Species identification and physiological state of the black sea microalgae Skeletonema costatum in ecological monitoring systems

O.S. Alatartseva, L.V. Stelmakh, I.I. Babich

 The A.O. Kovalevsky Institute of Biology of the Southern Seas of RAS, RF, Sevastopol, Nachimov Av., 2

E-mail: lustelm@mail.ru

DOI: 10.33075/2220-5861-2023-1-89-98

UDC  582.261.1(262.5)                                                                                              


Diatoms are one of the main components of almost all marine ecosystems. In the plankton of the Black Sea, diatoms, together with dinoflagellates, form the main abundance and biomass of the total nano- and microphytoplankton. Among them, it should be noted such a massive species as Skeletonema costatum (Greville) Cleve, which for a number of decades caused “water bloom” in the coastal waters of the Black Sea in the area of the Crimean Peninsula.

The purpose of this study is to establish the species affiliation of a representative of the genus Skeletonema isolated from the plankton of the Black Sea coastal waters using light and electron microscopy methods and to assess the functional state and structural parameters of cultures of this species contained in the collection for different time intervals.

The performed work showed that all the morphological features of the flint shell of cells of the studied species, revealed using a scanning electron microscope, are characteristic only for S. costatum.

The maximum value of the growth rate (2.75 day-1) is observed in the culture isolated a month before the start of the study. The strain kept in the collection for three years had lower values of the efficiency of photosystem II and the relative rate of electron transport compared to the newly isolated one, which was the main reason for a significant decrease in its specific growth rate even under optimal environmental conditions. The cell volume in this culture was 3–4 times less than that of the new strain. The use of such a culture in ecological-physiological and toxicological studies, as well as in biotechnological complexes, is highly undesirable.

Keywords: diatoms, Skeletonema costatum, Black Sea, efficiency of the photosystem II, growth rate, electron microscopy.

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