Nitrogen availability influences the biochemical composition and photosynthesis of tank-cultivated Ulva rigida (Chlorophyta)

  • Juan Luis Gómez Pinchetti
  • Elena del Campo Fernández
  • Paula Moreno Díez
  • Guillermo García Reina


Physiological and biochemical changes in relation to inorganic nitrogen availability were studied for tank-cultivated Ulva rigida grown under nitrogen- enriched and nitrogen-depleted seawater. U. rigida was initially cultivated in nitrogen-enriched seawater (daily concentrations of NH4+ and NO3- + NO2- ranged between 0.5–1.7 and 0.06–0.15 mg L-1, respectively), then transferred to nitrogen-depleted seawater where photosynthetic capacity decreased to zero after 23 d. At the time (14 d) when photosynthetic rates were lower than 2.0 μmol O2 g-1 FW min-1 and strong bleaching had occurred, some algae were returned to the initial nitrogen-enriched seawater to study recovery from N-limited growth. Data on biochemical composition (chlorophylls, ash, caloric content, fatty acids and dietary fibres) and colouration varied significantly depending on the nitrogen conditions. C:N ratios correlated significantly with biochemical parameters. Fatty acid (FA) synthesis continued during the N-starvation period; saturated and mono-unsaturated FA increased to a maximun of 72.2%, while poly-unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) decreased to 27.7%. During the N-enriched recovery period, the reverse was found. C:N ratios above 10 correlated with carbohydrate synthesis as shown by the dietary fibre level. Under nitrogen enriched conditions, C:N ratios decreased along with a decrease in fibre level. Under controlled conditions, nitrogen represents a major influence on the development of intensive tank cultivation of Ulva rigida, not only by affecting parameters closely related to nitrogen metabolism but also some clearly influenced by carbon uptake.

ammonium C:N ratio tank culture dietary fibre fatty acids nitrogen photosynthesis Ulva rigida 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juan Luis Gómez Pinchetti
    • 1
  • Elena del Campo Fernández
    • 1
  • Paula Moreno Díez
    • 1
  • Guillermo García Reina
    • 1
  1. 1.Instituto de Algología AplicadaUniversidad de Las Palmas de G.C.Telde, Las Palmas, Canary IslandsSpain

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