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Photosynthesis, photorespiration, and dark respiration in eight species of algae

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The rates of photosynthesis and dark respiration for 7 marine algae and 1 fresh-water alga were measured and compared. The dinoflagellates Glenodinium sp. and zooxanthellae have high dark respiration rates relative to photosynthetic rates, which may decrease their net growth rates. Photorespiration in the 8 algal species was studied by examining the effects of the concentration of oxygen on the rates of photosynthesis, on the incorporation of 14CO2 into the photorespiratory pathway intermediates glycine and serine, and on the postillumination burst of carbon dioxide production and oxygen consumption. A combination of these results indicates that all the algae tested can photorespire, but that Glenodinium sp., Thalassiosira pseudonana, and zooxanthellae either have a photorespiratory pathway different from that proposed for freshwater algae (Tolbert, 1974), or an additional pathway for glycolate metabolism.

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Communicated by J.S. Pearse, Santa Cruz

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Burris, J.E. Photosynthesis, photorespiration, and dark respiration in eight species of algae. Mar. Biol. 39, 371–379 (1977).

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  • Photosynthesis
  • Photosynthetic Rate
  • Dinoflagellate
  • Algal Species
  • Marine Alga