Inorganic carbon pools in the bloom-forming dinoflagellate Peridinium gatunense

Ilana Berman-Frank, Jonathan Erez

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21 Scopus citations


Peridinum gatunense, the main bloom-forming species in Lake Kinneret, acquires a carbon-concentrating mechanism (CCM) during the progression of the annual winter-spring bloom. Previous indications for CCM activity in P. gatunense were based on decreased carbon isotope fractionation and higher activity of carbonic anhydrase (both external and internal). In the present study, CCM activity in low-density, natural, and cultured P. gatunense populations was demonstrated by cells showing higher internal inorganic carbon (C1) concentrations than those in the external medium. The presence, size, and dynamics of these C1 pools were measured using pulse-chase experiments of 14C uptake into photosynthetic acid-stable products under varying C1, pH, CO2(aq), and light regimes. Internal C1 levels in P. gatunense were higher by a factor of ∼20-80 relative to the ambient C1. The time required to reach isotopic equilibration of the pool ranged from 30 to 90 min, whereas the time required for the assimilation of the pool into cellular carbon ranged from 10 to 50 min. These long timescales are attributed to the larger vol: surface area ratio of this organism. Induction of the CCM was triggered by CO2(aq) rather than C1 and was evident at CO2(aq) concentrations <15 μM. Preincubation in either the dark or with high CO2(aq) levels diminished the C1 pool. The data we report represent the steady-state carbon metabolism of the species since the cells were not deprived of C1 prior to the measurements. The CCM in P. gatunense is an important adaptation mechanism contributing to the high primary production observed in the lake at the peak of the bloom under CO2-limiting conditions [pH >9.5 and CO2(aq) <5 μM].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1780-1789
Number of pages10
JournalLimnology and Oceanography
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 1996
Externally publishedYes


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