Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How algae 'enslavement' threatens freshwater bodies

Date:
August 12, 2010
Source:
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Summary:
How toxic, blue-green algae out-compete other organisms through a form of selfish "enslavement" -- and by so doing proliferate dangerously in freshwater bodies -- has been described by a researcher.

How toxic, blue-green algae out-compete other organisms through a form of selfish "enslavement" -- and by so doing proliferate dangerously in freshwater bodies -- has been described by a researcher at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

In general, the increasing occurrence of toxic cyanobacterial (blue-green algae) blooms in freshwater bodies is a matter of growing international concern due to their detrimental impact on drinking water quality and, in extreme cases, causing death to humans, livestock and wild animals. Thus, the new Hebrew University research can be of value to water authorities seeking ways to control this algae infiltration.

A toxic blue-green alga known as Aphanizomenon ovalisporum was first detected in Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) in 1994, and its presence has been noted each summer thereafter. The conditions promoting these toxic blooms and other toxin formations in freshwater bodies were not known.

However, now in a paper to be published online on Aug. 12 in Current Biology, Yehonatan Bar-Yosef, a Ph.D. student in Prof. Aaron Kaplan's group at the Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has suggested a novel mechanism to explain the ability of Aphanizomenon to form massive toxic blooms by overcoming competition from other microorganisms in the water.

Aphanizomenon is known to produce the toxin cylindrospermopsin (CYN). Secretion of the CYN, Bar-Yosef found, induces phosphate-limitation responses in other microorganisms in the ecosystem, even in the presence of ample phosphate in the water. The phosphate mineral is an essential nutrient for growth in many organisms.

The result is that Aphanizomenon is able to attain a relative advantage in phosphate-absorption capability, thus gaining dominance in the competition for nutrients.

The investigators have used the term "enslavement" to describe this novel interspecies interaction, mediated by CYN. This research provides an explanation for the significant rise in massive cyanobacterial bloom events worldwide during the last decade despite attempts of water management authorities to reduce the inflow of nutrients, especially phosphate, entering from watersheds.

The research on the Kinneret water was carried out close cooperation with Dr. Assaf Sukenik and Dr. Ora Hadas from the Kinneret laboratory of the Israel Institute of Limnology and Oceanography.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. "How algae 'enslavement' threatens freshwater bodies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100812122613.htm>.
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. (2010, August 12). How algae 'enslavement' threatens freshwater bodies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100812122613.htm
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. "How algae 'enslavement' threatens freshwater bodies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100812122613.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

AP (July 28, 2014) AP Investigation: As the Obama administration weans the country off dirty fuels, energy companies are ramping-up overseas coal exports at a heavy price. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins