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Response of the unicellular diazotrophic cyanobacterium Crocosphaera watsonii to iron limitation.

Violaine Jacq 1, * Céline Ridame 1 Stéphane L'Helguen 2 Fanny Kaczmar 1 Alain Saliot 1 
* Corresponding author
1 BTP - Biogéochimie-Traceurs-Paléoclimat
LOCEAN - Laboratoire d'Océanographie et du Climat : Expérimentations et Approches Numériques
Abstract : Iron (Fe) is widely suspected as a key controlling factor of N2 fixation due to the high Fe content of nitrogenase and photosynthetic enzymes complex, and to its low concentrations in oceanic surface seawaters. The influence of Fe limitation on the recently discovered unicellular diazotrophic cyanobacteria (UCYN) is poorly understood despite their biogeochemical importance in the carbon and nitrogen cycles. To address this knowledge gap, we conducted culture experiments on Crocosphaera watsonii WH8501 growing under a range of dissolved Fe concentrations (from 3.3 to 403 nM). Overall, severe Fe limitation led to significant decreases in growth rate (2.6-fold), C, N and chlorophyll a contents per cell (up to 4.1-fold), N2 and CO2 fixation rates per cell (17- and 7-fold) as well as biovolume (2.2-fold). We highlighted a two phased response depending on the degree of limitation: (i) under a moderate Fe limitation, the biovolume of C. watsonii was strongly reduced, allowing the cells to keep sufficient energy to maintain an optimal growth, volume-normalized contents and N2 and CO2 fixation rates; (ii) with increasing Fe deprivation, biovolume remained unchanged but the entire cell metabolism was affected, as shown by a strong decrease in the growth rate, volume-normalized contents and N2 and CO2 fixation rates. The half-saturation constant for growth of C. watsonii with respect to Fe is twice as low as that of the filamentous Trichodesmium indicating a better adaptation of C. watsonii to poor Fe environments than filamentous diazotrophs. The physiological response of C. watsonii to Fe limitation was different from that previously shown on the UCYN Cyanothece sp, suggesting potential differences in Fe requirements and/or Fe acquisition within the UCYN community. These results contribute to a better understanding of how Fe bioavailability can control the activity of UCYN and explain the biogeography of diverse N2 fixers in ocean.
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Submitted on : Friday, July 18, 2014 - 9:59:52 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, July 7, 2022 - 3:16:43 AM
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Violaine Jacq, Céline Ridame, Stéphane L'Helguen, Fanny Kaczmar, Alain Saliot. Response of the unicellular diazotrophic cyanobacterium Crocosphaera watsonii to iron limitation.. PLoS ONE, 2014, 9 (1), pp.e86749. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0086749⟩. ⟨hal-01025567⟩



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