistering, or growth inhibition. The factors that affect allelochemical production have not been studied much, although nutrient limitation, pH, and temperature appear to have an effect. The evolutionary aspects of allelopathy remain largely unknown, but we hypothesize that the producers of allelochemicals should gain a competitive advantage over other phytoplankton. Finally, we discuss the possibility of using allelochemicals to combat harmful algal blooms (HABs). Allelopathic agents are used for biological control in agriculture, e.g. green manures to control soil diseases in Australia, but they have not yet been applied in the context of HABs. We suggest that phytoplankton allelochemicals have the potential for management of HABs in localized areas. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Phycologia
volume
42
issue
4
pages
406 - 419
publisher
International Phycological Society
external identifiers
  • WOS:000185234800010
  • Scopus:0141461638
ISSN
0031-8884
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
e2735b18-34ef-4888-9d2d-075049cbf0dc (old id 136788)
date added to LUP
2007-06-28 14:22:43
date last changed
2017-01-01 08:06:43
@article{e2735b18-34ef-4888-9d2d-075049cbf0dc,
  abstract     = {It is considered self-evident that chemical interactions are a component of competition in terrestrial systems, but they are largely unknown in aquatic systems. In this review, we propose that chemical interactions, specifically allelopathy, are an important part of phytoplankton competition. Allelopathy, as defined here, applies only to the inhibitory effects of secondary metabolites produced by one species on the growth or physiological function of another phytoplankton species. A number of approaches are used to study allelopathy, but there is no standard methodology available. One of the methods used is cross-culturing, in which the cell-free filtrate of a donor alga is added to the medium of the target species. Another is to study the effect of cell extracts of unknown constituents, isolated exudates or purified allelochemicals on the growth of other algal species. There is a clear lack of controlled field experiments because few allelochemicals have been identified. Molecular methods will be important in future to study the expression and regulation of allelochemicals. Most of the identified allelochemicals have been described for cyanobacteria but some known toxins of marine dinoflagellates and freshwater cyanobacteria also have an allelochemical effect. The mode of action of allelochemicals spans a wide range. The most common effect is to cause cell lysis, blistering, or growth inhibition. The factors that affect allelochemical production have not been studied much, although nutrient limitation, pH, and temperature appear to have an effect. The evolutionary aspects of allelopathy remain largely unknown, but we hypothesize that the producers of allelochemicals should gain a competitive advantage over other phytoplankton. Finally, we discuss the possibility of using allelochemicals to combat harmful algal blooms (HABs). Allelopathic agents are used for biological control in agriculture, e.g. green manures to control soil diseases in Australia, but they have not yet been applied in the context of HABs. We suggest that phytoplankton allelochemicals have the potential for management of HABs in localized areas.},
  author       = {Legrand, C and Rengefors, Karin and Fistarol, G O and Graneli, Edna},
  issn         = {0031-8884},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {406--419},
  publisher    = {International Phycological Society},
  series       = {Phycologia},
  title        = {Allelopathy in phytoplankton - biochemical, ecological and evolutionary aspects},
  volume       = {42},
  year         = {2003},
}