Static allometry of unicellular green algae: scaling of cellular surface area and volume in the genus Micrasterias (Desmidiales).


:The surface area-to-volume ratio of cells is one of the key factors affecting fundamental biological processes and, thus, fitness of unicellular organisms. One of the general models for allometric increase in surface-to-volume scaling involves fractal-like elaboration of cellular surfaces. However, specific data illustrating this pattern in natural populations of the unicellular organisms have not previously been available. This study shows that unicellular green algae of the genus Micrasterias (Desmidiales) have positive allometric surface-to-volume scaling caused by changes in morphology of individual species, especially in the degree of cell lobulation. This allometric pattern was also detected within most of the cultured and natural populations analysed. Values of the allometric S:V scaling within individual populations were closely correlated to the phylogenetic structure of the clade. In addition, they were related to species-specific cellular morphology. Individual populations differed in their allometric patterns, and their position in the allometric space was strongly correlated with the degree of allometric S:V scaling. This result illustrates that allometric shape patterns are an important correlate of the capacity of individual populations to compensate for increases in their cell volumes by increasing the surface area. However, variation in allometric patterns was not associated with phylogenetic structure. This indicates that the position of the populations in the allometric space was not evolutionarily conserved and might be influenced by environmental factors.


J Evol Biol


Neustupa J




Has Abstract


2016-02-01 00:00:00












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