The effects of nitric oxide in settlement and adhesion of zoospores of the green alga Ulva.

Stephanie Thompson, Maureen Callow, James Callow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)


Previous studies have shown that elevated nitric oxide (NO) reduces adhesion in diatom, bacterial and animal cells. This article reports experiments designed to investigate whether elevated NO reduces the adhesion of zoospores of the green alga Ulva, an important fouling species. Surface-normalised values of NO were measured using the fluorescent indicator DAF-FM DA and parallel hydrodynamic measurements of adhesion strength were made. Elevated levels of NO caused by the addition of the exogenous NO donor SNAP reduced spore settlement by 20% and resulted in lower adhesion strength. Addition of the NO scavenger cPTIO abolished the effects of SNAP on adhesion. The strength of attachment and NO production by spores in response to four coatings (Silastic T2; Intersleek 700; Intersleek 900 and polyurethane) shows that reduced adhesion is correlated with an increase in NO production. It is proposed that in spores of Ulva, NO is used as an intracellular signalling molecule to detect how conducive a surface is for settlement and adhesion. The effect of NO on the adhesion of a range of organisms suggests that NO-releasing coatings could have the potential to control fouling.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-78
Number of pages12
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


  • comprehensive contact angle analysis
  • fouling-release coatings
  • xerogels
  • biofouling
  • algae
  • DAF-FM
  • spore adhesion
  • fouling release
  • SNAP
  • nitric oxide (NO)
  • surface energy
  • Ulva
  • water wettability


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