Effects of chelated iron on oogenesis and vegetative growth of kelp gametophytes (Phaeophyceae)


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Email: raymond.lewis@wheaton.edu

Communicating Editor: T. Motomura.


The supply of iron has been reported to affect gametogenesis in the gametophytes of some species of kelps (order Laminariales). Spores of the kelps Alaria marginata Postels & Ruprecht, Dictyoneurum californicum Ruprecht, Egregia menziesii (Turner) Areschoug, Laminaria setchellii Silva, and Macrocystis pyrifera (L.) C. Agardh were cultured in enriched seawater with and without added chelated iron (Fe-ethylenediaminetetraacetate) to determine the effects of iron on oogenesis. All species showed a decrease in oogenesis without added Fe-ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA). Gametophytes of E. menziesii showed predominant gametogenesis with or without supplied iron, resulting in all cells being converted to gametes so that vegetative growth did not continue. Vegetative gametophytes were obtained in the other species used. Gametophytes of M. pyrifera did not show any oogenesis without added Fe-EDTA, while those of L. setchellii, A. marginata and D. californicum were intermediate in their response, showing some gametogenesis without added Fe-EDTA. When Fe-EDTA supply was delayed by 6, 13 and 20 days with spores of M. pyrifera, the gametophytes produced fewer eggs, with a greater decrease as the delay grew longer. A range of Fe-EDTA concentrations was investigated using isolated female gametophytes of two strains of M. pyrifera and one of Macrocystis integrifolia Bory. None of these three strains produced gametes without the addition of Fe-EDTA. Gametophytes of M. integrifolia required the least amount of added Fe-EDTA to achieve gametogenesis while gametophytes of M. pyrifera required higher amounts, with the two strains showing somewhat different responses. Iron nutrition appears to be an essential factor for gametogenesis in several species of kelps.