Photoacoustics as a diagnostic tool for probing the physiological status of phytoplankton

Yulia Pinchasov, David Kotliarevsky, Zvy Dubinsky, David C. Mauzerall, Jehuda Feitelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

In nature, conditions for the growth of phytoplankton rarely support their maximal potential doubling rates. The main rate-limiting factor determining the doubling rates of phytoplankters is photosynthesis. This key process is in turn controlled, and frequently limited, by the available light, by lack of essential nutrients, or by the presence of noxious pollutants. Any decrease in the rates of photosynthesis is associated with a reduction in the efficiency of light utilization in that process. We present here the decreased photosynthetic efficiency of phytoplankton upon depletion of nitrogen, phosphorus, and iron as measured by photoacoustics. Such effects have been documented extensively by other methods, such as fluorescence yield, growth rate, carbon assimilation, and oxygen evolution. However, photoacoustics measures directly the energy efficiency of the photosynthetic process. We determined that efficiency by this method in three phytoplankton species belonging to different taxa. Our results illustrate the power of photoacoustics as a tool in aquatic ecology and in the physiological research of phytoplankton.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalIsrael Journal of Plant Sciences
Volume53
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We deeply regret the untimely death of our co-author Dr. David Kotliarevsky, who passed away while this manuscript was under preparation. This research was supported by grant No 2002-396 from the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF), Jerusalem, Israel, and by the (US) National Science Foundation (MCB96-29862) to D.M. This article forms part of the Ph.D. dissertation of Y.P. at the Faculty of Life Sciences, Bar-Ilan University.

Funding

We deeply regret the untimely death of our co-author Dr. David Kotliarevsky, who passed away while this manuscript was under preparation. This research was supported by grant No 2002-396 from the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF), Jerusalem, Israel, and by the (US) National Science Foundation (MCB96-29862) to D.M. This article forms part of the Ph.D. dissertation of Y.P. at the Faculty of Life Sciences, Bar-Ilan University.

FundersFunder number
National Science FoundationMCB96-29862
United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation

    Keywords

    • Efficiency
    • Energy storage
    • Nutrient limitation
    • Photoacoustics
    • Phytoplankton

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