Navigation Links
A thirst for blood sparks toxic algal blooms
Date:6/30/2009

The blooming of toxic algae that occurs during the summer conceal a fight for life and death. Scientists at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, propose in an article published in the journal PNAS that algal blooms are created when aggressive algae kill and injure their competitors in order to absorb the nutrients they contain.

"The behaviour of the algae can be compared to that of blood-sucking insects", says Per Jonsson of the Department of Marine Ecology.

The blooming of toxic algae in the oceans and lakes is a familiar health risk and causes problems every summer, leading to increased costs for water cleaning, water consumption and the tourist industry. Scientists still do not know why algal blooms arise, and what it is that causes certain species of microalgae to multiply and form dense blooms.

New explanation

Scientists within the research platform MARICE (Marine Chemical Ecology) at the Faculty of Science, the University of Gothenburg, present a new possible explanation of why algal blooms arise in a study published in the international journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Other factors

Current theory postulates that the algae produce toxins not only in order to inhibit the growth of competing species, but also to protect themselves from predators. The strategy of inhibiting competitors, however, is difficult to explain from an evolutionary perspective. The turbulent ocean surface means, quite simply, that it is difficult for one algal species to obtain exclusive rights on the effect of a toxin that inhibits competitors. The production of the toxin must be explained by other factors.

Kills competators

Marine ecologist Per Jonsson and his colleagues suggest that the inhibition of competitors that previous research had found is only a side-effect of a considerably more aggressive behaviour: toxic algae injure or kill competing algae in order to gain access to the nutrients in their cells.

Blood-sucking

"The way the algae absorb food is similar to that of blood-sucking insects, such as mosquitoes. Our study shows that this theft of nutrients may be an important mechanism in the formation of blooms of toxic plankton", says Per Jonsson. "The results will lead to several further experimental studies, and we hope that these will eventually contribute to solving the mystery of how algal blooms arise."


'/>"/>

Contact: Krister Svahn
krister.svahn@science.gu.se
46-031-786-4912
University of Gothenburg
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Iowa student engineers develop hand-held water sanitizer for a thirsty world
2. Zoologists: Sea snakes seek out freshwater to slake thirst
3. Sex is thirst-quenching for female beetles
4. Trans fats hinder multiple steps in blood flow regulation pathways
5. Chemical in blood may explain susceptibility to bladder pain
6. Genetically corrected blood cells obtained from skin cells from Fanconi anemia patients
7. New device detects heart disease using less than one drop of blood
8. Liver disease shrunk by blood-pressure drug
9. American College of Medical Genetics affirms importance of newborn screening dried blood spots
10. New evidence of how high glucose damages blood vessels could lead to new treatments
11. Heart protein regulates blood vessel maintenance
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
A thirst for blood sparks toxic algal blooms
(Date:3/7/2017)... England , March 7, 2017 Brandwatch , ... chosen by The Prince,s Trust to uncover insights to ... across The Trust. The UK,s leading youth charity will ... social campaign results and get a better understanding of the topics ... ...
(Date:3/2/2017)... Summary This report provides all ... and its partnering interests and activities since 2010. ... The Partnering Deals and Alliance since 2010 report provides ... of the world,s leading life sciences companies. ... ensure inclusion of the most up to date deal ...
(Date:2/28/2017)... --  Acuant , a leading provider of data capture ... new and core technologies building upon the acquisition of ... desktop Acuant FRM TM facial recognition and match ... manual review of identity documents by accredited professionals. ... most accurate capture software to streamline workflows by securely ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/29/2017)... -  GeneNews Limited (TSX:GEN) ("GeneNews" or the "Company") announced ... stratification test for breast cancer, via its Virginia ... incorporates a blood-based biomarker test with a sophisticated algorithm to ... cancer.   ... BreastSentry measures the fasting plasma levels of two biomarkers ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... ... the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world's largest general scientific society and ... high-impact scholarly collection across its cross-platform reference management system. , All six ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... March 28, 2017 , ... Franz ... flagship product, AllegroGraph , has been named a ‘Champion’ by Bloor Research in ... the highest ranked product in its class, and, thanks to Gruff, it was rated ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... , ... March 28, 2017 , ... ... members of the Modular Building Institute (MBI), an international modular trade organization, were ... permanent modular category for the Pagliuca Life Lab at Harvard University. The awards ...
Breaking Biology Technology: