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      A new insight into allelopathic effects of Alexandrium minutum on photosynthesis and respiration of the diatom Chaetoceros neogracile revealed by photosynthetic-performance analysis and flow cytometry.

      Microbial Ecology

      Cell Count, Cell Respiration, drug effects, Diatoms, metabolism, Dinoflagellida, chemistry, Flow Cytometry, Marine Toxins, Photosynthesis, Time Factors

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          The allelopathic effects of Alexandrium minutum, a toxic dinoflagellate, on the diatom Chaetoceros neogracile were evaluated using unialgal cultures evaluated by flow cytometry (FCM) and photosynthetic-performance analysis. Using FCM, we demonstrated that red chlorophyll fluorescence, relative cell size (Forward scatter of blue laser light, FSC) and cell complexity (Side scatter, 90°-angle scatter of blue laser light, SSC) significantly and rapidly decreased in C. neogracile cells exposed to A. minutum. Cells of C. neogracile exposed to A. minutum had fewer active photosynthetic reaction centers and sharply decreased photosynthetic efficiency. These effects were intensified with advancing A. minutum batch culture age and cell density. The supernatant of A. minutum contained the majority of the putative allelopathic compounds, and the biological activity of these compounds remained active less than 9 h after release. This paper describes for the first time specific effects of allelochemicals produced by A. minutum on the photosynthetic apparatus of microalgal target cells. The biochemical composition of A. minutum allelopathic agents, however, remains unknown and still needs to be investigated.

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