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Estimating Capability of Different Phytoplankton Groups to Adapt to Contamination: Herbicides will Affect Phytoplankton Species Differently

AuthorsHuertas, I. Emma ; Rouco, Mónica; López-Rodas, Victoria ; Costas, Eduardo
KeywordsGenetic adaptation
Global change
Issue DateOct-2010
CitationNew Phytologist 188(2): 478-487 (2010)
AbstractInvestigating the differential capacity of the response of phytoplankton to human-induced environmental forcing has become a key issue to understanding further the future repercussions on the functioning of aquatic ecosystems. The initial tolerance to the widely dispersed herbicide simazine was measured in diverse phytoplankton species. An experimental ratchet system maintaining large populations of dividing cells (which ensures the occurrence of rare spontaneous mutations that confer adaptation) and a strong selection pressure (which ensures the preservation of such mutations within the population) was later applied to estimate the capability of different groups of phytoplankton to adapt to simazine. Initially, simazine doses between 0.05 and 0.15 ppm were able to inhibit 100% growth in all the species tested. However, a significant increase in simazine resistance was achieved in all derived populations during the ratchet experiment. The differential capacity for simazine adaptation was observed among the different species. The capacity of different species to adapt to simazine can be explained in relation to taxonomic group, ploidy, growth rate and habitat preference. Haploid populations of continental Chlorophyta showed the greatest capacity to adapt to simazine. By contrast, populations of Haptophyta of open ocean regions were the group least capable of adapting to the herbicide.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2010.03370.x
issn: 0028-646X
e-issn: 1469-8137
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