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Growth inhibition and toxicity of the diatom aldehyde 2-trans, 4-trans-decadienal on Thalassiosira weissflogii (Bacillariophyceae)
Casotti, R.; Mazza, S.; Brunet, C.; Vantrepotte, V.; Ianora, A.; Miralto, A. (2005). Growth inhibition and toxicity of the diatom aldehyde 2-trans, 4-trans-decadienal on Thalassiosira weissflogii (Bacillariophyceae). J. Phycol. 41: 7-20
In: Journal of Phycology. Blackwell Science: New York. ISSN 0022-3646
Peer reviewed article  

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    Growth regulators; Inhibitors; Toxicants; Thalassiosira weissflogii (Grunow) G.Fryxell & Hasle, 1977 [WoRMS]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Casotti, R., more
  • Mazza, S.
  • Brunet, C., more
  • Vantrepotte, V.
  • Ianora, A., more
  • Miralto, A., more

    A common aldehyde present in marine and freshwater diatoms, 2-trans, 4-trans-decadienal (A3), is involved in the wound-activated response of diatoms to copepod grazing. Upon breakage of the diatom cell membrane, aldehydes are enzymatically produced by the rapid conversion of precursors and strongly impact copepod reproduction by impairing egg production and hatching success, inducing teratogenic embryos modifications. In this study, A3 was assayed with the marine diatom Thalassiosira weissflogii (Grunow) Fryxell et Hasle. The aldehyde concentration necessary to reduce 50% growth rate (EC50) was 0.29 mg·L-1. Decadienal was found to inhibit T. weissflogii cell growth in a dose- and time-dependent manner, with irreversible effects after 24 h of exposure. Decadienal induced a degenerative process, through modifications of cell membrane characteristics, interference with cell cycle progression, and with cell metabolic activity, leading to cell death. A preferential action of A3 on dividing cells was observed. Photosynthetic efficiency significantly decreased upon exposure to the aldehyde, paralleled by an increase in diatoxanthin, suggesting a protective role of this xanthophyll, usually involved in photoprotection. Dying cells exhibited the morphological and biochemical features that bear close resemblance to apoptosis of mammalian cells, including cell shrinkage, chromatin condensation, and degradation of nuclear DNA to nucleosomal size fragments. These data are the first direct evidence to show aldehydes are toxic to diatoms. We suggest a possible nontoxic role of such compounds as chemical signals of unfavorable conditions within the phytoplankton communities, which may be relevant for the population dynamics of diatoms during blooms.

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