Short-term temporal variability of ammonium and urea uptake by Alexandrium catenella (Dinophyta) in cultures

Type Article
Date 2008-10
Language English
Author(s) Jauzein Cecile1, 3, Collos Yves1, Garces E2, Vila M2, Maso M2
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Montpellier 2, CNRS, IFREMER, Lab Ecosyst Lagunaires,UMR 5119, F-34059 Montpellier 5, France.
2 : CSIC, Inst Ciencias Mar, E-08003 Barcelona, Spain.
Source Journal of Phycology (0022-3646) (Wiley / Blackwell), 2008-10 , Vol. 44 , N. 5 , P. 1136-1145
DOI 10.1111/j.1529-8817.2008.00570.x
WOS© Times Cited 18
Keyword(s) Urea, Uptake kinetics, Temporal variability, Ammonium release, Ammonium, Alexandrium catenella
Abstract In batch cultures of four Mediterranean strains (from France, Italy, and Spain) of Alexandrium catenella (Whedon et Kof.) Balech growing on a daily light cycle, ammonium and urea uptake were estimated by the N-15 tracer technique. Ammonium uptake could be described by Michaelis-Menten kinetics along a substrate gradient of 0.1-10 mu gat N.L-1 for the four strains, while two different patterns were observed for urea uptake with Michaelis-Menten kinetics for one strain and linear kinetics for the others. In all cases, an increase in uptake rates with time was noted over the daylight period. This trend led to a net increase in the maximum uptake rate (V-max; for saturable kinetics) and in the initial slope alpha. For ammonium, V-max increased by a factor of 2-10 depending on the strain, and, for urea, the maximal uptake rates measured increased by a factor of 2-18. Temporal variations of half-saturation constants (K-s) for both nutrients did not show a clear trend. Increases in V-max and alpha showed an acclimation of the cells' uptake system over time to a N pulse, which may be explained by the light periodicity. For two strains, extensive ammonium release was observed during urea assimilation. This mechanism removes urea from the medium, so it is no longer available to other potential competitors, but supplies N back to the medium in the form of ammonium. From a methodological point of view, the phenomenon leads to considerable underestimates of the contribution of urea to phytoplankton growth.
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