, Volume 7, Issue 6, pp 545-554

Occasional pathogenic bacteria promoting ice-ice disease in the carrageenan-producing red algae Kappaphycus alvarezii and Eucheuma denticulatum (Solieriaceae, Gigartinales, Rhodophyta)

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The bacterial isolates from normal and diseased branches of Kappaphycus alvarezii and Eucheuma denticulatum in the Philippines were examined for possible role in the development of the ice-ice disease. The numbers of bacteria on and in ice-iced branches were 10–100 times greater than those from normal, healthy ones. Gram-positive bacteria predominated in almost all branch sources, but with an increasing proportion of agar-lysing bacteria in branches suffering from the ice-ice disease. These agar-lysing bacteria were composed of yellow and non-pigmented, spreading colonies identified to the Cytophaga-Flavobacterium complex and the Vibrio group. Among isolates which mainly appeared on ice-iced branches, two strains, designated as P11 (Vibrio sp.) and P25 (Cytophage sp.), which showed pathogenic activity, were obtained. These strains caused early ice-ice whitening of K. alvarezii especially when subjecting branches to environmental stress, such as reduced salinity and light intensity, suggesting that these bacteria were occasionally pathogenic. This paper offers new evidence of bacterial role in the development of so-called ice-ice disease among farmed species of Kappaphycus.