Ecophysiology matters: linking inorganic carbon acquisition to ecological preference in four species of microalgae (Chlorophyceae)

Lachmann, Sabrina C.; Maberly, Stephen C.; Spijkerman, Elly. 2016 Ecophysiology matters: linking inorganic carbon acquisition to ecological preference in four species of microalgae (Chlorophyceae). Journal of Phycology, 52 (6). 1051-1063.

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The effect of CO2 supply is likely to play an important role in algal ecology. Since inorganic carbon (Ci) acquisition strategies are very diverse among microalgae and Ci availability varies greatly within and among habitats, we hypothesized that Ci acquisition depends on the pH of their preferred natural environment (adaptation) and that the efficiency of Ci uptake is affected by CO2 availability (acclimation). To test this, four species of green algae originating from different habitats were studied. PH-drift and Ci uptake kinetic experiments were used to characterize Ci acquisition strategies and their ability to acclimate to high and low CO2 conditions and high and low pH was evaluated. Results from pH drift experiments revealed that the acidophile and acidotolerant Chlamydomonas species were mainly restricted to CO2, whereas the two neutrophiles were efficient bicarbonate users. CO2 compensation points in low CO2-acclimated cultures ranged between 0.6 and 1.4 µM CO2 and acclimation to different culture pH and CO2 conditions suggested that CO2 concentrating mechanisms were present in most species. High CO2 acclimated cultures adapted rapidly to low CO2 condition during pH-drifts. Ci uptake kinetics at different pH values showed that the affinity for Ci was largely influenced by external pH, being highest under conditions where CO2 dominated the Ci pool. In conclusion, Ci acquisition was highly variable among four species of green algae and linked to growth pH preference, suggesting that there is a connection between Ci acquisition and ecological distribution.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Parr
ISSN: 0022-3646
Additional Keywords: acidophile, carbon acquisition, CCM, Chlamydomonas, Chlorella, CO2 supply, extremophile, inorganic carbon uptake kinetics, pH-drift, Scenedesmus
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 24 Jan 2017 15:19 +0 (UTC)

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