Effect of Salinity on DMSP Production in Gambierdiscus belizeanus (Dinophyceae)
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Effect of Salinity on DMSP Production in Gambierdiscus belizeanus (Dinophyceae)

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  • Journal Title:
    Journal of Phycology
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    Dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) is produced by many species of marine phytoplankton and has been reported to provide a variety of beneficial functions including osmoregulation. Dinoflagellates are recognized as major DMSP producers; however, accumulation has been shown to be highly variable in this group. We explored the effect of hyposaline transfer in Gambierdiscus belizeanus between ecologically relevant salinities (36 and 31) on DMSP accumulation, Chl a, cell growth, and cell volume, over 12 d. Our results showed that G. belizeanus maintained an intracellular DMSP content of 16.3 pmol cell−1 and concentration of 139 mM in both salinities. Although this intracellular concentration was near the median reported for other dinoflagellates, the cellular content achieved by G. belizeanus was the highest reported of any dinoflagellate thus far, owing mainly to its large size. DMSP levels were not significantly affected by salinity treatment but did change over time during the experiment. Salinity, however, did have a significant effect on the ratio of DMSP:Chl a, suggesting that salinity transfer of G. belizeanus induced a physiological response other than DMSP adjustment. A survey of DMSP content in a variety of Gambierdiscus species and strains revealed relatively high DMSP concentrations (1.0–16.4 pmol cell−1) as well as high intrageneric and intraspecific variation. We conclude that, although DMSP may not be involved in long‐term (3–12 d) osmoregulation in this species, G. belizeanus and other Gambierdiscus species may be important contributors to DMSP production in tropical benthic microalgal communities due to their large size and high cellular content.
  • Source:
    Journal of Phycology, 55(6) 1-11
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