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The limit of the genetic adaptation to copper in freshwater phytoplankton

AuthorsRouco, Mónica; López-Rodas, Victoria ; Gonzalez, Raquel; Huertas, I. Emma ; García-Sánchez, María J.; Flores Moya, Antonio; Costas, Eduardo
Genetic adaptation
Ratchet protocol
Issue DateAug-2014
CitationOecologia 175(4): 1179-1188 (2014)
AbstractCopper is one of the most frequently used algaecides to control blooms of toxic cyanobacteria in water supply reservoirs. Among the negative impacts derived from the use of this substance is the increasing resistance of cyanobacteria to copper toxicity, as well as changes in the community structure of native phytoplankton. Here, we used the ratchet protocol to investigate the differential evolution and maximum adaptation capacity of selected freshwater phytoplankton species to the exposure of increasing doses of copper. Initially, a dose of 2.5 μM CuSO4·5H2O was able to completely inhibit growth in three strains of the toxic cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa, whereas growth of the chlorophyceans Dictyosphaerium chlorelloides and Desmodesmus intermedius (represented by two different strains) was completely abolished at 12 μM. A significant increase in resistance was achieved in all derived populations during the ratchet experiment. All the chlorophyceans were able to adapt to up to 270 μM of copper sulfate, but 10 μM was the highest concentration that M. aeruginosa strains were able to cope with, although one of the replicates adapted to 30 μM. The recurrent use and increasing doses of copper in water reservoirs could lead to the selection of copper-resistant mutants of both chlorophyceans and cyanobacteria. However, under high concentrations of copper, the composition of phytoplankton community could undergo a drastic change with cyanobacteria being replaced by copper-resistant chlorophyceans. This result stems from a distinct evolutionary potential of these species to adapt to this substance. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Publisher version (URL)http://doi.org/10.1007/s00442-014-2963-1
Identifiersdoi: 10.1007/s00442-014-2963-1
issn: 0029-8549
e-issn: 1432-1939
Appears in Collections:(ICMAN) Artículos
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