The effects of phloroglucinol on Tegula herbivory

  • Natasha Michelle Jackson-Drouin The University of Victoria
  • Wade Johnathan VanderWal Simon Fraser University

Abstract

Primary producer’s strategies for defending themselves against herbivores has manifested in many ways. Chemical defense is one strategy that many plants have utilized to become less palatable to herbivores. The production of secondary metabolites such as tannins in terrestrial plants and phlorotannins in marine algae are hypothesized to have a deterring effect on herbivore grazing. Phloroglucinol (1,3,5 - trihydroxybenzene) is the monomer of all phlorotannins found in brown algae (Division Phaeophyceae). The monomer can be arranged in a variety of different ways for a variety of functions. Research on the function of phloroglucinol as the active deterrent of herbivory has conflicting results. To address this, two snail species from the genus Tegula were used to determine if the presence of phloroglucinol reduced herbivory. We exposed Tegula funebralis, an intertidal species and Tegula pulligo, a subtidal species to experimental seaweed plates with varying concentrations of phloroglucinol. The two Tegula species were selected as closely related representatives from different tidal heights to see if habitat played a role in phloroglucinol tolerance. We measured consumption and preference of experimental plates with different concentrations of phloroglucinol. Consumption was measured directly and preference was determined using a Y-maze. Our study shows that there is no deterring effect of phloroglucinol on either of the two Tegula species. The function of phloroglucinol may not have any implications in defense against Tegula herbivores. The production of phlorotannins in kelp species could be a general stress response without a specific stressor activating the production, and chemical defense is likely carried out by many compounds.

 

References

References

1. Harvell CD. The Quarterly Review of Biology THE ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION OF INDUCIBLE DEFENSES. Q Rev Biol Q Rev Biol Sept [Internet]. 1990 [cited 2016 Dec 15];(3):323–40. Available from: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2832369

2. Steinberg PD. Effects of quantitative and qualitative variation in phenolic compounds on feeding in three species of marine invertebrate herbivores. J Exp Mar Biof Ewi. 1988;120:221–37.

3. Hay ME, Fenical W. MARINE PLANT-HERBIVORE INTERACTIONS: The Ecology of Chemical Defense. Ann Rev Ecol Syst. 1988;19:111–45.

4. Amsler CD, Fairhead VA. Defensive and Sensory Chemical Ecology of Brown Algae. Adv Bot Res [Internet]. 2005;Volume 43(December 2005):1–91. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0065229605430013

5. Pavia H, Cervin G, Lindgren A, Åberg P. Effects of UV-B radiation and simulated herbivory on phlorotannins in the brown alga Ascophyllum nodosum. Mar Ecol Prog Ser. 1997;157:139–46.

6. Swanson AK, Druehl LD. Induction, exudation and the UV protective role of kelp phlorotannins. Aquat Bot. 2002;73(3):241–53.

7. Van Alstyne KL, Mccarthy JJ, Hustead CL, Kearns LJ.
Phlorotannin allocation among tissues of northeastern pacific kelps and rockweeds. J Phycol. 1999;35:483–92.

8. Steinberg PD, Estes J a, Winter FC. Evolutionary Consequences of Food-Chain Length in Kelp Forest Communities. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1995;92(August):8145–8.

9. Van Alstyne KL, Whitman SL, Ehlig JM. Differences in herbivore preferences, phlorotannin production, and nutritional quality between juvenile and adult tissues from marine brown algae. Mar Biol. 2001;139(1):201–10.

10. Deal MS, Hay ME, Wilson D, Fenical W. Galactolipids rather than phlorotannins as herbivore deterrents in the brown seaweed Fucus vesiculosus. Oecologia. 2003;136:107–14.

11. Toth GB, Pavia H. Lack of phlorotannin induction in the kelp Laminaria hyperborea in response to grazing by two gastropod herbivores. Mar Biol. 2002;140(2):403–9.

12. Pereira M, Tala F, Fern Andez M, Subida MD. Effects of kelp phenolic compounds on the feeding-associated mobility of the herbivore snail Tegula tridentata. 2015;

13. Anderson RJ, Velimirov B. An experimental investigation of the palatability of kelp bed algae to the sea urchin Parechinus angulosus Leske. Mar. Ecol. 1982;3(4), 357-373.

14. Hay, Mark E; Duffy, J. Emmet; Pfister CA. Chemical defense against diferent marine herbivores_ are amphipods insect equivalents.pdf. Ecology. 1987;68(6):1567–80.
Published
2018-02-09
How to Cite
JACKSON-DROUIN, Natasha Michelle; VANDERWAL, Wade Johnathan. The effects of phloroglucinol on Tegula herbivory. Simon Fraser University Science Undergraduate Research Journal, [S.l.], v. 2, feb. 2018. ISSN 2371-4344. Available at: <https://journals.sfu.ca/sfusurj/index.php/journal/article/view/38>. Date accessed: 10 apr. 2021.