DAO 42:143-148 (2000)  -  doi:10.3354/dao042143

Infectious diseases in Mazzaella laminarioides (Rhodophyta): estimating the effect of infections on host reproductive potential

Sylvain Faugeron1,2, Enrique A. Martínez1, Pablo A. Sánchez1, Juan A. Correa1,*

1Departamento de Ecología, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Casilla 114-D, Santiago, Chile
2Laboratoire de Génétique et Evolution des Populations Végétales, UPRESA CNRS 8016, Université de Lille I, 59655 Villeneuve d┬╣Ascq Cedex, France
*Corresponding author. E-mail:

ABSTRACT: Very little is known about the potential effects of endophytic infections on the host in algae, especially in terms of fitness. In this study, we report a first attempt at quantifying the effects of the endophytes Endophyton ramosum (Chlorophyta) and Pleurocapsa sp. (Cyanophyta) on the reproductive potential of their host Mazzaella laminarioides (Rhodophyta). Density of reproductive structures and spore germination rates was compared between infected and non-infected fronds. It was found that differences in density of reproductive structures between infected and non-infected fronds were not significant, which suggests that the level of maturity of the host is unaltered by the endophytes. On the other hand, carpospore germination rates significantly decreased when produced by fronds infected by the cyanobacterium Pleurocapsa sp. Thus, in the general context of host fitness, we discuss the fact that only some of the components of the reproductive output of M. laminarioides are negatively affected by the endophytes.

KEY WORDS: Cyanobacteria · Endophyton ramosum · Endophyte infections · Fitness · Mazzaella laminarioides · Pleurocapsa

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