Feeding characteristics of a golden alga (Poterioochromonas sp.) grazing on toxic cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa

Xue Zhang, Hong Ying Hu, Yu jie Men, Jia Yang, Kirsten Christoffersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Microcystis aeruginosa has quickly risen in infamy as one of the most universal and toxic bloom-forming cyanobacteria. Here we presented a species of golden alga (Poterioochromonas sp. strain ZX1), which can feed on toxic M. aeruginosa without any adverse effects from the cyanotoxins. Using flow cytometry, the ingestion and maximal digestion rates were estimated to be 0.2∼1.2 and 0.2 M. aeruginosa cells (ZX1 cell)-1 h-1, respectively. M. aeruginosa in densities below 107 cells mL-1 could be grazed down by ZX1, but no significant decrease was observed when the initial density was 3.2 × 107 cells mL-1. ZX1 grazing was a little influenced by the light intensity (0.5∼2500 lx) and initial pH of the medium (pH = 5.0∼9.5). ZX1 could not survive in continuous darkness for longer than 10 days. The pH value was adjusted to 8 by ZX1 while to 10 by M. aeruginosa. This study may shed light on understanding the ecological interactions between M. aeruginosa and mixotrophic Poterioochromonas sp. in aquatic ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2953-2960
Number of pages8
JournalWater Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Feeding
  • Light intensity
  • Microcystis aeruginosa
  • Mixotrophy
  • Poterioochromonas sp.
  • Prey density

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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