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The ecology of Dunaliella salina (Chlorophyceae, Volvocales): Effect of environmental conditions on aplanospore formation

Borowitzka, M.A.ORCID: 0000-0001-6504-4563 and Huisman, J.M. (1993) The ecology of Dunaliella salina (Chlorophyceae, Volvocales): Effect of environmental conditions on aplanospore formation. Botanica Marina, 36 (3). pp. 233-244.

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The conditions leading to aplanospore formation in the green halophilic flagellate, Dunaliella salina (Dunal) Teodoresco, were studied using mixed cultures established from field collected samples. Aplanospore formation generally requires reduced salinity, (at salinities > 20% w/v NaCl aplanospores are rarely formed), nitrogen depletion and the presence of sulphate. Cool temperatures and short daylength may also promote spore formation, whereas pH and irradiance have no effect. Aplanospore formation takes place once the culture has reached stationary phase and, in such cultures, up to 36% of the total cells present can be aplanospores, although percentages of spores of less than 5% are most common. The only exceptions to this are high-phosphate cultures where aplanospore formation occurs early in the growth cycle and then ceases. However, not all cultures are competent to form aplanospores, and some mixed or unialgal cultures never formed aplanospores under conditions identical to those where aplanospore formation was observed in others. The factor(s) leading to competency are not known. Unlike free-living cells of D. salina, the aplanospores contain the ketocarotenoid, canthaxanthin.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: de Gruyter
Copyright: © 1993 Walter de Gruyter.
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