Photosynthetic responses of ‘Neosiphonia sp. epiphyte-infected’ and healthy Kappaphycus alvarezii (Rhodophyta) to irradiance, salinity and pH variations
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Understanding the physiological condition of seaweeds as influenced by biotic and abiotic stress is vital from the perspective of massive expansion and sustainability of seaweed-based industries. The photosynthetic responses ofNeosiphonia sp. epiphyte-infected (INF) and healthy (HEA) Kappaphycus alvarezii under various combinations of irradiance, salinity and pH were studied using photosynthesis-irradiance (P-E) curves. Measurements of algal photosynthetic rates, expressed in terms of amount of oxygen production per fresh weight biomass per unit time (mg O2 g−1 FW h−1), were carried out using the light-dark bottle technique. Neosiphonia-infected K. alvarezii (INF) had lower photosynthetic rates than healthy ones (HEA). Similarities (p > 0.05) in light-saturated photosynthesis rates (Pmax) and significant differences (p < 0.05) in initial slope of curve (α) between INF and HEAK. alvarezii suggest that both samples are adapted to similar light conditions and differs only on photosynthetic efficiency. Low Pmax (0.7–2.0 mg O2 g−1 FW h−1) and high initial saturation irradiances (Ek = 90–519 μmol photons m−2 s−1) of INF seaweeds resulted to their low photosynthetic efficiency (α = 0.002–0.010). Such decline in α is attributed to the epiphyte, as Neosiphonia sp. covered almost the entire surface of K. alvarezii. An increase in chlorophyll-a (35–42.1 vs. 27.7–31.5 μg g−1 FW, HEA) and phycobilin (1.96–2.39 vs. 1.16–1.58 mg g−1 FW, HEA) contents was also observed in INF samples, suggesting acclimation to low-irradiance conditions, as a result of competition for light between the epiphyte and host. Both INF and HEA K. alvarezii also exhibited broad photosynthetic tolerance to short-term changes in irradiance, with no photoinhibition at the highest irradiance of 850 μmol photons m−2 s−1. K. alvarezii had a euryhaline photosynthetic response, with optimum salinity of 35 psu. Photosynthetic rates increased with decreasing pH, revealing K. alvarezii’s ability to modify its photosynthetic affinity for acidic seawater conditions; yet, their underlying mechanism of response to pH shifts still need to be further examined.
CitationBorlongan, I. A. G., Luhan, M. R. J., Padilla, P. I. P., & Hurtado, A. Q. (2016). Photosynthetic responses of ‘Neosiphonia sp. epiphyte-infected’ and healthy Kappaphycus alvarezii (Rhodophyta) to irradiance, salinity and pH variations.
This research was funded in part by the University of the Philippines-Visayas (UPV) through the Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Research and Extension and Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center Aquaculture Department. This research was the thesis submitted by the first author in fulfilment of her degree in Master of Science in Biology at UPV.
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ArticleCS Vairappan, CS Chung, AQ Hurtado, FE Soya, GB Lhonneur & A Critchley -
Journal of Applied Phycology, 2008 - Springer VerlagHigh density commercial farming of carrageenophyte Kappaphycus alvarezii is often plagued with “ice-ice” disease and epiphyte infection, which eventually leads to reduced production and in some cases collapse of crop. Epiphyte outbreak has been occurring regularly in major carrageenophyte farms in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Tanzania. Infected materials from these countries were studied to establish baseline information on the epiphyte’s identity, density, symptoms and secondary infection on the host seaweed. The causative organism was identified as Neosiphonia apiculata (Hollenberg) Masuda et Kogame, based on its morphological features. Epiphyte density on host seaweed materials decreased in the following order: the Philippines (88.5 epi cm-2), Tanzania (69.0 epi cm-2), Indonesia (56.5 epi cm-2) and Malaysia (42.0 epi cm-2). Initial symptoms were the presence of tiny black spots, indicating the embedded tetrasporeling in seaweed cortex layer. Vegetative form emerged after 2 weeks measuring less than 0.5 mm in length with a density of less than 25.0 epi cm-2. Upon maturation, infected seaweed takes on a “hairy” appearance with “goose-bumps” like cortical swellings. The epiphyte appears as a solitary plant with multiple secondary rhizoids or as multiple epiphytes appearing from a single cortical opening. At the end of infection, the epiphytes left dark pits on the cortical swelling, and the carrageenophytes are infected by opportunistic bacteria. Bacterial enumeration of healthy and infected seaweed materials showed an increase of more than 300% in total bacterial count on infected materials dominated by Alteromonas sp., Flavobacterium sp. and Vibrio sp.
ArticleAT Critchley, D Largo, W Wee, G Bleicher L'honneur, AQ Hurtado & J Schubert -
Japanese Journal of Phycology, 2004 - Japanese Society of PhycologyThe read seaweed Kappaphycus alvarezii (Doty) Doty ex. P.C. Silva, commonly called "cottonii" in the processing industry, is used as raw material for the production of the hydrocolloid kappa carrageenan. Through biotechnological advaces, certain carrageenan-producing seaweeds have been truly "domesticated" and are now successfully farmed as marine crops in a number of suitable areas of the world. Significant and sustainable employment opportunities are generated by these activities with few environmental impacts. In mid-2001, the incidence of very heavy epiphytism of cultivated raw material of K. alvarezii (cottonii) was reported for a production centre in the Philippines. This case of epiphytism was "unusual" in that it had been present for a considerable period of time and following epiphyte growth, the seaweed crop began to rot and fall off the cultivation lines (this was not the case of the disease "ice-ice"). The outbreak of the epiphyte infestation followed successional development of an epiphyte community and resulted in a climax population of the read seaweed Polysiphonia sp. This was observed to be preceded by heavy precipitation with consequent siltation reaching the farm site. The presence of the Polysiphonia sp. gave the plants a "hairy" appearance. Where the Polysiphonia was attached, the host plant seemed to produce "galls". The end result was that the Kappaphycus material rotted, fragmented and fell off the cultivation lines. The impact of this epiphyte attack was economically, socially and ecologically serious in that the farmers became disillusioned and either moved from the islands to other cultivation sites, leaving their families behind, or returned to the environmentally damaging practices of dynamite and or cyanide reef fishing. This paper outlines the events of epiphytic settlement and subsequent decomposition of the crop plants. The impact of Kappaphycus farming in the north-east Philippines is outlined as well as steps undertaken to improve the farming practice and enable farmers to return to the sustainable activity of seaweed farming.
Occurrence of Polysiphonia epiphytes in Kappaphycus farms at Calaguas Is., Camarines Norte, Phillippines AQ Hurtado, AT Critchley, A Trespoey & GB Lhonneur -
Journal of Applied Phycology, 2006 - Springer VerlagThis paper describes the occurrence of an epiphyte infestation of Kappaphycus farms in Calaguas Is. Camarines Norte, Philippines. In particular, percentage cover of ‘goose bump’-Polysiphonia and ‘ice-ice’ disease, and some environmental parameters that influence the thallus condition of Kappaphycus alvarezii in Calaguas Is. were assessed during 3 separate visits and are discussed. Commercial cultivation of Kappaphycus at Calaguas Is. began in the early 1990s. After five years of farming, the stock was destroyed by a strong typhoon. The area was re-planted the following year and production increased annually and reached its peak in 1998–1999. However, the following year, the first occurrence of a Polysiphonia epiphyte infestation occurred concurrently with an ‘ice-ice’ disease. Consequently, annual production and the number of seaweed planters declined rapidly, and this situation persists to the present time. This paper highlights the etiological factors and their consequences. Results show that farm-site selection is critical for the success of Kappaphycus production. Characteristics of water movement and light intensity in farming areas contributed to the occurrence and detrimental effect of the phenomenon described as ‘goose bumps’: a morphological distortion of the host seaweed due to the presence of a Polysiphonia sp. epiphyte. A strong inverse correlation was observed between the occurrence of Polysiphonia and water movement: areas with low water motion registered a higher % cover (65%) of Polysiphonia than those in more exposed areas (17%). Although ‘goose bump’-Polysiphonia infestation and ‘ice-ice’ disease pose a tremendous problem to the seaweed farmers, the results of this limited assessment provide a useful baseline for future work.