Flavodoxin as an in situ marker for iron stress in phytoplankton.

LaRoche, Julie, Boyd, P. W., McKay, R. M. L. and Geider, R. J. (1996) Flavodoxin as an in situ marker for iron stress in phytoplankton. Nature, 382 . pp. 802-805. DOI 10.1038/382802a0.

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Abstract

A fundamental issue in marine science is the identification of the factors controlling biological uptake of CO2, in high-nitrate, low-chlorophyll regions. A recent in situ iron fertilization experiment demonstrated that iron limitation is responsible for low phytoplankton stocks in the equatorial Pacific4. Here we show that flavodoxin, a biochemical marker of iron limitation, can be used to map the degree of iron stress in natural populations. Flavodoxin assays along a 900-km east-west transect in the northeastern subarctic Pacific revealed a pronounced increase in iron stress in the region west of the 135° W meridian. Addition of dissolved iron alleviated this stress. Immunostaining of single cells from the most western station showed that flavodoxin is present specifically within the chloroplasts of diatoms. Our approach provides a rapid means of defining the extent of iron stress in the ocean5 and supports the hypothesis that diatoms are iron stressed in the northeast Pacific.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Flavodoxin, marker, iron, phytoplankton
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1038/382802a0
ISSN: 0028-0836
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2008 17:23
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2017 13:40
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/2768

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