AiM  Vol.6 No.5 , April 2016
Effect of Small-Scale Turbulence on the Growth and Metabolism of Microcystis aeruginosa
Abstract: Microcystis aeruginosa is a single-celled cyanobacterium, forming large colonies on the surface of freshwater ecosystems during summer, and producing a toxin (microcystin) that in high concentration can be harmful to humans and animals. These toxic effects can be governed by abiotic environmental conditions including water temperature, light, nutrient abundance, and fluid motion. We investigated the effect of small-scale turbulence on the growth and metabolism of Microcystis aeruginosa using field measurements and laboratory bioreactor investigations. The laboratory setup included two underwater speakers, generating a quasi-homogeneous turbulent flow with turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rates up to 10-6 m2/s3, comparable to field values in the lacustrine photic zone. The role of turbulence is quantified by comparing cell number, dissolved oxygen production/uptake, and inorganic carbon uptake in stagnant condition and two sets of experiments with turbulent conditions, quantified by the Taylor micro-scale Reynolds number at Reλ = 15 and Reλ = 33. The results suggest that turbulence mediates the metabolism of Microcystis aeruginosa measured by the net oxygen production, oxygen uptake, and inorganic carbon uptake. Furthermore, small-scale turbulence marginally influenced Microcystis growth rate estimated from cell population concentration (-5% and 11% for Reλ = 33 and Reλ = 15, respectively, as compared to stagnant conditions).
Cite this paper: Wilkinson, A. , Hondzo, M. and Guala, M. (2016) Effect of Small-Scale Turbulence on the Growth and Metabolism of Microcystis aeruginosa. Advances in Microbiology, 6, 351-367. doi: 10.4236/aim.2016.65034.

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