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Populations of the phenotypically plastic alga Scenedesmus acutus Meyen were cultured in standard medium or in medium with filtered water from a Daphnia culture to examine the expression of ecomorphs in both water types. A rapid formation of four- and eight-celled coenobia was observed in the presence of Daphnia water, but nor in standard medium. Moreover, cell dimensions were increased in the Daphnia water containing medium. Population growth rates were comparable in both water types; however, the carrying capacity appeared significantly lower in Daphnia water. Daphnia needed to feed on digestible food to produce the colony-inducing chemicals; medium from starved animals and Daphnia fed polystyrene beads appeared inactive. Neither suspensions of homogenate of Scenedesmus and Cryptomonas nor auxins affected colony formation or growth rate in S. acutus. The colony-inducing infochemicals are probably not constituents of the algae themselves; however, modification of algal constituents in the digestive system of daphniids may be involved. [KEYWORDS: colony formation; cyclomorphosis; Daphnia; infochemicals; phenotypic plasticity; Scenedesmus acutus Unicell-colony transformation; phenotypic plasticity; daphnia; cyclomorphosis; substances; communis; quality; algae]
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)578-586
JournalJournal of Phycology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998

ID: 152347