Decontamination treatments to eliminate problem biota from macroalgal tank cultures of Osmundea pinnatifida, Palmaria palmata and Ulva lactuca

Philip D Kerrison, Hau Nhu Le, Gail C Twigg, Duncan R Smallman, Rory MacPhee, Fiona A B Houston, Adam D Hughes

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The effect of a range of chemical disinfectants at different concentration and exposure times was investigated on five macroalgal species and the marine gastropod Littorina spp. Palmaria palmata, Osmundea pinnatifida and Ulva lactuca are commercially valuable and are often cultivated in tanks for food or feed. Ectocarpus siliculosus and Ulva intestinalis are common epiphytes of P. palmata and O. pinnatifida cultures, whilst Littorina spp. are common herbivorous epibionts within U. lactuca culture tanks. These contaminants reduce the productivity and quality of the culture as a food. Differential tolerance to the treatments was seen between the algal species using pulse-amplitude modulation (PAM) chlorophyll a fluorescence, a few hours and a week following treatment. We identified treatments that selectively damaged the epiphyte but not the basiphyte species. Ectocarpus siliculosus had a significantly lower tolerance to 1 % sodium hypochlorite than P. palmata, and to 25 % methanol than O. pinnatifida, with a 1-5 min exposure appearing most suitable. Ulva intestinalis had a significantly lower tolerance than P. palmata and O. pinnatifida to many disinfectants: 0.1-1 % sodium hypochlorite for 10 min, 0.5 % potassium iodide for up to 10 min, and 0.25 % Kick-start (a commercial aquaculture disinfectant solution) for 1-5 min. No treatment was able to kill the gastropod snails without also damaging U. lactuca, although agitation in freshwater for an hr may cause them to detach from the basiphyte, with little to no photophysiological impact seen to U. lactuca. This experiment forms the basis for more extended commercial trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3423-3434
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Applied Phycology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016


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