Marine Biology

, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 231–246

Partitioning of nitrogen and carbon in cultures of the marine diatom Thalassiosira fluviatilis supplied with nitrate, ammonium, or urea

  • S. A. M. Conover

DOI: 10.1007/BF00399203

Cite this article as:
Conover, S.A.M. Mar. Biol. (1975) 32: 231. doi:10.1007/BF00399203


Small or negligible differences in growth rates, average cell size, yields in cell numbers and total cell volumes were found in cultures of Thalassiosira fluviatilis inriched with nitrate, ammonium, or urea. Intracellular pools of unassimilated nitrate, nitrate, and ammonium were found in nutrient-rich conditions, but urea was not accumlated internally. Nitrogen assimilation into organic combination rather than nitrogen nutrient uptake was a critical rate-limiting step in nitrogen utilization. The free amino acid pool, protein, lipid-associated nitrogen, pigments, and total cell nitrogen were all highest in young or mature phase cells and decreased with age in senescent cells, whereas chitan, lipid, carbohydrate, and total cellular carbon all continued to increase during senescence. Dissolved organic nitrogen compounds accumulated in the medium only during senescence. C:N and lipid:protein were sensitive indicators of nitrogen depletion and age in T. fluviatilis.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. A. M. Conover
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of OceanographyDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada
  2. 2.Genu Products Canada Ltd.HalifaxCanada