Stimulatory effect of aerosil on algal growth.Can J Microbiol. 2002 Feb; 48(2):170-5.CJ
Unicellular green alga represents not only a convenient model for its biochemical and physiological studies but also a sensitive system to test the effects of various environmental factors. Algae cells of two strains, SA-3 strain (exsymbiotic from Paramecium bursaria) and Chlorella vulgaris c-27, were asynchronously cultured in the presence of 0.01% Aerosil A-300. Aerosil effects on algae were monitored at logarithmic and stationary phases of their growth by flow cytometry and microscopic counting of algal numbers. The growth patterns of algae were evaluated by their forward light scatter versus fluorescence of endogenous chlorophyll (FL3-height) signal distributions. Although aerosil itself did not cause any direct effects on algal morphology, it affected the growth patterns and the numbers of algae of both strains. Their growth patterns were remarkably altered in the late logarithmic phase cultures (6-day cultures). However, a significant increase of cell numbers was found in the stationary phase cultures (9- and 12-day cultures). While C. vulgaris c-27 demonstrated an increase of cell numbers by approximately 11% in the 9- and 12-day cultures, the amounts of SA-3 cells in the 9- and 12-days cultures were increased by 16% and 35%, respectively. Our study shows aerosil in its colloidal form stimulates proliferation of algae mainly via an acceleration of their life cycles. The stimulatory effect of silica on the growth of algae, the mechanism of which remains to be clarified, might have a practical (e.g., ecological) interest for regulation of algal expansion.