Effect of Marine Bacterial Isolates on the Growth and Morphology of Axenic Plantlets of the Green Alga Ulva linza
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The green marine macroalga, Ulva linza, adopts an “atypical” form when grown in the absence of bacteria. Twenty unique strains of periphytic bacteria, isolated from three species of Ulva, were identified by 16S rDNA sequencing. These isolates were assessed for their effect on the growth and morphological development of axenic plantlets of U. linza. Results showed that the effect of bacterial strains was strain- but not taxon-specific. Thirteen isolates returned the aberrant morphology to normal and of these, five also significantly increased growth rate. One isolate increased growth, but had no effect on morphology. Biofilms of some of these isolates stimulated the settlement of Ulva zoospores but there was no correlation between bacterial isolates that stimulated zoospore settlement and those that initiated changes in morphology and/or growth of the cultured alga.
This research was support by the Natural Environment Research Council through grant number NER/T/S/2000/00623. We thank Karen Tait for helpful advice on bacterial cell signaling.
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