Marine Genomics Seminar: Interaction between host Chondrus ocellatus and two endophytes by Dr. Han-Gil Choi, Wonkwang University, Republic of Korea
Abstract: To examine the effects of two endophytic algae, Mikrosyphar zosterae (brown alga) and Ulvella ramosa (green alga), on the host Chondrus ocellatus (red alga), culture experiments were conducted. Four treatments were made: endophyte-free (Chondrus only), endophyte-M (Chondrus + Mikrosyphar), endophyte-U (Chondrus + Ulvella), and endophytes-M·U (Chondrus + Mikrosyphar + Ulvella). After 3 weeks, the relative growth rates (RGRs) of frond lengths and the number of newly formed bladelets were examined. M. zosterae formed wart-like dots on C. ocellatus fronds, whereas U. ramosa made dark spots. The RGRs of frond lengths of C. ocellatus were significantly greater in the endophyte-free and endophyte-M treatment groups than in the endophyte-U and endophytes-M·U treatment groups, indicating that the growth of host C. ocellatus was inhibited more by the green endophyte U. ramosa than the brown endophyte M. zosterae. The number of newly produced bladelets was greater in the endophyte-U and endophytes-M·U groups than in the endophyte-free and endophyte-M treatment groups. These results indicate that the two endophytes inhibit growth of the host C. ocellatus. The negative effects of U. ramosa on C. ocellatus growth were more severe than those caused by M. zosterae. Furthermore, U. ramosa destroyed the apical meristems of C. ocellatus, whereas M. zosterae did not. On the other hand, C. ocellatus showed compensatory growth in the form of lateral branch production as U. ramosa attacked its apical meristems.