Shining Light on Photosynthesis in the Harmful Dinoflagellate Karenia mikimotoi–Responses to Short-Term Changes in Temperature, Nitrogen Form, and Availability
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Shining Light on Photosynthesis in the Harmful Dinoflagellate Karenia mikimotoi–Responses to Short-Term Changes in Temperature, Nitrogen Form, and Availability

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  • Journal Title:
    Phycology
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  • Description:
    Karenia mikimotoi is a toxic bloom-forming dinoflagellate that sometimes co-blooms with Karenia brevis in the Gulf of Mexico, especially on the West Florida Shelf where strong vertical temperature gradients and rapid changes in nitrogen (N) can be found. Here, the short-term interactions of temperature, N form, and availability on photosynthesis–irradiance responses were examined using rapid light curves and PAM fluorometry in order to understand their interactions, and how they may affect photosynthetic yields. Cultures of K. mikimotoi were enriched with either nitrate (NO3−), ammonium (NH4+), or urea with varying amounts (1, 5, 10, 20, 50 µM-N) and then incubated at temperatures of 15, 20, 25, 30 °C for 1 h. At 15–25 °C, fluorescence parameters (Fv/Fm, rETR) when averaged for all N treatments were comparable. Within a given light intensity, increasing all forms of N concentrations generally led to higher photosynthetic yields. Cells appeared to dynamically balance the “push” due to photon flux pressure and reductant generation, with consumption in overall metabolism (“pull” due to demand). However, at 30 °C, all fluorescence parameters declined precipitously, but differential responses were observed depending on N form. Cells enriched with urea at 30 °C showed a smaller decline in fluorescence parameters than cells treated with NO3− or NH4+, implying that urea might induce a photoprotective mechanism by increasing metabolic “pull”.
  • Source:
    Phycology, 2(1), 30-44
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  • ISSN:
    2673-9410
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    CC BY
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