Physiological responses of the marine diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana to increased pCO2 and seawater acidity

Guiyuan Yang, Kunshan Gao
Marine Environmental Research 2012, 79: 142-51
We studied the effects of elevated CO(2) concentration and seawater acidity on inorganic carbon acquisition, photoinhibition and photoprotection as well as growth and respiration in the marine diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana. After having grown under the elevated CO(2) level (1000 μatm, pH 7.83) at sub-saturating photosynthetically active radiation (PAR, 75 μmol photons m(-2) s(-1)) for 20 generations, photosynthesis and dark respiration of the alga increased by 25% (14.69 ± 2.55 fmol C cell(-1) h(-1)) and by 35% (4.42 ± 0.98 fmol O(2) cell(-1) h(-1)), respectively, compared to that grown under the ambient CO(2) level (390 μatm, pH 8.16), leading to insignificant effects on growth (1.09 ± 0.08 d(-1)v 1.04 ± 0.07 d(-1)). The photosynthetic affinity for CO(2) was lowered in the high-CO(2) grown cells, reflecting a down-regulation of the CO(2) concentrating mechanism (CCM). When exposed to an excessively high level of PAR, photochemical and non-photochemical quenching responded similarly in the low- and high-CO(2) grown cells, reflecting that photoinhibition was not influenced by the enriched level of CO(2). In T. pseudonana, it appeared that the energy saved due to the down-regulated CCM did not contribute to any additional light stress as previously found in another diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum, indicating differential physiological responses to ocean acidification between these two diatom species.

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