Rev. biol. mar. oceanogr. 47(1): 75-86 



Dual effect of macroalgal extracts on growth of bacteria in Western Baltic Sea

Franz Goecke1, Antje Labes1, Jutta Wiese1 & Johannes F. Imhoff1

1Kieler Wirkstoff-Zentrum am GEOMAR, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Ozeanforschung, Am Kiel-Kanal 44, Kiel D-24106, Germany

E-mail: Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo.

It is assumed that the biological characteristics of the bacterial strains used in bioactivity tests have strong influences on their susceptibility against antibacterial compounds. Therefore, the selection of bacterial test strains may rush conclusions on the effect of macroalgal extracts and metabolites on bacteria. To proof this assumption, we have analysed the biological activities of crude extracts of 16 macroalgae from the coastal waters of Kiel Fjord (Germany), and tested their effect against a panel of 10 microorganisms comprising 5 standard test strains of bacteria and 5 macroalga-associated bacteria. Fourteen macroalgae (88%) displayed antibacterial activity against at least one of the test strains. Despite the high proportion of extracts exhibiting antimicrobial activity, only 3 strains of the standard set were susceptible to macroalgal extracts and the overall activities were low (less than 80% of inhibition). Most of active extracts inhibited Bacillus subtilis, while no inhibition effects were found against Erwinia amylovora, Escherichia coli, and the macroalga-associated bacteria. In contrast, all extracts produced stimulatory growth effects of at least two of the tested bacteria. While growth stimulation of standard set of bacteria was rare (22.5% of total tests) with exception of plant pathogen Erwinia amylovora and two cases of Staphylococcus lentus, it was common among bacteria associated with macroalgae (77.5%), especially Bacillus algicola, Pseudomonas marincola and both algal-pathogenic bacteria. This study demonstrates that macroalgal extracts can display different effects, i.e., inhibition or stimulation of bacterial growth depending on the origin of the test strains, which are derived from a standard panel or from the marine environment, respectively.  


Key words: Marine algae, antibacterial activities, stimulation of bacterial growth, Kiel fjord