N-Acyl Homoserine Lactone Derived Tetramic Acids Impair Photosynthesis in Phaeodactylum tricornutum

Frederike Stock, Michail Syrpas, Shiri Graff van Creveld, Simon Backx, Lander Blommaert, Lachlan Dow, Willem Stock, Ewout Ruysbergh, Bernard Lepetit, Benjamin Bailleul, Koen Sabbe, Norbert De Kimpe, Anne Willems, Peter G. Kroth, Assaf Vardi, Wim Vyverman, Sven Mangelinckx

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Marine bacteria contribute substantially to nutrient cycling in the oceans and can engage in close interactions with microalgae. Many microalgae harbor characteristic satellite bacteria, many of which participate in N-acyl homoserine lactone (AHL) mediated quorum sensing. In the diffusion-controlled phycosphere, AHLs can reach high local concentrations, with some of them transforming into tetramic acids, compounds with a broad bioactivity. We tested a representative AHL, N-(3-oxododecanoyl) homoserine lactone, and its tetramic acid rearrangement product on the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum. While cell growth and photosynthetic efficiency of photosystem II were barely affected by the AHL, exposure to its tetramic acid rearrangement product had a negative effect on photosynthetic efficiency and led to growth inhibition and cell death in the long term, with a minimum inhibitory concentration between 20 and 50 mu M. These results strengthen the view that AHLs may play an important role in shaping the outcome of microalgae-bacteria interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-203
Number of pages6
JournalACS Chemical Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 15 Feb 2019


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