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Can diatom-derived infochemicals affect reproductive success in aquatic invertebrates?

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Gary Caldwell


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Diatoms are one of the main groups of primary producers in aquatic ecosystems and represent a vital step in the transfer of photosynthetically fixed carbon through food webs. Diatoms represent a key dietary component for many invertebrates particularly within planktonic systems. Diatoms are known to produce a wide range of biologically active metabolites which may function as allelogens, pheromones or kairomones. Among these compounds, the polyunsaturated aldehydes (PUAs) have been demonstrated to be broadly disruptive to reproductive processes in aquatic invertebrates affecting processes such as oocyte maturation, fertilisation, sperm motility, embryogenesis and larval fitness. The toxic effects of PUAs are not universal; indeed some species continue to successfully reproduce without apparent harm in the presence of PUAs. This presentation will explore the hypothesis that diatom-derived PUAs function as infochemicals regulating the reproductive success of diatom feeding invertebrates.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Caldwell GS

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Unknown

Conference Name: 11th International Congress on Invertebrate Reproduction and Development

Year of Conference: 2007

Notes: Oral presentation.