Factors controlling induction of reproduction in algae—review: the text
- S. C. Agrawal
- Folia Microbiologica
Ulva is a common component of marine intertidal flora in Australia with many species frequently observed along the Queensland coastline. Three species of Ulva, U. lactuca, U. intestinalis and U. prolifera were found to naturally occur at the Bribie Island Research Centre (BIRC) in Southeast Queensland. Studies were undertaken to establish the most optimal conditions for growing Ulva in the BIRC laboratory. These tests were conducted in order to condition the algal material prior to the sporulation studies, offering more controlled material to assess treatment effects conclusively, and helping eliminate other potentially confounding environmental factors. Results showed that a stocking density of between 5-20 grams of Ulva per litre along with the addition of the soluble fertiliser Aquasol at a rate of 87 mg/L of seawater was ideal for achieving a desired doubling of growth per week. In the wild the formation of Ulva fragments occurs naturally in the ocean through wave and storm action. This breakage can trigger a survival response mechanism which stimulates the algae to form and release gametes. By chopping the tissue, this process could be artificially simulated in the laboratory and creating a simple and easy way to produce new individuals. Studies performed into inducing sporulation in Ulva through a combination of fragmentation and renewal of medium at BIRC showed that sporulation can be successfully induced in all three species of Ulva through these methods, however it was found to be to a degree that would not meet the demands of commercial production with on average a rate of only 33% achieved. While the current study did not find a method suitable for a commercial application the results presented here contribute to increasing our understanding about Ulva reproduction and set a platform for future work in to cultivating Ulva within Southeast Queensland.