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Enzyme activities in some marine phytoplankters and the effect of nitrogen limitation on nitrogen and carbon metabolism inChlorella stigmatophora


A survey of the distribution of six enzymes of nitrogen and carbohydrate metabolism was carried out with eleven species of marine phytoplankton representing seven classes. The activities of some enzymes, e.g. NADPH-glutamate dchydrogenase, were absent in several organisms. The effects of nitrogen deficiency on enzyme activities in nitrogen-limited chemostat cultures ofChlorella stigmatophora were investigated. Increasing nitrogen deficiency was accompanied by increases in the activity of nitrate reductase, NADPH-glutamate dehydrogenase and glutamine synthetase, and decreases in photosynthesis, respiration, chlorophyll and total cell protein. In nitrogen-deficient algae, an increase in the activity of the nitrogen-assimilating enzymes may facilitate the efficient utilization of available nitrogen under these conditions.

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Present address: School of Biological Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska 68588-0118, USA

Communicated by J. Mauchline, Oban

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Everest, S.A., Hipkin, C.R. & Syrett, P.J. Enzyme activities in some marine phytoplankters and the effect of nitrogen limitation on nitrogen and carbon metabolism inChlorella stigmatophora . Mar. Biol. 90, 165–172 (1986).

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  • Chlorophyll
  • Phytoplankton
  • Respiration
  • Photosynthesis
  • Glutamine