AME 68:251-258 (2013)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/ame01617

Cell density-dependent swimming patterns of Alexandrium fundyense early stationary phase cells

Agneta Persson1,3, Barry C. Smith2,*

1Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, G?teborg University, Box 461, 40530 G?teborg, Sweden
2National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service, Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Milford Laboratory, Milford, Connecticut 06460, USA
3Present address: Smedjebacksv?gen 13, 77190 Ludvika, Sweden
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: Different life-history stages of Alexandrium fundyense have different swimming behaviors and show different responses to water movement. Early stationary phase cells assemble in bioconvection patterns along the water surface and as stripes in the water, while cells in exponential growth do not. We studied the swimming behavior of early stationary phase A. fundyense cells, both on the individual level and on the population level. Cells assembled in spots in shallow Petri dishes, and were studied using an inverted microscope. We analyzed 53 videos of cells at different distances from the center of accumulated spots of cells with the program CellTrak for swimming behavior of individual cells. The closer the cells were to the center of spots, the faster they swam (>600 ?m s-1 in the center of spots compared to ca. 300 ?m s-1 outside) and the more often they changed direction (>1400 degrees s-1 in the center compared to <400 degrees s-1 outside). On a population level, the behavior of spots of assembled cells was studied using time-lapse photography. The spots entrained more and more cells as they grew and fused with each other; the closer the spots came to each other, the faster they moved until they fused. We suggest that chemical attraction between gametes causes the observed behavior.


KEY WORDS: Alexandrium fundyense · Swimming pattern · Stationary phase · Gamete · Cell density


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Cite this article as: Persson A, Smith BC (2013) Cell density-dependent swimming patterns of Alexandrium fundyense early stationary phase cells. Aquat Microb Ecol 68:251-258. https://doi.org/10.3354/ame01617

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