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Products of photosynthesis by marine phytoplankton: the effect of environmental factors on the relative rates of protein synthesis

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Abstract

A method is presented by which the gross pattern of photosynthetic carbon-dioxide fixation in marine phytoplankton can be determined. It depends on differential solvent extraction yielding an ethanol-soluble, a hot TCA-soluble (polysaccharide) and a residue (protein) fraction. Using this fractionation technique, the effects of various environmental factors on the pattern of photosynthesis by the marine diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum (Bohlin) have been investigated. Low light intensities and increasing degrees of nitrogen limitation in a chemostat increase markedly the relative rates of protein synthesis. Growth of the alga at lower temperatures also increases the proportion of carbon incorporated into the protein fraction. This increased protein syntheses is generally at the expense of the polysaccharide fraction. Preliminary experiments have established the suitability of this fractionation method for natural populations of phytoplankton and have shown similar effects of light intensity on the relative rates of protein synthesis.

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Communicated by J.H.S. Blaxter, Oban

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Morris, I., Glover, H.E. & Yentsch, C.S. Products of photosynthesis by marine phytoplankton: the effect of environmental factors on the relative rates of protein synthesis. Mar. Biol. 27, 1–9 (1974). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00394754

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Keywords

  • Phytoplankton
  • Fractionation
  • Protein Synthesis
  • Photosynthesis
  • Solvent Extraction