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Effects of macroalgal hosts on the growth and epiphytic behavior of five Gambierdiscus species from the greater Caribbean region

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Date Issued:
2015
Abstract:
Ciguatera fish poisoning is caused by toxins produced by dinoflagellates of the genus Gambierdiscus. This genus has recently been revised and new research on the physiology and ecology of the revised species is needed. While it has been demonstrated that Gambierdiscus spp. are predominately epiphytic, there is also evidence that they are conditional, not obligate, epiphytes and that not all algae hosts are preferred equally by Gambierdiscus populations. This experiment exposed five Caribbean species of Gambierdiscus to living conditions among 8 different species of macroalgal hosts, and their epiphytic behavior (attachment vs. non-attachment) and growth were monitored over 29 days. Additionally, the experiment was carried out under two separate nutrient conditions, ambient versus enriched Florida Keys seawater. Results demonstrate variable responses in epiphytic behavior within the Gambierdiscus genus to different macroalgal hosts, and stimulation and/or inhibition of Gambierdiscus growth by different macroalgal hosts. Attachment data indicate that Gambierdiscus populations prefer attachment to hosts that have a filamentous structure, but those species did not always support high cell abundances. Certain algal host species appear to stimulate growth of some Gambierdiscus species while others seem to inhibit the growth of other species. Control treatments (no host) reveal that some Gambierdiscus reached higher cell abundances without the presence of any host algae, suggesting inhibition by the hosts. No overall attachment preference was observed among Rhodophytes, Chlorophytes, and Phaeophytes, and no phyla stimulated growth or cell abundance more than the others. There was also no difference in attachment to hosts that were nutrient-enriched versus those that were not. The variability of growth responses and attachment behavior to different hosts by the various Gambierdiscus species in this experiment add complexity to our understanding of the epiphytic nature of Gambierdiscus and the dynamics of blooms.
Title: Effects of macroalgal hosts on the growth and epiphytic behavior of five Gambierdiscus species from the greater Caribbean region.
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Name(s): Rains, Lacey Kay
Type of Resource: text
Issuance: single unit
Date Issued: 2015
Physical Form: Thesis
Extent: 124 pgs.
Language(s): English
Abstract: Ciguatera fish poisoning is caused by toxins produced by dinoflagellates of the genus Gambierdiscus. This genus has recently been revised and new research on the physiology and ecology of the revised species is needed. While it has been demonstrated that Gambierdiscus spp. are predominately epiphytic, there is also evidence that they are conditional, not obligate, epiphytes and that not all algae hosts are preferred equally by Gambierdiscus populations. This experiment exposed five Caribbean species of Gambierdiscus to living conditions among 8 different species of macroalgal hosts, and their epiphytic behavior (attachment vs. non-attachment) and growth were monitored over 29 days. Additionally, the experiment was carried out under two separate nutrient conditions, ambient versus enriched Florida Keys seawater. Results demonstrate variable responses in epiphytic behavior within the Gambierdiscus genus to different macroalgal hosts, and stimulation and/or inhibition of Gambierdiscus growth by different macroalgal hosts. Attachment data indicate that Gambierdiscus populations prefer attachment to hosts that have a filamentous structure, but those species did not always support high cell abundances. Certain algal host species appear to stimulate growth of some Gambierdiscus species while others seem to inhibit the growth of other species. Control treatments (no host) reveal that some Gambierdiscus reached higher cell abundances without the presence of any host algae, suggesting inhibition by the hosts. No overall attachment preference was observed among Rhodophytes, Chlorophytes, and Phaeophytes, and no phyla stimulated growth or cell abundance more than the others. There was also no difference in attachment to hosts that were nutrient-enriched versus those that were not. The variability of growth responses and attachment behavior to different hosts by the various Gambierdiscus species in this experiment add complexity to our understanding of the epiphytic nature of Gambierdiscus and the dynamics of blooms.
Identifier: Rains_fgcu_1743_10144 (IID)
Note(s): Degree Awarded: Master of Science
Subject(s): ciguatera
ciguatoxin
dinoflagellates
epiphyte
Gambierdiscus
macroalgae
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fgcu/fd/Rains_fgcu_1743_10144
Use and Reproduction: All rights reserved.
Host Institution: FGCU