John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Response of the green alga Oophila sp., a salamander symbiont, to a PSII‐inhibitor under laboratory conditions

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In a rare example of autotroph‐vertebrate endosymbiosis, eggs of the yellow‐spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) are colonized by a green alga (Oophila sp.) that significantly enhances salamander development. Previous studies have demonstrated the potential for impacts to the salamander embryo when growth of the algae is impaired by exposure to herbicides. To further investigate this relationship, we characterized the response of the symbiotic algae (Oophila sp.) alone to the PSII inhibitor atrazine under controlled laboratory conditions. Following extraction of the alga from A. maculatum eggs and optimization of culturing conditions, four 96‐h toxicity assays were conducted. Recovery of the alga population was also assessed after a further 96 h in untreated media. Average EC50 values of 123 µg L−1 (PSII yield), 169 µg L−1 (optical density), and 299 µg L−1 (growth rate) were obtained after 96‐h exposure. Full recovery of exposed algal populations after 96 h in untreated media was observed for all endpoints, except for optical density at the greatest concentration tested (300 µg L−1). Our results show that under laboratory conditions, Oophila sp. is generally less sensitive to atrazine than standard test species. While conditions of growth in standard toxicity tests are not identical to those in the natural environment, these results provide an understanding of the tolerance of this alga to PSII inhibitors as compared to other species. Environ Toxicol Chem © 2014 SETAC

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