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Intraspecific variability in Phaeocystis antarctica's response to iron and light stress


Luxem, KE and Ellwood, MJ and Strzepek, RF, Intraspecific variability in Phaeocystis antarctica's response to iron and light stress, PLoS one, 12, (7) Article e0179751. ISSN 1932-6203 (2017) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

Copyright: © 2017 Luxem et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License, (( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

DOI: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0179751


Phaeocystis antarctica is an abundant phytoplankton species in the Southern Ocean, where growth is frequently limited by iron and light. Being able to grow under low iron conditions is essential to the speciesí success, but there have been hints that this ability differs among clones. Here, we compare the growth, cell size and chlorophyll a concentrations of four P. antarctica clones cultured under different iron and light conditions. Iron was provided either as unchelated iron (Fe′) or bound to the bacterial siderophore desferrioxamine B, representing, respectively, the most and least bioavailable forms of iron which phytoplankton encounter in the marine environment. The growth rate data demonstrate that the clones vary in their ability to grow using organically bound iron, and that this ability is not related to their ability to grow at low inorganic iron concentrations. These results are consistent at low and high light. Physiologically, only three of the four clones shrink or decrease the concentration of chlorophyll a in response to iron limitation, and only one clone decreases colony formation. Together, our data show that P. antarctica clones 1) respond to the same degree of iron limitation using different acclimation strategies, and 2) vary in their ability to grow under the same external iron and light conditions. This physiological diversity is surprisingly large for isolates of a single phytoplankton species.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Phaeocystis antarctica, iron, light, intraspecific variability
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Biological oceanography
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
Objective Field:Antarctic and Southern Ocean oceanic processes
UTAS Author:Strzepek, RF (Dr Robert Strzepek)
ID Code:148044
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:16
Deposited By:Australian Antarctic Program Partnership
Deposited On:2021-11-30
Last Modified:2022-01-04
Downloads:3 View Download Statistics

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