The ice nucleation activity of extremophilic algae
Differences in the level of cold acclimation and cryoprotection estimated as ice nucleation activity in snow algae (Chlamydomonas cf. nivalis and Chloromonas nivalis), lichen symbiotic algae (Trebouxia asymmetrica, Trebouxia erici and Trebouxia glomerata), and a mesophilic strain (Chlamydomonas reinhardti) were evaluated. Ice nucleation activity was measured using the freezing droplet method. Measurements were performed using suspensions of cells of A750 (absorbance at 750 nm) ~ 1, 0.1, 0.01 and 0.001 dilutions for each strain. The algae had lower ice nucleation activity, with the exception of Chloromonas nivalis contaminated by bacteria. The supercooling points of the snow algae were higher than those of lichen photobionts. The supercooling points of both, mesophilic and snow Chlamydomonas strains were similar. The lower freezing temperatures of the lichen algae may reflect either the more extreme and more variable environmental conditions of the original localities or the different cellular structure of the strains examined.
Authors: Kvíderová, Jana, Hájek, Josef, Worland, Roger M.