Effects of ultraviolet radiation and temperature on the ultrastructure of zoospores of the brown macroalga Laminaria hyperborea


  • Editor
    M. Riederer

F. S. Steinhoff, Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Section Seaweed Biology, Am Handelshafen 12, 27570 Bremerhaven, Germany.
E-mail: Franciska.Steinhoff@awi.de


The interactive effects of an 8 h exposure to UV radiation and altered temperatures on the ultrastructure and germination of zoospores of the sublittoral brown alga Laminaria hyperborea (Gunn.) Foslie were investigated for the first time. Spores were exposed to four temperatures (2, 7, 12 and 17 °C) and three light regimes (PAR, PAR + UV-A, PAR + UV-A+UV-B). Freshly-released spores of L. hyperborea lack a cell wall and contain a nucleus with fine granular nucleoplasm and a nucleolus, one chloroplast, several mitochondria, dictyosomes and an endoplasmatic reticulum. Further, several kinds of so-called adhesive vesicles, lipid globuli and physodes containing UV-absorbing phlorotannins are embedded in the cytoplasm. No eye-spot is present. Physodes were found but they were rare and small. After an 8 h exposure to UV-B, the nucleoplasm had a mottled structure, chloroplasts contained plastoglobuli, the structure of the mitochondria changed from crista- to sacculus-type and germination was strongly inhibited at all temperatures. UV-A only had an impact on the ultrastructure at the highest temperature tested. The strongest effects were found at 17 °C, where germination was reduced to 35%, 32% and 9% after exposure to PAR, PAR+UV-A and PAR + UV-A + UV-B, respectively. This study indicates that UV-B radiation has strong damaging effects on the physiology and ultrastructure of zoospores of L. hyperborea. The results are important for developing scenarios for the effect of enhanced UV radiation and increasing temperatures caused by global climate changes.