Sometimes food fights again – New York Times

Sometimes food fights again - New York Times

Piercing through a microscope in 2016, Dania Albini looked at an algae-eating water fly. Its depth was found to be completely green, along with the small chlorella vulgaris algae that ate the teen. But in an unexpected place, they also observed the green blogs of this phytoplankton: the vegetarian brood patch.

“I was amazed to see them there,” said Dr. John H. Snyder, an aquatic ecologist at Swansea University in Wales. Albini said.

As colonization continued, algae surrounded the eggs of the smaller organism, killing fewer eggs and reducing the number of newborns, a. Research Dr. The Royal Society, led by Albini, published on Wednesday in Open Science. Because algae are still alive, researchers suspect that chlorella may be using a criminal strategy to protect itself from vegetarianism.

“You don’t expect food to attack a hunter this way,” he said. Albini said. “You expect this from a parasite, but not food. It’s expensive. ”

Phytoplankton are single-celled photosynthetic organisms that form the basis of aquatic food networks. They also include microalgae such as Chlorella vulgaris that float to the surface of ponds and lakes, and are easily fed to extensive suplankton such as Daphnia magna. To deter grazers, some microalgae make thorns, expel toxins, or grow larger than a prey can swallow.

But sometimes, chlorella enters the body of a grazer – not as food in the stomach, but into the chamber containing the offspring of suplankton. Water travels through this brood chamber, delivering oxygen and nutrients to the babies and absorbing them into some algal cells. While in this chamber, the researchers found in lab experiments that mimicked some natural conditions, the algae were alive and could multiply abundantly.

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When the algae were able to colonize a brood chamber, Suplancton produced no practical eggs. Kam Tang, a Swansea-based plankton ecologist and co-author of the study, believes that the “biological glue” produced by chlorella cells helps them to cling to each other, possibly to the brood chamber and eggs, and to smoke most of the supernatant. The next generation.

Thomas Kirbo, a marine ecologist at the University of Technology in Denmark, who did not participate in the study, was surprised by this unexpected occurrence of chlorella cells inside the reproductive chambers of vegetarians. “But no one has looked into it before,” he said.

Why is chlorella involved in this harmful infiltration? The researchers suggest that this criminal strategy could protect algae cells from feeding and reduce the supply of supernatant in the lakes in the long run.

But what remains unknown is whether the live chlorhell in the Daphnia brood chambers is actually submerged or trapped.

“There’s no reason to think this is good for algae,” said Dieter Ebert, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Basel in Switzerland who did not participate in the study. “They have no chance to go out.”

“It’s a chloroplast survival strategy,” he said. Kirboy is also skeptical. If you don’t know that the chlorella cells in the brood chambers themselves are reaping the benefits, “their interpretation can be challenged,” he said.

For example, researchers plan to conduct a long-term experiment to see if algae cells survive when Daphne dies.

“It’s very difficult to learn about a phenomenon that is out of the ordinary,” he said. Tang said, “Especially when a lot of people are against thinking.”

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