|Chaquetta Felton - Protistan
Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD
Alleopathic Interactions Between Karlodinium micrum and Amoebophrya
In the Protistan Ecology lab, we work with microscopic organisms
like dinoflagellates. Dinoflagellates
are unicellular protists commonly regarded as algae. When they occur in abundant numbers, they produce algal
blooms, better known as red tides. These
red tides can cause a number of problems that can include fish kills and
decreases in the economy through tourism and the aquaculture. Recently it has been implicated that viruses, eukaryotic
parasites and bacteria are microbial controls of these red tides.
In order for us to find even better control of these red tides, we
must first understand the biology and ecology of dinoflagellates and then
the ecology of red tides that they are prone to cause.
Two of the dinoflagellates that we grow in our lab are Karlodinium
Akashiwo Sanguinea. Karlodinium
micrum is a toxic dinoflagellate that forms red tides in the
Chesapeake Bay with densities as high as 100,000 cells/mc.
Akashiwo Sanguinea is a non-toxic dinoflagellate that also
forms red tides in the Chesapeake Bay with densities at about 1,000
cells/mc. In our lab, we also
grow a host specific parasite dinoflagellate, Amoebophrya species, which
infects other free-living dinoflagellates.
During this summer, my project was to determine whether Karlodinium
micrum had an affect on the infection rates of Akashiwo Sanguinea
with Amoebophrya species. My
results concluded that Karlodinium micrum did in fact have an
affect on the infection rates of Akashiwo Sanguinea with Amoebophrya
species, causing them to decrease.
What I was not able to prove was whether the bacteria caused the
decrease or dissolved chemicals utilized in my experiment.
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