Navigation Links
How algae 'enslavement' threatens freshwater bodies described by Hebrew University researcher

Jerusalem, August 12, 2010 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. (Kaplan is the Bernice and Aaron Beare Family Professor of Environmental Plant Physiology.)

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.


Contact: Jerry Barach
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Related biology news :

1. Montana State researchers receive grant to study algae as a source of biofuel
2. Engineering algae to make fuel instead of sugar
3. Success for first outdoor, large-scale algae-to-biofuel research project in Nevada
4. Study links seabird deaths to soap-like foam produced by red-tide algae
5. Dust deposited in oceans may carry elements toxic to marine algae
6. Mighty diatoms: Global climate feedback from microscopic algae
7. Nanofarming technology harvest biofuel oils without harming algae
8. ISU researcher identifies protein that concentrates carbon dioxide in algae
9. Genes from tiny algae shed light on big role managing carbon in worlds oceans
10. Genes from tiny marine algae suggest unsuspected avenues for new research
11. Coralline algae in the Mediterranean lost their tropical element between 5 and 7 million years ago
Post Your Comments:
(Date:4/13/2016)... 13, 2016  IMPOWER physicians supporting Medicaid patients in ... new clinical standard in telehealth thanks to a new ... higi platform, IMPOWER patients can routinely track key health ... mass index, and, when they opt in, share them ... to a local retail location at no cost. By ...
(Date:3/29/2016)... , March 29, 2016 ... "Company") LegacyXChange "LEGX" and SelectaDNA/CSI Protect are pleased to ... ink used in a variety of writing instruments, ensuring ... of originally created collectibles from athletes on LegacyXChange will ... analysis of the DNA. Bill Bollander ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... OTTAWA, Ontario , PROVO ... 2016 Newborn Screening Ontario (NSO), which operates ... for molecular testing, and Tute Genomics and ... process management technology respectively, today announced the launch of ... new next-generation sequencing (NGS) testing panel. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical ... novel compounds designed to target cancer stemness pathways, ... been granted Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. ... of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. ... designed to inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital ... Sports Association to serve as their official health ... Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, athletic training ... association coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. ... Sports Association and to bring Houston Methodist quality ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university competition that asks ... systems and biotechnology, announced its winning teams at the ... York City . The teams, chosen ... MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the daylong summit. Keynote ... of architecture and design, and Suzanne Lee , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample tracking ... Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as a Field Application Specialist. ... Jocelyn Tremblay, President and COO of STACS DNA. “In further expanding our capacity as ...
Breaking Biology Technology: