Zinc requirement for two phytoplankton strains of the Tasman Sea
Sinoir, M and Bowie, AR and Mongin, M and Butler, ECV and Hassler, CS, Zinc requirement for two phytoplankton strains of the Tasman Sea, Marine and Freshwater Research, 68, (2) pp. 361-372. ISSN 1323-1650 (2017) [Refereed Article]
Zinc has been proposed as a limiting, or co-limiting, micronutrient for phytoplankton. In the Tasman Sea, extremely low zinc concentrations have been reported, raising the possibility there of limitation of phytoplankton growth by zinc. The pennate diatom Nitzschia closterium (CS-1) and the coccolithophorid Emiliania huxleyi (CS-812) were cultured in two low zinc concentrations (Zn2+ = 1.5 pmol L–1 and Zn2+ = 1.5 nmol L–1) mimicking conditions found in coastal and pelagic Tasman Sea. To monitor phytoplankton health and productivity, the maximum quantum yield (Fv/Fm), growth rate and cell size were analysed. These parameters showed that both strains were able to adapt and still grow. Short-term uptake experiments revealed an effect on Zn biological transport, with consequences for its bioavailability. When grown at low Zn2+ concentrations, E. huxleyi showed an induction of a two-transporter system, highly dependent on photosynthetic energy for Zn uptake. N. closterium was able to survive without inducing a higher-affinity Zn transporter. Its Zn uptake was also highly dependent on cellular energy and the ability to potentially access labile complexed forms of Zn. This strategy, thus, represented an advantage over E. huxleyi. Results are discussed in the context of the conditions found in the Tasman Sea.