Effects of prey abundance and light intensity on the mixotrophic chrysophyte Poterioochromonas malhamensis from a mesotrophic lake

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Abstract

1. Previous studies of mixotrophy in the flagellate Poterioochromonas malhamensis (Chrysophyceae) were performed on strains that had been in culture for > 30 years. This study aims to compare mixotrophy in a cultured strain with one recently isolated from a mesotrophic lake (Lacawac) in Pennsylvania, U.S.A. 2. P. malhamensis from the lake exhibited a nutritional flexibility similar to that of the culture strain, growing phototrophically but inefficiently in comparison to other nutritional modes (growth rate (μ) = 0.015 h-1). Supplementing an inorganic salts medium with 1 mM glucose resulted in a doubling of μ to 0.035 h-1 and 0.033 h-1 in the light and the dark, respectively. Addition of an algal prey, Nannochloris, to the inorganic salts medium increased growth to rates similar to those observed with glucose. Maximum growth of the lake strain, 0.095 h-1, was achieved when bacteria was supplied as food. During growth on bacteria, cellular chlorophyll a (Chl a) decreased from 140 fg cell-1 to 10 fg cell-1 over 22 h when cultured either in the light or dark. In illuminated cultures, cell-specific Chl a concentration recovered to 185 fg cell-1 after bacteria became limiting. 3. In contrast to the cultured strain, however, the lake isolate exhibited an inverse relationship between light intensity and ingestion rate. Calculated grazing rates, based upon the ingestion of fluorescently labeled bacteria, were 3.2, 5.2 and 9.4 bacteria flagellate-1 h-1, for P. malhamensis incubated in high light, low light and darkness, respectively. Phagotrophy is thus influenced by a light regime in this predominately heterotrophic mixotroph.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-455
Number of pages11
JournalFreshwater Biology
Volume42
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aquatic Science

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