The effect of the herbicide glufosinate (BASTA) on astaxanthin accumulation in the green alga Haematococcus pluvialis

Claude Aflalo, Wang Bing, Aliza Zarka, Sammy Boussiba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

The addition of 2.5 mM glufosinate ammonium (BASTA), a well known plant killer, to Haematococcus pluvialis culture efficiently inhibits cell growth, blocks the activity of glutamine synthetase (GS) and induces astaxanthin accumulation. Conversely, methionine-S-sulfoximine (MSX), a well known GS inhibitor, had no effect on neither these parameters. When GS activity was tested in vitro, MSX inhibited the activity at high concentrations (mM), while glufosinate was effective in the μM range. We have found that in the presence of glufosinate, ammonia is excreted from the cells. Therefore, we suggest that this process enables Haematococcus cells to escape the potentially harmful effect of glufosinate. As a consequence of the inability to assimilate nitrogen, astaxanthin is accumulated. This situation resembles the response of Haematococcus cells to nitrogen starvation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-54
Number of pages6
JournalZeitschrift fur Naturforschung - Section C Journal of Biosciences
Volume54
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1999

Keywords

  • Astaxanthin
  • BASTA
  • Glufosinate
  • Glutamine Synthetase (GS)
  • Haematococcus pluvialis
  • Methionine-S-sulfoximine (MSX)

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