Marine Biology

, Volume 125, Issue 2, pp 421-426

First online:

Fragile algae: axenic culture of field-collected samples of Heterosigma carterae

  • L. ConnellAffiliated withDepartment of Botany, University of Washington
  • , R. A. CattolicoAffiliated withDepartment of Oceanography, University of Washington

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Twelve cultures of the naturally wall-less, unicellular chromophyte Heterosigma carerae originating from North America and Japan were analyzed. Several of these had been recovered from blooms that were toxic to fish. Algal cultures were concentrated by centrifugation onto a Percoll pad. The cells were selectively treated with a cascade of antibiotics, including ampicillin, kanamycin, neomycin, nitrofuratoin, penicllin-G, rifampin, and streptomycin. Each isolate was treated with a specific subset of the antibiotics to attain axenicity. Doubling times of the individual isolates varied from 1.8 to 2.9 d, and were not influenced by previous antibiotic treatment. The studies were conducted from 1991–1994 at the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.