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Göteborgs universitets publikationer

Costs and Benefits of Chemical Defence in the Red Alga Bonnemaisonia hamifera

Författare och institution:
Göran M. Nylund (Institutionen för biologi och miljövetenskap, Tjärnö marinbiologiska laboratorium); Swantje Enge (Institutionen för biologi och miljövetenskap, Tjärnö marinbiologiska laboratorium); Henrik Pavia (Institutionen för biologi och miljövetenskap, Tjärnö marinbiologiska laboratorium)
Publicerad i:
Plos One, 8 ( 4 ) s. Article Number: e61291
Artikel, refereegranskad vetenskaplig
Sammanfattning (abstract):
A number of studies have shown that the production of chemical defences is costly in terrestrial vascular plants. However, these studies do not necessarily reflect the costs of defence production in macroalgae, due to structural and functional differences between vascular plants and macroalgae. Using a specific culturing technique, we experimentally manipulated the defence production in the red alga Bonnemaisonia hamifera to examine if the defence is costly in terms of growth. Furthermore, we tested if the defence provides fitness benefits by reducing harmful bacterial colonisation of the alga. Costly defences should provide benefits to the producer in order to be maintained in natural populations, but such benefits through protection against harmful bacterial colonisation have rarely been documented in macroalgae. We found that algae with experimentally impaired defence production, but with an externally controlled epibacterial load, grew significantly better than algae with normal defence production. We also found that undefended algae exposed to a natural epibacterial load experienced a substantial reduction in growth and a 6-fold increase in cell bleaching, compared to controls. Thus, this study provides experimental evidence that chemical defence production in macroalgae is costly, but that the cost is outweighed by fitness benefits provided through protection against harmful bacterial colonisation.
Ämne (baseras på Högskoleverkets indelning av forskningsämnen):
Biologiska vetenskaper
Postens nummer:
Posten skapad:
2013-06-07 09:29

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