, Volume 81, Issue 4, pp 534-539

Distribution of carbonic anhydrase in British marine macroalgae

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Summary

Thirty-four species of marine macroalgae from around St. Andrews, Scotland, have been assayed for their external activity and thirty-three species for their total activity of carbonic anhydrase. Activity was detected in all the Rhodophyta tested apart from Chondrus crispus, but was absent in Codium fragile, Enteromorpha sp. and Monostroma fuscum (Chlorophyta), and Alaria esculenta, Laminaria digitata, L. saccharina and L. hyperborea (Phaeophyta). Total activity of carbonic anhydrase per unit fresh weight tended to be higher in the Rhodophyta than in the Chlorophyta or Phaeophyta. External activity was present in two of the six Chlorophyta, four of the twelve Phaeophyta and four of the sixteen Rhodophyta tested. On average, when present, external carbonic anhydrase activity represented 2.7% of the total activity. A relationship was found between total carbonic anhydrase activity and habitat. Species from the high intertidal and the low-light subtidal habitats had significantly higher activity than species from the mid and low intertidal, rockpools, or high-light region of the subtidal. External carbonic anhydrase activity did not vary significantly with habitat. There appeared to be no strong relationship between carbonic anhydrase activity and the ability of a species to use HCO - 3 in photosynthesis under water.