Chinese Journal of Oceanology and Limnology

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 869–873 | Cite as

Phaeocystis globosa Scherffel, a harmful microalga, and its production of dimethylsulfoniopropionate

Species and Species-Specific Patterns and Responses


The production of dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) and its cleavage products (DMS) are well studied in phytoplankton worldwide. However, less is known about their sources, distributions, and impacts in the coast of China. We examined the production of DMSP and DMS in Phaeocystis globosa Scherffel and other benthic macroalgae from the South China coast in relation to environmental conditions. P. globosa was a harmful marine microalgal species and its bloom took place in the eutrophic waters along the South China Sea frequently. It also produced high content of DMSP at different growth stages, with the highest concentration usually observed in the stationary period. Moreover, the production of DMSP in P. globosa was significantly affected by salinity and temperature with the highest contents associated with high salinity (e.g. 40) and low temperature (e.g. 20°C). In field benthic macroalgae, there was also a marked difference in the DMSP of various species or different samples of the same species. Chlorophyll a contents were also determined for each macroalgal species. The highest chlorophyll a (238.7 ng/g fresh weight) was recorded in Chlorophyta Ulva lactuca at Guishan Island (Zhuhai), while the lowest value (1.5 ng/g fresh weight) was found in Rhodophyta Gracilaria tenuistipitata in Zhanjiang. Further correlation analysis indicated that there was no significant relationship between the content of DMSP and chl-a in macroalgae samples (P > 0.05). All the results suggested that the production of DMSP in marine algae was not only species- and stage-related, but also greatly affected by various environmental factors.


Phaeocystis globosa DMSP DMS macroalgae South China coastal waters 


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Copyright information

© Chinese Society for Oceanology and Limnology, Science Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pingping Shen (沈萍萍)
    • 1
  • Yuzao Qi (齐雨藻)
    • 2
  • Yan Wang (王艳)
    • 2
  • Liangmin Huang (黄良民)
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Marine-Bioresources Sustainable Utilization, South China Sea Institute of OceanologyChinese Academy of SciencesGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Research Center for Harmful Algae and Aquatic EnvironmentJinan UniversityGuangzhouChina

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