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Botanica Marina

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Temporal succession of community structure and biphase ratio in a natural population of Ulva spp. (Chlorophyta) attached to Pyropia rafts in the Yellow Sea, China

Yu Du
  • Department of Cell Biology, School of Biology and Basic Medical, Soochow University, No. 199 Renai Road, Suzhou 215123, China
  • College of Aqua-life Sciences and Technology, Shanghai Ocean University, Shanghai 201306, China
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/ Yuan Ao
  • Department of Cell Biology, School of Biology and Basic Medical, Soochow University, No. 199 Renai Road, Suzhou 215123, China
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/ Yuan He
  • Department of Cell Biology, School of Biology and Basic Medical, Soochow University, No. 199 Renai Road, Suzhou 215123, China
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/ Yi Yin
  • Department of Cell Biology, School of Biology and Basic Medical, Soochow University, No. 199 Renai Road, Suzhou 215123, China
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/ Yafeng Ma
  • Department of Cell Biology, School of Biology and Basic Medical, Soochow University, No. 199 Renai Road, Suzhou 215123, China
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/ Anxiang Yuan
  • Department of Cell Biology, School of Biology and Basic Medical, Soochow University, No. 199 Renai Road, Suzhou 215123, China
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/ Songdong Shen
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Cell Biology, School of Biology and Basic Medical, Soochow University, No. 199 Renai Road, Suzhou 215123, China
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Published Online: 2019-08-21 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bot-2018-0115


Green tide algal blooms occur worldwide, especially in China’s Yellow Sea, and have caused serious damage to local ecological environments and economies. As a dominant agent of green tides, the green macroalga Ulva has caused widespread concern. In this study, phylogenetic clades were constructed among related Ulva species isolated from Pyropia rafts at six sites over 1.5 years based on internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and tufA sequences. In addition, traditional observation ploidy methods and flow cytometry methods were used to analyse continuous change in the biphase and sex ratios of Ulva species and to assess the changes in phase advantages over time. The results showed that the perennial Ulva populations on rafts mainly consisted of Ulva flexuosa and Ulva prolifera, and the biphasic dominance of the attached Ulva populations changed with the seasons: sporophytes were predominant mainly in winter and spring, and gametophytes were predominant mainly in summer and autumn. At the same time, there were some differences in gametophyte and sporophyte frequencies (mainly sporophyte biased) compared to the null model prediction of a √2:1 ratio, while the sex ratio of male and female gametophytes remained 1:1 throughout the year. Our results indicate the presence of both phases of bloom-forming species of Ulva in green tides year round, and that multiple generations coexist and grow continuously.

This article offers supplementary material which is provided at the end of the article.

Keywords: flow cytometry; generative cell size; molecular identification; the null prediction; Ulva population


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About the article

Yu Du

Yu Du is a graduate student which has been working in the lab of Professor Songdong Shen since 2016. His main research interests are species succession of green algae, the outbreak mechanism and prevention of green tide, and functional metabolism of Porphyra spp. in China.

Yuan Ao

Yuan Ao is a graduate student working in the lab of Professor Songdong Shen. His research subjects are identification of Ulva in molecular biology and genetic breeding of Pyropia vietnamensis.

Yuan He

Yuan He received a Master of Science degree from Soochow University, Jiangsu China in 2016. Since 2016, he has been studying for his doctorate in the lab of Professor Songdong Shen. He is mainly engaged in the study of molecular biology and taxonomy algae.

Songdong Shen

Songdong Shen is a phycology researcher mainly focusing on cell and molecular biology of Pyropia and of Ulva prolifera, which caused the largest green tides recently in China. He has studied reproductive diversity, growth factors, species identification and phylogeny in order to find the source and the cause.

aYu Du and Yuan Ao: These authors contributed equally to this work.

Received: 2018-12-18

Accepted: 2019-07-30

Published Online: 2019-08-21

Funding Source: National Key R & D Program of China

Award identifier / Grant number: 2016YFC1402102

Funding Source: Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions and National Natural Science Foundation of China

Award identifier / Grant number: 41276134

This work was funded by National Key R & D Program of China (2016YFC1402102), Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions and National Natural Science Foundation of China (Funder Id: http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100001809, project no. 41276134). We also thank Bohong Gu, the manager of Jiangsu Oriental Seaweed Processing Factory for providing attached Ulva spp. every once or twice a month.

Citation Information: Botanica Marina, 20180115, ISSN (Online) 1437-4323, ISSN (Print) 0006-8055, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bot-2018-0115.

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