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Motility and photosynthetic responses of the green microalga Tetraselmis subcordiformis to visible and UV light levels

Abstract

To test the effects of photosynthetic active radiation (PAR, 400–700 nm) and ultraviolet radiation (UVR, 280–400 nm) on phototaxis and photosynthesis of free swimming microalgae, experiments were performed with Tetraselmis subcordiformis (Wille) Butcher under a solar simulator. In particular, we evaluated the effects of different PAR levels and radiation regimes (i.e., PAR only and PAR+UVR) on those two processes. We found that the cells preferred to move to a particular area (e.g., receiving 100 W m−2 PAR) with little photochemical suppression or inhibition of carbon fixation. Adding UV-A to high PAR decreased its swimming capacity and photosynthetic capability, and further adding UV-B led to more inhibition. The suppression of the moving capability of T. subcordiformis was reversible but the cells exposed to PAR combined with UVR needed longer time intervals to recover their motility as compared with those irradiated only with PAR. Based on the above results, we postulate that in nature, the motile capability and photosynthesis of free swimming the green microalga might be impaired by enhanced solar UVR. On the other hand, the cells can reduce the damage caused by high irradiances (and even get the optimum light level for photosynthesis) by a behavioral swimming response.

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Acknowledgements

We thank the comments and suggestions of an anonymous reviewer that helped to improve this manuscript. This study was supported by National Natural Science Foundation (No. 40930846, No. 41120164007), Program for Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team (IRT0941), China–Japan collaboration project from MOST (S2012GR0290). Shanghai Municipal Natural Science Foundation (No. 11ZR1449900) and the visiting professor program for State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science, Xiamen University (MELRS0919); E. Walter Helbling and Virginia E. Villafañe were supported by the visiting professor program (111) from the Ministry of Education. This is contribution no. xx of Estación de Fotobiología Playa Unión.

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Correspondence to Kunshan Gao.

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Ma, Z., Helbling, E.W., Li, W. et al. Motility and photosynthetic responses of the green microalga Tetraselmis subcordiformis to visible and UV light levels. J Appl Phycol 24, 1613–1621 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10811-012-9822-4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10811-012-9822-4

Keywords

  • Effective photochemical quantum yield
  • Migration
  • PAR
  • Tetraselmis subcordiformis
  • Photosynthesis
  • Phototaxis
  • UVR