Influence of genetic background, salinity, and inoculum size on growth of the ichthyotoxic golden alga (Prymnesium parvum)

Harmful Algae
By:  and 



Salinity (5–30) effects on golden alga growth were determined at a standard laboratory temperature (22 °C) and one associated with natural blooms (13 °C). Inoculum-size effects were determined over a wide size range (100–100,000 cells ml−1). A strain widely distributed in the USA, UTEX-2797 was the primary study subject but another of limited distribution, UTEX-995 was used to evaluate growth responses in relation to genetic background. Variables examined were exponential growth rate (r), maximum cell density (max-D) and, when inoculum size was held constant (100 cells ml−1), density at onset of exponential growth (early-D). In UTEX-2797, max-D increased as salinity increased from 5 to ∼10–15 and declined thereafter regardless of temperature but r remained generally stable and only declined at salinity of 25–30. In addition, max-D correlated positively with r and early-D, the latter also being numerically highest at salinity of 15. In UTEX-995, max-D and r responded similarly to changes in salinity − they remained stable at salinity of 5–10 and 5–15, respectively, and declined at higher salinity. Also, max-D correlated with r but not early-D. Inoculum size positively and negatively influenced max-D and r, respectively, in both strains and these effects were significant even when the absolute size difference was small (100 versus 1000 cells ml−1). When cultured under similar conditions, UTEX-2797 grew faster and to much higher density than UTEX-995. In conclusion, (1) UTEX-2797’s superior growth performance may explain its relatively wide distribution in the USA, (2) the biphasic growth response of UTEX-2797 to salinity variation, with peak abundance at salinity of 10–15, generally mirrors golden alga abundance-salinity associations in US inland waters, and (3) early cell density – whether artificially manipulated or naturally attained – can influence UTEX-2797 bloom potential.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Influence of genetic background, salinity, and inoculum size on growth of the ichthyotoxic golden alga (Prymnesium parvum)
Series title Harmful Algae
DOI 10.1016/j.hal.2017.05.010
Volume 66
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Atlanta
Description 8 p.
First page 97
Last page 104
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