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Bioactivity of Benthic and Picoplanktonic Estuarine Cyanobacteria on Growth of Photoautotrophs: Inhibition versus Stimulation

Author(s): Viviana R. Lopes | Vitor M. Vasconcelos

Journal: Marine Drugs
ISSN 1660-3397

Volume: 9;
Issue: 5;
Start page: 790;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: allelopathy (negative) | Atlantic estuarine environments | benthic | cyanobacteria | growth stimulation | picoplanktonic | Phormidium cf. chalybeum

Understanding potential biochemical interactions and effects among cyanobacteria and other organisms is one of the main keys to a better knowledge of microbial population structuring and dynamics. In this study, the effects of cyanobacteria from benthos and plankton of estuaries on other cyanobacteria and green algae growth were evaluated. To understand how the estuarine cyanobacteria might influence the dynamics of phytoplankton, experiments were carried out with the freshwater species Microcystis aeruginosa and Chlorella sp., and the marine Synechocystis salina and Nannochloropsis sp. exposed to aqueous and organic (70% methanol) crude extracts of cyanobacteria for 96 h. The most pronounced effect observed was the growth stimulation. Growth inhibition was also observed for S. salina and M. aeruginosa target-species at the highest and lowest concentrations of cyanobacterial extracts. The methanolic crude extract of Phormidium cf. chalybeum LEGE06078 was effective against S. salina growth in a concentration-dependent manner after 96 h-exposure. All of the cyanobacterial isolates showed some bioactivity on the target-species growth, i.e., inhibitory or stimulating effects. These results indicate that the analyzed cyanobacterial isolates can potentially contribute to blooms’ proliferation of other cyanobacteria and to the abnormal growth of green algae disturbing the dynamic of estuarine phytoplankton communities. Since estuaries are transitional ecosystems, the benthic and picoplanktonic estuarine cyanobacteria can change both freshwater and marine phytoplankton succession, competition and bloom formation. Furthermore, a potential biotechnological application of these isolates as a tool to control cyanobacteria and microalgae proliferation can be feasible. This work is the first on the subject of growth responses of photoautotrophs to cyanobacteria from Atlantic estuarine environments.
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