, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 261–270 | Cite as

Growth characteristics and growth modeling of Microcystis aeruginosa and Planktothrix agardhii under iron limitation

  • Takashi Nagai
  • Akio Imai
  • Kazuo Matsushige
  • Takehiko Fukushima
Research Paper


Although iron is a key nutrient for algal growth just as are nitrogen and phosphorus in aquatic systems, the effects of iron on algal growth are not well understood. The growth characteristics of two species of cyanobacteria, Microcystis aeruginosa and Planktothrix agardhii, in iron-limited continuous cultures were investigated. The relationships between dissolved iron concentration, cell quota of iron, and population growth rate were determined applying two equations, Monod’s and Droop’s equations. Both species produced hydroxamate-type siderophores, but neither species produced catechol-type siderophores. The cell quota of nitrogen for both M. aeruginosa and P. agardhii decreased with decreasing cell quota of iron. The cell quota of phosphorus for M. aeruginosa decreased with decreasing cell quota of iron, whereas those for P. agardhii did not decrease. Iron uptake rate was measured in ironlimited batch cultures under different degrees of iron starvation. The results of the iron uptake experiments suggest that iron uptake rates are independent of the cell quota of iron for M. aeruginosa and highly dependent on the cell quota for P. agardhii. A kinetic model under iron limitation was developed based on the growth characteristics determined in our study, and this model predicted accurately the algal population growth and iron consumption. The model simulation suggested that M. aeruginosa is a superior competitor under iron limitation. The differences in growth characteristics between the species would be important determinants of the dominance of these algal species.

Key words

Iron Growth rate Uptake rate Model simulation Cyanobacteria 


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Limnology 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Takashi Nagai
    • 1
  • Akio Imai
    • 2
  • Kazuo Matsushige
    • 2
  • Takehiko Fukushima
    • 1
  1. 1.Environmental Modeling and Creation, Integrative Environmental Sciences, Graduate School of Life and Environmental SciencesUniversity of TsukubaIbarakiJapan
  2. 2.National Institute for Environmental StudiesIbarakiJapan

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