The relationship between iron and nitrogen fixation in Trichodesmium spp.
Author(s)Chappell, Phoebe Dreux
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
James W. Moffett, John B. Waterbury and Eric A. Webb.
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Trichodesmium spp. are considered the dominant nitrogen (N) fixing cyanobacteria in tropical and subtropical oceans, regimes frequently characterized by low iron (Fe). Limited information exists about what levels of Fe limit Trichodesmium N fixation. I developed a diagnostic for Fe limitation using quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) of the Fe stress response gene isiB, which encodes for flavodoxin a non-Fe containing substitute for ferredoxin. I determined that high isiB gene expression corresponded to cell-specific reductions in N fixation rates in both phylogenetic clades of Trichodesmium grown on varying levels of Fe. Using these laboratory-determined thresholds, I assessed Fe limitation of Trichodesmium from the Sargasso Sea, equatorial Atlantic Ocean and Western Pacific Warm Pool in conjunction with other analytical measurements (N, phosphorus (P) and dissolved Fe (<0.4[mu]m filtered)). I found widespread Fe limitation in Trichodesmium from the Pacific Ocean and minimal expression in the North Atlantic Ocean. I also found an inverse correlation between isiB expression and dissolved Fe:P ratios in seawater and data suggesting that most dissolved Fe in seawater, including organic ligand-bound Fe, is available to Trichodesmium. These data support and refine previous model predictions and demonstrate, in situ, the importance of Fe to the marine N cycle.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Joint Program in Oceanography/Applied Ocean Science and Engineering (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences; and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), 2009.Includes bibliographical references.
DepartmentJoint Program in Oceanography/Applied Ocean Science and Engineering.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences.; Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Joint Program in Oceanography/Applied Ocean Science and Engineering., Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences., Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.