Occurrence of Diatom – Diazotrophic association in the coastal surface waters of south Andaman, India

Abstract

The heterocystous cyanobacterium Richelia intracellularis Schmidt 1901 is well known for its capability to fix atmospheric nitrogen (N2) in oligotrophic waters. Symbiotic associations of Richelia intracellularis with the diatoms Rhizosolenia hebetata, Rhizosolenia clevei, Rhizosolenia cylindrus and Hemiaulus membranaceus is reported for the first time from the coastal waters of South Andaman, India. In these the symbiotic associations, variations were observed in the number of vegetative cells, trichomes, and the shape of the heterocysts. The highest number of trichomes was observed in Rhizosolenia clevei (14) per host. The trichomes consisted of 9–10 vegetative cells and a spherical heterocyst that was orientiated toward one end of the host diatom cell. In Rhizosolenia hebetata, three trichomes of Richelia intracellularis were present, one trichome at one end with 7–8 vegetative cells and two trichomes at the other end. In Rhizosolenia cylindrus, two trichomes of Richelia were observed, with a spherical heterocyst and 5–6 vegetative cells. An association between Hemiaulus membranaceus and Richelia intracellularis was also observed but with less frequency. Trichomes were observed in the centre of the diatom. By using the cell-specific rates, the amount of new N provided by the Diatom-Diazotrophic Associations was estimated. This is the first record of a symbiotic association of Richelia in diatoms from Andaman coastal waters.

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Acknowledgements

The authors are thankful to the Director, Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi for facilities provided. They are grateful to the Ministry of Earth Sciences, New Delhi, for financial assistance.

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Correspondence to C. C. Manjumol.

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Manjumol, C.C., Linoy Libini, C., Albert Idu, K.A. et al. Occurrence of Diatom – Diazotrophic association in the coastal surface waters of south Andaman, India. Symbiosis 76, 293–302 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13199-018-0559-y

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Keywords

  • Cyanobacteria
  • Richelia intracellularis
  • Rhizosolenia hebetata
  • Diazotrophy
  • Hemiaulus membranaceus