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Species-specific effects and the ecological role of Programmed cell Death in the microalgae Ankistrodesmus (Sphaeropleales, Selenastraceae)

Citation

Barreto Filho, Marcelo; Vieira, Helena H.; Morris, James J.; Bagatini, Inessa L. (2022), Species-specific effects and the ecological role of Programmed cell Death in the microalgae Ankistrodesmus (Sphaeropleales, Selenastraceae), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.9s4mw6mkf

Abstract

Reports of programmed cell death (PCD) in phytoplankton raise questions about the ecological evolutionary role of cell death in these organisms. We induced PCD by nitrogen deprivation and unregulated cell death (non-PCD) in one strain of the green microalga Ankistrodesmus densus and investigated the effects of the cell death supernatants on phylogenetically related co-occurring organisms using growth rates and maximum biomass as proxies of fitness. PCD-released materials from A. densus CCMA-UFSCar-3 significantly increased growth rates of two conspecific strains compared to healthy culture (HC) supernatants and improved the maximum biomass of all A. densus strains compared to related species. Although growth rates of non-A. densus with PCD supernatants were not statistically different from HC treatment, biomass gain was significantly reduced. Thus, the organic substances released by PCD, possibly nitrogenous compounds, could promote conspecific growth. These results support the argument that PCD may differentiate species or subtypes and increases inclusive fitness in this model unicellular chlorophyte. Further research, however, is needed to identify the responsible molecules and how they interact with cells to provide the PCD benefits.

Methods

Methods and statistical analysis are described fully in the associated main manuscript. The README.docx file provides all the instructions needed to replicate data analysis.

Usage Notes

R (v4.02) (to run the scripts) and Microsoft office (to open the data files).

Funding

National Council for Scientific and Technological Development, Award: 427777/2018-6

Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)