, Volume 586, Issue 1, pp 135–141 | Cite as

Kinetics of nitrate uptake by New Zealand marine macroalgae and evidence for two nitrate transporters in Ulva intestinalis L.

  • T. A. V. ReesEmail author
  • B. C. Dobson
  • M. Bijl
  • B. Morelissen
Primary Research Paper


Kinetic constants were determined for nitrate uptake in three species, Pterocladiella capillacea (S.G. Gmelin) Santelices et Hommersand (Rhodophyceae, Gelidiales), Ulva intestinalis L. (Chlorophyceae, Ulvales) and Xiphophora chondrophylla (Turner) Montagne ex Harvey (Phaeophyceae, Fucales), of New Zealand macroalgae, with K m values ranging from 10 to 17 μM and V max values from 3 to 65 μmole g−1 dry weight h−1. There was no effect of ammonium on nitrate uptake by Pterocladiella capillacea or Xiphophora chondrophylla. Ammonium inhibited nitrate uptake by 40% in Ulva intestinalis from a site with relatively low seawater ammonium concentrations. In contrast, U. intestinalis from an ammonium-enriched site had lower rates of nitrate uptake that were insensitive to inhibition by ammonium. It is suggested that there are (at least) two transport systems for nitrate in U. intestinalis; a constitutive transporter, which is insensitive to ammonium, and a transporter that is sensitive to ammonium inhibition and down-regulation by ammonium; the implications of this for our understanding of macroalgal blooms is discussed.


Ammonium Macroalga Nitrate uptake Uptake kinetics 



We are grateful to the University of Auckland Research Committee for providing financial support.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. A. V. Rees
    • 1
    Email author
  • B. C. Dobson
    • 1
  • M. Bijl
    • 1
  • B. Morelissen
    • 1
  1. 1.Leigh Marine LaboratoryUniversity of AucklandWarkworthNew Zealand

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