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The physiological cost of diazotrophy for Trichodesmium erythraeum IMS101

Boatman, TG and Davey, PA and Lawson, T and Geider, RJ (2018) 'The physiological cost of diazotrophy for Trichodesmium erythraeum IMS101.' PLoS ONE, 13 (4). e0195638-e0195638. ISSN 1932-6203

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Trichodesmium plays a significant role in the oligotrophic oceans, fixing nitrogen in an area corresponding to half of the Earth’s surface, representing up to 50% of new production in some oligotrophic tropical and subtropical oceans. Whilst Trichodesmium blooms at the surface exhibit a strong dependence on diazotrophy, colonies at depth or at the surface after a mixing event could be utilising additional N-sources. We conducted experiments to establish how acclimation to varying N-sources affects the growth, elemental composition, light absorption coefficient, N2 fixation, PSII electron transport rate and the relationship between net and gross photosynthetic O2 exchange in T. erythraeum IMS101. To do this, cultures were acclimated to growth medium containing NH4+ and NO3- (replete concentrations) or N2 only (diazotrophic control). The light dependencies of O2 evolution and O2 uptake were measured using membrane inlet mass spectrometry (MIMS), while PSII electron transport rates were measured from fluorescence light curves (FLCs). We found that at a saturating light intensity, Trichodesmium growth was ~ 10% and 13% lower when grown on N2 than with NH4+ and NO3-, respectively. Oxygen uptake increased linearly with net photosynthesis across all light intensities ranging from darkness to 1100 μmol photons m-2 s-1. The maximum rates and initial slopes of light response curves for C-specific gross and net photosynthesis and the slope of the relationship between gross and net photosynthesis increased significantly under non-diazotrophic conditions. We attribute these observations to a reduced expenditure of reductant and ATP for nitrogenase activity under non-diazotrophic conditions which allows NADPH and ATP to be re-directed to CO2 fixation and/or biosynthesis. The energy and reductant conserved through utilising additional N-sources could enhance Trichodesmium’s productivity and growth and have major implications for its role in ocean C and N cycles.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Oxygen; Photosystem II Protein Complex; Nitrogen Fixation; Electron Transport; Light; Absorption, Physicochemical; Trichodesmium
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Life Sciences, School of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2018 08:50
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 13:49

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