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J Chem Ecol. 2002 Oct;28(10):2057-81.

Oligoalginate recognition and oxidative burst play a key role in natural and induced resistance of sporophytes of laminariales.

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  • 1Station Biologique, UMR 1931, CNRS-Laboratoires Goëmar, Roscoff, Brittany, France.


Forty-five species of brown algae (Phaeophyceae) were surveyed for their capacity to respond by an oxidative burst to challenges with alginate oligosaccharides. Intertidal frondose brown algae (Fucales) constitutively released high quantities of peroxide. The capacity to recognize oligoguluronates and to react with an oxidative burst was confined to alginate-rich taxa with complex thallus morphology, epitomized by the sporophytes of Laminariales. When kelp sporophytes were impaired in their capacity to perform an oxidative burst by the NAD(P)H oxidase inhibitor diphenylene iodonium, they were readily degraded by their bacterial epiflora. Thus, in these algae, the oxidative response is an essential element of natural resistance. We also report on the establishment of a well-defined experimental system for investigations on kelp immunity, with Laminaria digitata as the host and its phaeophycean endophyte, Laminariocolax tomentosoides, as the pathogen. We found that an alginate-triggered oxidative burst significantly induces resistance in Laminaria digitata against infection. From these findings we infer that oligoalginate signals are important cues in the interaction between laminarialean kelps and potential pathogens.

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