Morphological and physiological impacts of salinity on colonial strains of the cyanobacteria Microcystis aeruginosa

Type Article
Date 2023-06
Language English
Author(s) Bormans MyriamORCID1, Legrand Benjamin1, Waisbord Nicolas2, Briand EnoraORCID3
Affiliation(s) 1 : UMR CNRS, 6553 ECOBIO, University of Rennes, Rennes Cedex, France
2 : UMR CNRS, 6118 Géosciences Rennes University of Rennes, Rennes Cedex, France
3 : IFREMER, PHYTOX, Laboratoire GENALG, Nantes, France
Source Microbiologyopen (2045-8827) (Wiley), 2023-06 , Vol. 12 , N. 3 , P. e1367 (10p.)
DOI 10.1002/mbo3.1367
WOS© Times Cited 1
Keyword(s) colony, cyanobacteria, mesohaline estuary, mucilage, salinity shock

In the context of global change and enhanced toxic cyanobacterial blooms, cyanobacterial transfer to estuaries is likely to increase in frequency and intensity and impact animal and human health. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the potential of their survival in estuaries. In particular, we tested if the colonial form generally observed in natural blooms enhanced the resistance to salinity shock compared to the unicellular form generally observed in isolated strains. We tested the impact of salinity on two colonial strains of Microcystis aeruginosa, producing different amounts of mucilage by combining classical batch methods with a novel microplate approach. We demonstrate that the collective organization of these pluricellular colonies improves their ability to cope with osmotic shock when compared to unicellular strains. The effect of a sudden high salinity increase (S ≥ 20) over 5 to 6 days had several impacts on the morphology of M. aeruginosa colonies. For both strains, we observed a gradual increase in colony size and a gradual decrease in intercellular spacing. For one strain, we also observed a decrease in cell diameter with an increase in mucilage extent. The pluricellular colonies formed by both strains could withstand higher salinities than unicellular strains studied previously. In particular, the strain producing more mucilage displayed a sustained autofluorescence even at S = 20, a limit that is higher than the most robust unicellular strain. These results imply survival and possible M. aeruginosa proliferation in mesohaline estuaries.

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