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Callens M.,CNRS Biology of Aquatic Organisms and Ecosystems Laboratory
ISME Journal | Year: 2015

The symbiotic gut microbial community is generally known to have a strong impact on the fitness of its host. Nevertheless, it is less clear how the impact of symbiotic interactions on the hosts’ fitness varies according to environmental circumstances such as changes in the diet. This study aims to get a better understanding of host–microbiota interactions under different levels of food availability. We conducted experiments with the invertebrate, experimental model organism Daphnia magna and compared growth, survival and reproduction of conventionalized symbiotic Daphnia with germ-free individuals given varying quantities of food. Our experiments revealed that the relative importance of the microbiota for the hosts’ fitness varied according to dietary conditions. The presence of the microbiota had strong positive effects on Daphnia when food was sufficient or abundant, but had weaker effects under food limitation. Our results indicate that the microbiota can be a potentially important factor in determining host responses to changes in dietary conditions. Characterization of the host-associated microbiota further showed that Aeromonas sp. was the most prevalent taxon in the digestive tract of Daphnia.The ISME Journal advance online publication, 25 September 2015; doi:10.1038/ismej.2015.166. © 2015 International Society for Microbial Ecology

Ryckebosch E.,U-Systems | Muylaert K.,CNRS Biology of Aquatic Organisms and Ecosystems Laboratory | Eeckhout M.,University College Ghent | Ruyssen T.,University College Ghent | Foubert I.,U-Systems
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry | Year: 2011

The influence of short-term storage and spray- and freeze-drying of fresh microalgal paste on the stability of lipids and carotenoids of Phaeodactylum tricornutum was investigated. Furthermore, the effects of storage time (14 and 35 days) and condition (vacuum packed vs non vacuum packed, -20 °C vs 4 °C vs 20 °C) after spray- and freeze-drying were studied. Total lipid content, free fatty acid content, carotenoid content and degree of lipid oxidation were measured. No effects of spray- and freeze-drying and subsequent storage were found on total lipid content, except for short-term storage of the fresh microalgal paste, which led to pronounced lipolysis and therefore a lower total lipid content. Freeze-dried microalgae were found to be more susceptible to lipolysis upon storage than spray-dried microalgae. On the other hand, spray-dried microalgae were more susceptible to oxidation than freeze-dried microalgae, possibly due to breakdown of protecting carotenoids upon spray-drying. Hardly any effect of storage condition was observed for any of the parameters tested. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

Van den Wyngaert S.,Eawag - Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology | Van den Wyngaert S.,CNRS Biology of Aquatic Organisms and Ecosystems Laboratory | Vanholsbeeck O.,University of Zurich | Spaak P.,Eawag - Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology | And 5 more authors.
Microbial Ecology | Year: 2014

Parasite environments are heterogeneous at different levels. The first level of variability is the host itself. The second level represents the external environment for the hosts, to which parasites may be exposed during part of their life cycle. Both levels are expected to affect parasite fitness traits. We disentangle the main and interaction effects of variation in the immediate host environment, here the diatom Asterionella formosa (variables host cell volume and host condition through herbicide pre-exposure) and variation in the external environment (variables host density and acute herbicide exposure) on three fitness traits (infection success, development time and reproductive output) of a chytrid parasite. Herbicide exposure only decreased infection success in a low host density environment. This result reinforces the hypothesis that chytrid zoospores use photosynthesis-dependent chemical cues to locate its host. At high host densities, chemotaxis becomes less relevant due to increasing chance contact rates between host and parasite, thereby following the mass-action principle in epidemiology. Theoretical support for this finding is provided by an agent-based simulation model. The immediate host environment (cell volume) substantially affected parasite reproductive output and also interacted with the external herbicide exposed environment. On the contrary, changes in the immediate host environment through herbicide pre-exposure did not increase infection success, though it had subtle effects on zoospore development time and reproductive output. This study shows that both immediate host and external environment as well as their interaction have significant effects on parasite fitness. Disentangling these effects improves our understanding of the processes underlying parasite spread and disease dynamics. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Trombley S.,Uppsala University | Maugars G.,CNRS Biology of Aquatic Organisms and Ecosystems Laboratory | Kling P.,Gothenburg University | Bjornsson B.T.,Gothenburg University | Schmitz M.,Uppsala University
General and Comparative Endocrinology | Year: 2012

Leptin is a pleiotropic hormone and plays a key role in body weight regulation, energy homeostasis and lipid store utilization in mammals. In this study, we investigated the effect of feed-restriction on leptin genes (lepa1 and lepa2), leptin receptor (lepr) gene expression and plasma leptin levels in juvenile Atlantic salmon parr. Feed restriction was performed from late April to mid-June, in order to gain insight into the role of the leptin system in energy balance regulation and adiposity in juvenile salmon. A significant increase in lepa1 expression as well as higher levels of plasma leptin was found in feed-restricted fish in June compared to fully fed controls, while lepa2 gene expression decreased in both groups during the treatment period. Lepa2 was, however significantly higher in the feed-restricted group in June. Leptin receptor expression was up regulated during the period of enhanced growth and lipid deposition in the fully fed control, indicating a seasonal effect on the receptor expression in the brain. Both lepa1 and lepa2 genes very mainly expressed in the liver in juvenile salmon, while lepr was expressed in the brain but showed also considerable expression in various peripheral tissues. The study provides evidence that the leptin system is sensitive to the metabolic status of the fish as both season and restricted feeding affect lepa1 and lepa2 gene expression in the liver and brain leptin receptor expression, however, for lepa1 expression and leptin plasma level in an opposite way as that observed in the mammalian system. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

Vanderstukken M.,CNRS Biology of Aquatic Organisms and Ecosystems Laboratory | van Colen W.,CNRS Biology of Aquatic Organisms and Ecosystems Laboratory | Declerck S.A.J.,Laboratory of Aquatic Ecology and Evolutionary Biology | Declerck S.A.J.,Netherlands Institute of Ecology | Muylaert K.,CNRS Biology of Aquatic Organisms and Ecosystems Laboratory
Freshwater Biology | Year: 2011

In temperate regions, submerged macrophytes can hamper phytoplankton blooms. Such an effect could arise directly, for instance via allelopathy, or indirectly, via competition for nutrients or the positive interaction between submerged macrophytes and zooplankton grazing. However, there is some evidence that the positive interaction between submerged macrophytes and zooplankton grazing is less marked in warmer regions, where the interaction is less well studied, and that negative effects of higher water plants on phytoplankton biomass are weaker. We carried out two consecutive mesocosm experiments in Uruguay (subtropical South America) to study the effects of two common submerged macrophytes from this region (Egeria densa and Potamogeton illinoensis) on phytoplankton biomass, in the absence of zooplankton grazing. We compared phytoplankton development between different macrophyte treatments (no macrophytes, artificial macrophytes, real Egeria and real Potamogeton). We used artificial macrophytes to differentiate between physical effects (i.e. shading, sedimentation and competition with periphyton) and biological effects (i.e. nutrient competition and allelopathy). In Experiment 1, we found no evidence for physical effects of macrophytes on phytoplankton biomass, but both macrophyte species seemed to exert strong biological effects on phytoplankton biomass. Only Egeria affected phytoplankton community structure, particularly tempering the dominance of Scenedesmus. Nutrient addition assays revealed that only Egeria suppressed phytoplankton through nutrient competition. We performed a second mesocosm experiment with the same design, but applying saturating nutrient conditions as a way of excluding the effects of competition for nutrients. This experiment showed that both macrophytes were still able to suppress phytoplankton through biological mechanisms, providing evidence for allelopathic effects. Our results indicate that both common macrophytes are able to keep phytoplankton biomass low, even in the absence of zooplankton grazing. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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