- Photosynthetic yield is affected by low pH in assays with and without Irgarol.
- Membrane damage and antioxidant activities increased in low pH added to Irgarol.
- H2O2 content and lipid peroxidation were not affected by low pH isolated.
- U.lactuca is tolerant to low pH by triggering photoprotector mechanisms.
- Protective mechanisms could not avoid the simultaneous effects of low pH and Irgarol.
Anthropogenic changes such as ocean acidification, eutrophication, and the release of hazardous chemicals affect coastal environments and aquatic organisms. We investigated the effects of seawater pH (7.4 and 8.2) isolated and in combination with Irgarol on Ulva lactuca. Stress indicators such as membrane damage, lipid peroxidation, and hydrogen peroxide content were assessed. In addition, chlorophyll fluorescence and antioxidant enzyme activities were measured. The photosynthetic yield was affected by low pH in assays with and without Irgarol. However, the combination of low pH and Irgarol promoted photoinhibition, besides the induction of non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) and changes in photosynthetic pigment contents. The induction of NPQ was directly influenced by low pH. The membrane damage was increased in low pH with and without Irgarol exposure. Total soluble protein and carbohydrate contents decreased in low pH, and in presence of Irgarol. The H2O2 content and lipid peroxidation were not affected by low pH. In contrast, Irgarol exposure strongly increased lipid peroxidation in both pHs, suggesting a possible synergistic effect. To avoid the harmful effects of high H2O2, U. lactuca increased antioxidant enzyme activities in treatments under low pH and in presence of Irgarol. Our results indicate that U. lactuca is tolerant to low pH by inducing NPQ, changing pigment contents, and increasing antioxidant defenses. In contrast, these protective mechanisms could not avoid the harmful effects of the combination with Irgarol.
Sousa G. T., Neto M. C. L., Choueri R. B. & Castro Í. B., in press. Photoprotection and antioxidative metabolism in Ulva lactuca exposed to coastal oceanic acidification scenarios in the presence of Irgarol. Aquatic Toxicology. Article (subscription required).