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  • 1
    ISSN: 1476-4687
    Source: Nature Archives 1869 - 2009
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Medicine , Natural Sciences in General , Physics
    Notes: [Auszug] Changes in iron supply to oceanic plankton are thought to have a significant effect on concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide by altering rates of carbon sequestration, a theory known as the ‘iron hypothesis’. For this reason, it is important to understand the response of ...
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  • 2
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    In:  [Talk] In: UNSPECIFIED, 18.05, Jerusalem, Israel .
    Publication Date: 2012-02-23
    Type: Conference or Workshop Item , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 3
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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
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  • 4
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    Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography
    In:  Limnology and Oceanography, 53 . pp. 1722-1733.
    Publication Date: 2017-05-02
    Description: Identification of the proximal nutrient limiting primary production is a necessary first step toward evaluating the physiological state of phytoplankton communities and the biogeochemical constraints on the current oceanic carbon cycle. We conducted 48-h nutrient addition bioassay experiments to evaluate nitrogen, phosphorus, and iron limitation of primary productivity, net chlorophyll synthesis, and net increase in cell numbers of the dominant picophytoplankton from the tropical North Atlantic. Our results indicate that N was the proximal limiting factor for primary production during the autumn of 2002, followed by P and then Fe. Net chlorophyll synthesis was significantly stimulated by addition of N alone and further stimulated by addition of P. Analysis of picophytoplankton populations by analytical flow cytometry revealed a more complex response. Cellular red fluorescence, an index of cell chlorophyll content, increased in Prochlorococcus, Synechococcus, and picoeukaryotes in response to addition of NH4NO3 but was not affected by single or combined additions of P and Fe. In contrast, cell abundance in these picophytoplankton populations increased only after combined N and P (63% of comparisons) or N and Fe (21% of comparisons) additions. Thus, our experiments revealed that chlorophyll synthesis and primary production were limited by the availability of nitrogen alone, while net increase in cell abundance was colimited by N and P or N and Fe in the majority of these picophytoplankton populations.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 5
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    Inter Research
    In:  Marine Ecology Progress Series, 38 . pp. 137-149.
    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: Time-course measurements of 15N tracer kinetics in particulate organic and in N+4 pools from tropical and temperate regions were used to test several compartmental models describing the exchange of I5N tracer in microplankton communities. Several lines of evidence suggested the involvement of a third, dissolved pool, arbitrarily labelled dissolved organic nitrogen (DON). Although the kinetic patterns of tracer movement were different between the tropical statlons and the temperate one, the same 3-compartmental model in which PON and DON can exchange material only through the intermediate of NH: gave the best fit. Only the transfer coefficients were modified. Results show that compartmental analysis is useful for the estimation of compartmental transfer rates and for testing the assumptions implicit in any given model.
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2018-08-14
    Description: Nutrient addition bioassay experiments were performed in the low-nutrient, low-chlorophyll oligotrophic subtropical North Atlantic Ocean to investigate the influence of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and/or iron (Fe) on phytoplankton physiology and the limitation of primary productivity or picophytoplankton biomass. Additions of N alone resulted in 1.5-2 fold increases in primary productivity and chlorophyll after 48 h, with larger (~threefold) increases observed for the addition of P in combination with N (NP). Measurements of cellular chlorophyll contents permitted evaluation of the physiological response of the photosynthetic apparatus to N and P additions in three picophytoplankton groups. In both Prochlorococcus and the picoeukaryotes, cellular chlorophyll increased by similar amounts in N and NP treatments relative to all other treatments, suggesting that pigment synthesis was N limited. In contrast, the increase of cellular chlorophyll was greater in NP than in N treatments in Synechococcus, suggestive of NP co-limitation. Relative increases in cellular nucleic acid were also only observed in Synechococcus for NP treatments, indicating co-limitation of net nucleic acid synthesis. A lack of response to relief of nutrient stress for the efficiency of photosystem II photochemistry, Fv :Fm, suggests that the low nutrient supply to this region resulted in a condition of balanced nutrient limited growth, rather than starvation. N thus appears to be the proximal (i.e. direct physiological) limiting nutrient in the oligotrophic sub-tropical North Atlantic. In addition, some major picophytoplankton groups, as well as overall autotrophic community biomass, appears to be co-limited by N and P.
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2017-03-06
    Description: Diatoms are photosynthetic secondary endosymbionts found throughout marine and freshwater environments, and are believed to be responsible for around one-fifth of the primary productivity on Earth1, 2. The genome sequence of the marine centric diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana was recently reported, revealing a wealth of information about diatom biology3, 4, 5. Here we report the complete genome sequence of the pennate diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum and compare it with that of T. pseudonana to clarify evolutionary origins, functional significance and ubiquity of these features throughout diatoms. In spite of the fact that the pennate and centric lineages have only been diverging for 90 million years, their genome structures are dramatically different and a substantial fraction of genes (approx40%) are not shared by these representatives of the two lineages. Analysis of molecular divergence compared with yeasts and metazoans reveals rapid rates of gene diversification in diatoms. Contributing factors include selective gene family expansions, differential losses and gains of genes and introns, and differential mobilization of transposable elements. Most significantly, we document the presence of hundreds of genes from bacteria. More than 300 of these gene transfers are found in both diatoms, attesting to their ancient origins, and many are likely to provide novel possibilities for metabolite management and for perception of environmental signals. These findings go a long way towards explaining the incredible diversity and success of the diatoms in contemporary oceans.
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  • 8
    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.
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2018-09-12
    Description: We examined the diel variation in nitrogen and carbon metabolism in Crocosphaera watsonii WH8501 at the physiological and gene expression level in order to determine the temporal constraints for N2 fixation and photosynthesis. N2 fixation and photosynthesis were restricted to the dark and light periods, respectively, during a 24 h light–dark cycle. All genes studied here except one (psbA2) showed diel variations in their expression levels. The highest variation was seen in nifH and nifX relative transcript abundance with a factor of 3–5 × 103 between light and dark periods. Photosynthesis genes showed less variation with a maximum factor of about 500 and always had high relative transcript abundances relative to other genes. At the protein level, the photosystems appeared more stable than the nitrogenase complex over a 24 h light–dark cycle, suggesting that C. watsonii retains the ability to photosynthesize during the dark period of the diel cycle. In contrast, nitrogenase is synthesized daily and exhibits peak abundance during the dark period. Our results have implications for field studies with respect to the interpretation of environmental gene expression data.
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2017-11-24
    Description: Phytoplankton processes in subantarctic (SA) waters southeast of New Zealand were studied during austral autumn and spring 1997. Chlorophyll a (0.2–0.3 μg L−1) and primary production (350–650 mg C m−2 d−1) were dominated by cells 〈2 μm (cyanobacteria) in both seasons. The photochemical efficiency of photosystem II (Fυ/Fm) of cells was low (0.3), indicating physiological stress. Dissolved Fe (DFe) levels in surface waters were subnanomolar, and the molecular marker flavodoxin indicated that cells were iron stressed. In contrast, Subtropical Convergence (STC) and subtropical waters had higher algal biomass/production levels, particularly in spring. In these waters, DFe levels were 〉1 nmol kg−1, there was little evidence of Fe-stressed algal populations, and Fυ/Fm approached 0.60 at the STC. In addition to these trends, waters of SA origin were occasionally observed within the STC and north of the STC, and thus survey data were interpreted with caution. In vitro Fe enrichment incubations in SA waters resulted in a switch from flavodoxin expression to that of ferredoxin, indicating the alleviation of Fe stress. In another 6-day experiment, iron-mediated increases in chlorophyll a (in particular, increases in large diatoms) were of similar magnitude to those observed in a concurrent Si/Fe enrichment; ambient silicate levels were 4 μM. A concurrent in vitro Fe enrichment, at irradiance levels comparable to the calculated mean levels experienced by cells in situ, resulted in relatively small increases (approximately twofold) in chlorophyll a. Thus, in spring, irradiance and Fe may both control diatom growth. In contrast, during summer, as mean irradiance increases and silicate levels decrease, Fe limitation, Fe/Si colimitation, or silicate limitation may determine diatom growth.
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