Scientists Control the Rate of Algal Blooms in Freshwater System
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Algal blooms in freshwater systems have become one of the foremost concerns in freshwater conservation and management worldwide. Allelopathy is defined as any direct or indirect effect of organism on another through the release of chemical substances (known as allelochemicals) into the environment. Allelopathic activity in fresh water, particularly of macrophytes towards phytoplankton, has been proposed as a measure to prevent or reduce undesired algal blooms. This approach could minimise the use of expensive chemical herbicides and support an alternative, sustainable method of aquatic weed management.

Recently, researchers in the Institute of Subtropical Agriculture, Chinese Academy of Sciences (ISA) have investigated the allelopathic effects of Myriophyllum aquaticum and its exudate on two typical bloom-forming cyanobacteria, Microcystis aeruginosa and Anabaena flos-aquae under laboratory conditions.

Researchers found the growth of the cyanobacteria was strongly inhibited by live M. aquaticum while the primary addition of M. Aquaticum exudates had a significant inhibitory effect on the growth of M. aeruginosa but not A. flos-aquae. According to WANG Haiping, A postdotoreal researcher of this research,M. aquaticum has an inhibitory effect on SOD enzyme activity of A. flos-aquae, while it affected membrane lipid peroxidation in M. aeruginosa. “This study indicates the potential of M. aquaticum to mitigate cyanobacterial blooms in coexistence systems.”she said.

The study entitled “Allelopathic effects of Myriophyllum aquaticum on two cyanobacteria of Anabaena flos-aquae and Microcystis aeruginosa” has been published on Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, details could be found at https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00128-017-2034-5.

Contact: Wu Jinshui 

E-mail: jswu@isa.ac.cn 

Institute of Subtropical Agriculture, Chinese Academy of Sciences