Algicidal microbes could effectively remove the harmful algae from the waters. In this study, we were concerned with the ecological influence of an algicide extracted from Streptomyces alboflavus RPS, which could completely lyse the Phaeocystis globosa cells within two days. In microcosms, 4 μg/mL of the microbial algicide could efficiently remove P. globosa cells without suppressing other aquatic organisms. Bioluminescent assays confirmed that the toxicity of microbial algicide at this concentration was negligible. Interestingly, the toxicity of P. globosa exudates was also significantly reduced after being treated with the algicide. Further experiments revealed that the microbial algicide could instantly increase the permeability of the plasma membrane and disturb the photosynthetic system, followed by the deformation of organelles, vacuolization and increasing oxidative stress. The pre-incubation of N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) verified that the rapid damages to the plasma membrane and photosynthetic system caused the algal death in the early phase, and the increasing oxidative stress killed the rest. The late accumulation and possible release of CAT also explained the decreasing toxicity of the algal culture. These results indicated that this microbial algicide has great potential in controlling the growth of P. globosa on site.
Fig. 8. The possible mechanism of how the microbial algicide produced by S. alboflavus RPS induced the lysis of P. globosa. (a)~(i) indicate
different stages in the death process. Details were described in the article.