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  • 1
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    Nature Publishing Group
    In:  Nature, 382 . pp. 802-805.
    Publication Date: 2017-02-27
    Description: A fundamental issue in marine science is the identification of the factors controlling biological uptake of CO2, in high-nitrate, low-chlorophyll regions. A recent in situ iron fertilization experiment demonstrated that iron limitation is responsible for low phytoplankton stocks in the equatorial Pacific4. Here we show that flavodoxin, a biochemical marker of iron limitation, can be used to map the degree of iron stress in natural populations. Flavodoxin assays along a 900-km east-west transect in the northeastern subarctic Pacific revealed a pronounced increase in iron stress in the region west of the 135° W meridian. Addition of dissolved iron alleviated this stress. Immunostaining of single cells from the most western station showed that flavodoxin is present specifically within the chloroplasts of diatoms. Our approach provides a rapid means of defining the extent of iron stress in the ocean5 and supports the hypothesis that diatoms are iron stressed in the northeast Pacific.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
    Format: text
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2017-02-22
    Description: Oceanic fixed-nitrogen concentrations are controlled by the balance between nitrogen fixation and denitrification. A number of factors, including iron limitation, can restrict nitrogen fixation, introducing the potential for decoupling of nitrogen inputs and losses. Such decoupling could significantly affect the oceanic fixed-nitrogen inventory and consequently the biological component of ocean carbon storage and hence air–sea partitioning of carbon dioxide. However, the extent to which nutrients limit nitrogen fixation in the global ocean is uncertain. Here, we examined rates of nitrogen fixation and nutrient concentrations in the surface waters of the Atlantic Ocean along a north–south 10,000 km transect during October and November 2005. We show that rates of nitrogen fixation were markedly higher in the North Atlantic compared with the South Atlantic Ocean. Across the two basins, nitrogen fixation was positively correlated with dissolved iron and negatively correlated with dissolved phosphorus concentrations. We conclude that inter-basin differences in nitrogen fixation are controlled by iron supply rather than phosphorus availability. Analysis of the nutrient content of deep waters suggests that the fixed nitrogen enters North Atlantic Deep Water. Our study thus supports the suggestion that iron significantly influences nitrogen fixation5, and that subsequent interactions with ocean circulation patterns contribute to the decoupling of nitrogen fixation and loss.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 3
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Oxford, UK : Blackwell Publishing Ltd
    Plant, cell & environment 10 (1987), S. 0 
    ISSN: 1365-3040
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract Photon requirements for growth (φg−1) of the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum were determined under nutrient-sufficient conditions at two photon flux densities corresponding to light limited and near-saturating conditions for growth. The value of φg−1 based on assimilated carbon was light-dependent and varied from 8.8 to 14.0 mol photon mol C−1 with the minimum value at the lowest photon flux density. These results are lower than might be predicted for microalgal growth based on the Z scheme of photosynthesis. Conversion of these values for carbon fixation to estimates based on oxygen evolution is problematical due to uncertainty over the appropriate assimilatory quotient (Qa= mol O2 mol C−1). Minimum values based on oxygen evolution rates ranged from 6.2 to 7.6 mol photon mol O2−1 using a Qa of 1.41 mol O2 mol C−1 obtained by Myers (1980). These estimates are similar to our previous measurements for photosynthesis and indicate a high efficiency for light energy transforming reactions during growth. The values of (φg−1 obtained in this work indicate a number of inadequacies in our understanding of the energetics of microalgal growth and are inconsistent with our present knowledge of photosynthetic energy coupling in plant cells.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 4
    ISSN: 1365-3040
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract Nitrate limited growth of the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum in chemostat cultures produced marked changes in biochemical composition and a six-fold reduction in the specific growth rate. This was associated with a reduction in the carbon and chlorophyll a specific light saturated rates, with little effect on light limited photosynthesis. Variations in specific growth rate were quantitatively related to carbon specific net photosynthesis and maximum chlorophyll a specific light saturated rates were positively correlated with cell nitrogen contents. The correlation between nitrogen content and photosynthesis for P. tricornutum and the differential effect of nitrogen supply on the light response curve of photosynthesis is qualitatively and quantitatively similar to published results for terrestrial vascular plants. There was little change in the photon (quantum) yield of photosynthesis which was not significantly different from 0.125mol O2 mol photon-1 the theoretical upper limit based on the Z scheme, even under severe nitrate deficiency. The capacity to maintain a high photon yield under nitrate limitation is discussed in relation to the nitrogen requirements of the stromal and membrane components of the photosynthetic apparatus.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 5
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Springer
    Photosynthesis research 16 (1988), S. 291-292 
    ISSN: 1573-5079
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 6
    ISSN: 1432-1793
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract The magnitude of the package effect in five small phytoplankters [Thalassiosira sp., Clone 2601 (an unidentified eucaryote), Nannochloris atomus, Synechococcus ‘Syn’ and Synechococcus WH 7803] was assessed by comparison of the absorption spectra of intact and disrupted cells. The package effect was considerably reduced with reductions in cell size and this was broadly in agreement with theoretical predictions based on Mie theory. However, the quantitative assessment of the package effect is confounded by an inability to assign attenuation (apparent absorption) measurements at λ=750 nm to either scattering or absorption. The magnitude of the apparent absorption at λ=750 nm was greatest with the smallest picoplankton species examined, and was reduced, but not eliminated, after cell disruption. Whilst the apparent absorption at λ=750 nm is commonly thought to be due to residual scattering losses, the available evidence does not exclude the possibility that this may be due in part to absorption by cells or cell constituents and this requires further examination. Although these difficulties are particularly evident with the small picoplankton species, there is no reason to expect that they will not complicate the assessment of the package effect in larger phytoplankton cells.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 7
    ISSN: 1432-1793
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract Nannochloris atomus was maintained in exponential growth at photon flux densities (PFD) from 400 to 700 nm, ranging from 10 to 200 μmol m-2 s-1. Growth was lightsaturated at PFDs in excess of 100 μmol m-2 s-1, with a mean light-saturated growth rate at 23 °C of 1.5×10-5s-1 (1.2 d-1). The light-limited growth rates extrapolated to a compensation PFD for growth that was not significantly different from zero, although no changes in cell numbers were observed in a single culture incubated at a PFD of 1.0 μmol m-2s-1. Dark-respiration rates were independent of PFD, averaging 1.7×10-6 mol O2 mol-1 C s-1 (0.14 mol O2 mol-1 C d-1). The maximum photon (quantum) efficiency of photosynthesis was also independent of PFD, with a mean value of 0.12 mol O2 mol-1 photon. The chlorophyll a-specific light absorption cross-section ranged from 3 to 6×10-3 m2 mg-1 chl a and was lowest at low PFDs due to intracellular self-shading of pigments associated with high cell-chlorophyll a contents. The C:chl a ratio increased from 10 to 40 mg C mg-1 chl a between PFDs of 14 and 200 μmol m-2 s-1. These new observations for N. atomus are compared with our previous observations for the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum in terms of an energy budget for microalgal growth.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 8
    ISSN: 1432-1793
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract The relationship between in vivo light absorption efficiency of whole cells and in vitro absorption efficiency of algal pigments has been examined experimentally in the marine diatom Thalassiosira sp. In vitro absorption spectra were obtained for cells disrupted by either ultrasonic treatment or high-pressure shearing stress in a low-temperature (-40°C) pressure cell. A dimensionless measure of the magnitude of the package effect (Q a *), calculated from the ratio of whole-cell to disrupted-cell absorption, ranged from about 0.5 at the blue absorption peak of chlorophyll a (λ=435 nm) to 0.7 at the red chlorophyll a peak (λ=670 nm) to 1.0 at the absorption minimum (λ=600 nm). Cell diameter was found to be an inappropriate measure of size for assessing the magnitude of the package effect. Instead, the effective optical diameter for calculation of intracellular self-shading was found to be less than the cell diameter. This observation is consistent with the fact that most algal pigments are contained within chloroplasts, and that chloroplast volume is necessarily smaller than cell volume.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2017-02-20
    Description: Microbial activity is a fundamental component of oceanic nutrient cycles. Photosynthetic microbes, collectively termed phytoplankton, are responsible for the vast majority of primary production in marine waters. The availability of nutrients in the upper ocean frequently limits the activity and abundance of these organisms. Experimental data have revealed two broad regimes of phytoplankton nutrient limitation in the modern upper ocean. Nitrogen availability tends to limit productivity throughout much of the surface low-latitude ocean, where the supply of nutrients from the subsurface is relatively slow. In contrast, iron often limits productivity where subsurface nutrient supply is enhanced, including within the main oceanic upwelling regions of the Southern Ocean and the eastern equatorial Pacific. Phosphorus, vitamins and micronutrients other than iron may also (co-)limit marine phytoplankton. The spatial patterns and importance of co-limitation, however, remain unclear. Variability in the stoichiometries of nutrient supply and biological demand are key determinants of oceanic nutrient limitation. Deciphering the mechanisms that underpin this variability, and the consequences for marine microbes, will be a challenge. But such knowledge will be crucial for accurately predicting the consequences of ongoing anthropogenic perturbations to oceanic nutrient biogeochemistry.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 10
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    American Society of Plant Biologists
    In:  Plant Physiology, 114 . pp. 615-622.
    Publication Date: 2016-12-19
    Description: Flavodoxin is a small electron-transfer protein capable of replacing ferredoxin during periods of Fe deficiency. When evaluating the suitability of flavodoxin as a diagnostic indicator for Fe limitation of phytoplankton growth, we examined its expression in two marine diatoms we cultured using trace-metal-buffered medium. Thalassio-sira weissflogii and Phaeodactylum tricornutum were cultured in ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid-buffered Sargasso Sea water containing from 10 to 1000 nM added Fe. Trace-metal-buffered cultures of each diatom maintained high growth rates across the entire range of Fe additions. Similarly, declines in chlorophyll/cell and in the ratio of photosystem II variable-to-maximum fluorescence were negligible (P. tricornutum) to moderate (T. weissflogii; 54% decline in chlorophyll/cell and 22% decrease in variable-to-maximum fluorescence). Moreover, only minor variations in photosynthetic parameters were observed across the range of additions. In contrast, flavodoxin was expressed to high levels in low-Fe cultures. Despite the inverse relationship between flavodoxin expression and Fe content of the medium, its expression was seemingly independent of any of the indicators of cell physiology that were assayed. It appears that flavodoxin is expressed as an early-stage response to Fe stress and that its accumulation need not be intimately connected to limitations imposed by Fe on the growth rate of these diatoms.
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
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