Folia biologica

Effects of norflurazon on green and brown hydra.

PMID 19459466


For the first time effects of norflurazon on green (Hydra viridissima Pallas, 1766) and brown hydra (Hydra oligactis Pallas, 1766) in high- and low-light conditions were investigated in order to establish the extent of damage that this substance inflicts, with special emphasis on the "bleaching effect" and the effect on hydra-algae symbiosis. Green hydra is a typical example of an endosymbiotic organism. The gastrodermal myoepithelial cells of green hydra contain endosymbiotic algae. Norflurazon is a selective translocational herbicide that induces a "bleaching effect" on newly developed chloroplasts, resulting in a decrease of photosynthetic activity and viability of the organism. In the experiment, morphological (binocular), cytological and histological (Bouin fixative, dehydration, paraplast embedding, Hämalaun-eosine staining, light microscope) and conventional transmission electron microscopy (cTEM) (glutaraldehyde, dehydration, raisin, uranyl-acetate, Pb-citrate) were used. Depending on the concentration and light conditions, norflurazon caused mortality, deformations, changes in behavior, locomotion and asexual reproduction, changes in the structure of all 3 layers in hydras, changes in the position and shape of endosymbiotic algae inside the hydra body as well as ultrastructural changes of treated hydras and endosymbiotic algae. Under low concentrations of norflurazon the effects on hydra were similar to the controls, while in the highest concentrations especially manifested were antichloroplastal and antimitochondrial effects. Norflurazon caused a great extent of damage and induced deleterious effects also upon other cellular components such as cellular membranes, ER, Golgi apparatus, ribosomes. Newly developed buds in symbiotic green hydras were not bleached. After a recovery period, the green hydra individuals that had survived re-established regular endosymbiosis with algae and recovered completely, whereas brown hydras recovered only partially.

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