SEASONAL VARIABILITY IN POLYUNSATURATED ALDEHYDE PRODUCTION POTENTIAL AMONG STRAINS OF SKELETONEMA MARINOI (BACILLARIOPHYCEAE)
Journal article, 2009
The cosmopolitan bloom-forming diatom Skeletonema marinoi Sarno et Zingone is known to produce toxic polyunsaturated aldehydes (PUAs) in response to cell damage that can affect a diverse suite of organisms, including grazing species and competitor plankton species. The production of PUAs in nine different S. marinoi strains isolated at three different times of the year (spring, summer, and autumn) was assessed in relation to the predominant conditions at the time of isolation from Gullmar Fjord, Skagerrak. During the initial stages of growth, PUA production potential of S. marinoi was generally the highest in summer strains, although there was a substantial variation among strains isolated at the same time. Spring strains, however, showed a strong capacity for increased PUA production potential in later stage cultures with diminishing nutrient levels, reaching amounts similar to those observed in summer strains. In contrast, PUA production potentials of summer and autumn strains did not change significantly from the original values. There is negligible grazing pressure during the spring bloom in Gullmar Fjord, but a potential for high competition for resources, such as nutrients, toward the later stages of the bloom. In contrast, grazing pressure is much greater during summer and autumn, and there may also be nutrient limitation at this time. The PUA production potentials of S. marinoi appear to reflect the ecological conditions at the time of isolation with higher production potentials in strains isolated when conditions were likely to be less beneficial for survival.