Effect of selected marine and freshwater microalgae on development and survival of the mosquito Aedes aegypti

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We isolated and identified strains of marine and freshwater planktonic and benthic microalgae from the vicinity of Indian River County, Florida (≈27. 5°N, 80. 34°W), cultivated them in batch culture, and examined their allelopathic activity against mosquito larvae. Additional algal material was obtained from Syracuse University and the University of Texas-Austin Algal Culture Collection. Mosquito larvae (Aedes aegypti (L.)) from colonies maintained at the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory were challenged with the microalgae using log-growth phase and senescent-phase cultures. Appropriate controls (no algae) were used for each treatment. There were no significant differences in development time between treatments across all trials and a few significant treatment effects on development times, mortality, or mosquito size in the individual trials; however, there was a tendency for treatments with senescent microalgae to develop faster than controls with no algae. Effects consistent with algal toxicity included the two trials with Microcystis aeruginosa, where the larvae exposed to the strain-producing microcystin had significantly longer development times than the controls or those grown with the non-microcystin-producing strain, and the trial with the dinoflagellate Akashiwo sanguinea, where larvae exposed to this species had significantly higher mortality than the controls. No consistent patterns or differences between experimental and control treatments in the value of λ′, an estimate of the population finite rate of increase, were discernible from the data. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009.

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Aquatic Ecology