Effect of phosphorus starved cultures of Dunaliella tertiolecta on growth represented as optical density under stress of nickel ions
In the case of normal culture, phosphorus starved control culture (without nickel stress), and phosphorus-starved treated cultures, data presented in Table 1 and graphed in figure (S1, Supplementary Data) clearly showed a progressive increase in optical density with increasing culturing period in case of normal culture, phosphorus-starved control culture, and phosphorus-starved treated cultures. Our findings are consistent with those of18 who found that in phosphorus starved cultures of three algae species, Microcystic aeruginosa, Chlorella pyrenoidesa, and Cyclotella sp., the biomass, specific growth rate, and Chl-a all declined significantly.
The optical density achieved during the four periods of culturing was lower in phosphorus-depleted control cultures than in normal cultures (i.e., cultures contained phosphorus). When compared to a normal control (without nickel addition), the optical density was reduced by 9.1% after 4 days of culturing under phosphorus deprivation and by 10.0 percent after 8 days of culturing. In the case of 5 mg/L dissolved nickel, however, the obtained optical density values in phosphorus starved treatment cultures rose with the increase in culturing period during all culturing periods as compared to phosphorus-starved control (without nickel addition) cultures.
At 10 mg/L dissolved nickel and after 4 days of culturing, the optical density although less than those in case of concentration 5 mg/L, yet it was higher than control (− P) but by increasing the culturing period more than 4 days, the optical density was less than control (− P). Our results are similar to those of19 who observed that the decrease in cell division rate signaled the onset of P-deficiency. The cultures that showed no significant increase in cell number for at least three consecutive days under the experimental conditions were considered P-depleted. In addition20, observed that the growth rate of Dunaliella prava was found to be dramatically lowered when phosphorus was limited. The content of chlorophyll fractions, total soluble carbohydrates, and proteins all fell considerably as a result of phosphorus restriction.
The results concerning the effect of dissolved nickel on the growth of Dunaliella tertiolecta under conditions of phosphorus limitation show that phosphorus starved Dunaliella had lower growth as compared to the control (phosphorus-containing culture medium). These results are in agreement with those obtained by7 who reported that the optical density of Chlorella kessleri cell suspension decreased with phosphorus deficiency compared to control. Also21, found that Chlorella vulgaris cells grew 30–40% slower in phosphorus-starved cultures than in control cultures. Furthermore22, showed that diatoms were unable to thrive when phosphorus levels were insufficient. Diatom dominances were reduced to 45 and 55% in enclosures where phosphate was not provided23 observed that, under salt stress, Chlorella‘s metabolic rate was substantially lower than Dunaliella’s.
It can be concluded that when microorganisms are deprived of phosphorus, dissolved nickel uptake decreases, resulting in an increase in algal metabolism24. Also25, examined the effects of phosphorus and nitrogen starvation on the life cycle of Emiliania huxleyi (Haptophyta) and proved that various biochemical pathways’ metabolic load increased under P-starvation while it decreased under N-starvation.
Effect of phosphorus starved cultures of Dunaliella tertiolecta on chlorophylls content under stress of nickel ions
Table 2 and figure (S2, Supplementary Data) show the sequences of change in the amount of chlorophylls a and b in phosphorus-depleted cultures of Dunaliella tertiolecta in response to various dissolved nickel concentrations. The results show that total chlorophyll content rose steadily until the end of the experiment under normal conditions (a control containing phosphorus). These results are in harmony with those obtained by24. The ratio between chlorophylls “a” and “b” remained nearly constant till the end of the 12th day. At the 16th day of culturing, the ratio decreased from 2.9:1 to 2.4:1. On the contrary, the total chlorophylls under control (in the absence of nickel element) in case of phosphorus-starved cultures showed a progressive increase up to the 12th day. At the 12th day the total chlorophylls in case of phosphorus-starved cultures decreased by 10.7% compared to the normal control. At the 16th day, the total chlorophylls in case of untreated phosphorus starved culture decreased by 20.8% compared to those obtained at normal control26. Reported that the chlorophyll content of Chlorella sorokiniana was significantly reduced due to a lack of nitrogen and phosphorus in the medium.
The total chlorophyll content of Dunaliella tertiolecta in the phosphorus-starved cultures treated with 5 mg/L of dissolved nickel increased gradually until the 12th day, when the content of the total chlorophylls reached 2.11 µg/ml, i.e., higher than the phosphorus-starved control (− P) by 15.3%. At the 16th day, the total chlorophylls, although lower than those obtained at the 12th day, were still higher than the control (− P). At a concentration of 10 mg/L of dissolved nickel, slight increase in the content of total chlorophylls was recorded from the beginning to the end of the culturing period, i.e., from the 4th to the 16th day. At the other concentrations of dissolved nickel (15, 20, and 25 mg/L), a pronounced decrease in the total chlorophylls could be observed from the 4th to the 16th day of culturing compared to control (− P). Our results are going with an agreement with those obtained by27 who found that chlorophylls were inhibited maximum at higher dissolved nickel concentrations but activated at lower values. The normal ratio between chlorophylls “a” and “b” (3:1) was upset after the 8th day of culturing under concentrations 5, 10, and 15 mg/L of dissolved nickel. At 20 and 25 mg/L of dissolved nickel, this ratio was unstable from the beginning to the end of the experiment. The fact that dissolved nickel is extremely mobile and hence only absorbed to a minimal level may explain the sensitivity of the tested alga to nickel in response to phosphorus deficiency, and an increase in phosphorus concentration favors its absorption by microorganisms28. It can be concluded that when microorganisms are deprived of phosphorus, dissolved nickel uptake decreases, resulting in an increase in algal metabolism.
Effect of different concentrations of dissolved nickel on photosynthesis (O2-evolution) of phosphorus starved cells of Dunaliella tertiolecta
Data represented in Table 3 and graphed in figure (S3, Supplementary Data S3) showed that the effect of phosphorus limitation on the photosynthetic activity of Dunaliella tertiolecta in response to five different concentrations of dissolved nickel revealed that, under phosphorus limiting conditions, the amount of O2-evolution was lower than in untreated cultures (the control). The evolution of O2 after 4 days of culturing in case of phosphorus starved control decreased by 8.7% compared to normal control, while after 12 days it decreased by 30.4%. The rate of O2-evolution at different concentrations of dissolved nickel over 5 mg/L caused successive reductions in the O2-evolution of phosphorus starved cells. Application of 5 mg/L of dissolved nickel, the results cleared that the rate of O2-evolution increased under the effect of all tested concentrations till the end of the experiment. It is clear from our data that the rate of O2-evolution depended mainly on the concentration of the nickel element and the length of culturing period. The lower the rate of O2-evolution, the higher the element’s concentration, and the longer the culturing period. This coincided with the findings of7 who found that low phosphorus treatment causes Chlorella kessleri to lose its photosynthetic activity. In this regard, it was discovered that phosphorus deficiency resulted in a decrease in photosynthetic electron transport activity29 found that the O2-evolution of Chlamydomon reinhardtii declined by 75%. This decrease reflects damage of PSII and the generation of PSII QB-non reducing centers.
Also30 found that P- deficiency has been correlated with lower photosynthetic rates. In the case of the treated phosphorus-starved cultures with lower concentrations (5 mg/L) of dissolved nickel, the rate of photosynthesis increased when compared to the phosphorus-starved control, but was less than that of the normal control (without nickel treatment). On the contrary, it was found that, in the treated phosphorus-starved cultures at concentrations of 10, 15, 20 and 25 mg/L of the tested element, the rate of photosynthesis decreased from the beginning to the end of the experiment. With increasing concentration, duration of the culturing period, and kind of element, the condition of decrease in O2-evolution became more pronounced; the same results were also recorded by24. The stimulation of growth and photosynthesis in the presence of some concentrations of dissolved nickel under phosphorus-limiting conditions is observed by31 they report that in Cu2+ sensitive Scenedesmus acutus, intracellular polyphosphate plays a key role in shielding photosynthesis from Cu2+ toxicity but not in copper resistant species.
Effect of different concentrations of dissolved nickel on respiration (O2-uptake) of phosphorus starved cells of Dunaliella tertiolecta
Data obtained in Table 4 and graphed in figure (S4, Supplementary Data S4) concerning the rate of respiration of Dunaliella tertiolecta under phosphorus-limiting conditions was higher than that of untreated phosphorus-starved (control) for a short period of time only, i.e., after 4 days, at concentrations 5, 10 and 15 mg/L of dissolved nickel, After 8 days of culturing, the rate of O2– uptake increased only at 5 mg/L of dissolved nickel, while at the other concentrations it decreased gradually with increasing the concentration of the element. This finding is consistent with the findings of23, who discovered that Dunaliella cells increased their O2 absorption and evolution rates in the presence of 2 M salt NaCl in the media. In terms of oxygen uptake rate, Dunaliella cells demonstrated an increase in salt concentrations. In 1.5 M NaCl, it increased significantly by 60–80%.
Concerning the increase in respiration in P-depleted green alga species cultures5 suggested that Scenedesmus, for example, can utilize the energy stored in starch and lipids for active phosphorus uptake from lake sediments. This process is aided by an increase in phosphatase production32 and these cells’ ability to operate anaerobically33. When unicellular green algae or higher plants are exposed to P deficiency, the majority of newly fixed carbon appears to be allocated to the synthesis of non-phosphorylated storage polyglucans (i.e., starch) or sucrose, with less photosynthetic activity directed to respiratory metabolism and other biosynthesis pathways34. It can be concluded from the obtained results that, when the alga was cultivated under phosphorus deficiency and treated with varied amounts of dissolved nickel, the growth was the most sensitive characteristic, followed by photosynthesis, and then dark respiration. In the few comparative studies with several species of green algae, growth was more sensitive than the other physiological processes examined. Out of them35, reported that growth was more susceptible to phosphorus deficiency in Chlorella pyrenoidosa and Asterionella gracilis than photosynthesis and respiration (the least sensitive processes). Growth was also more sensitive than photosynthesis in Nitzschia closterium 36 . Another important fact reported by37 is that under low phosphorus conditions, Dunaliella parva accumulates lipids rather than carbohydrates. These findings imply that phosphorus stress may prevent starch and/or protein production, leading to an increase in carbon flux to lipids.
Source: Ecology - nature.com