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Chemically mediated interactions between Microcystis and Planktothrix: impact on their growth, morphology and metabolic profiles

Briand, Enora, Reubrecht, Sébastien, Mondeguer, Florence, Sibat, Manoëlla, Hess, Philipp, Amzil, Zouher, Bormans, Myriam
Environmental microbiology 2019 v.21 no.5 pp. 1552-1566
Microcystis aeruginosa, Planktothrix agardhii, allelochemicals, bioactive compounds, coculture, freshwater, metabolites, trichomes
Freshwater cyanobacteria are known for their ability to produce bioactive compounds, some of which have been described as allelochemicals. Using a combined approach of co‐cultures and analyses of metabolic profiles, we investigated chemically mediated interactions between two cyanobacterial strains, Microcystis aeruginosa PCC 7806 and Planktothrix agardhii PCC 7805. More precisely, we evaluated changes in growth, morphology and metabolite production and release by both interacting species. Co‐culture of Microcystis with Planktothrix resulted in a reduction of the growth of Planktothrix together with a decrease of its trichome size and alterations in the morphology of its cells. The production of intracellular compounds by Planktothrix showed a slight decrease between monoculture and co‐culture conditions. Concerning Microcystis, the number of intracellular compounds was higher under co‐culture condition than under monoculture. Overall, Microcystis produced a lower number of intracellular compounds under monoculture than Planktothrix, and a higher number of intracellular compounds than Planktothrix under co‐culture condition. Our investigation did not allow us to identify specifically the compounds causing the observed physiological and morphological changes of Planktothrix cells. However, altogether, these results suggest that co‐culture induces specific compounds as a response by Microcystis to the presence of Planktothrix. Further studies should be undertaken for identification of such potential allelochemicals.