Temperature dependence of superoxide dismutase activity in plankton

Alexander Perelman, Zvy Dubinsky, Rosa Martínez

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17 Scopus citations


The effect of temperature (from 1 to 37 °C) on in vitro effective superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity of several organisms was investigated and compared. Antarctic plankton, cultures of the alga Nannochloropsis sp., and the cyanobacterium Synechococcus strain WH 7803, and pure bovine erythrocyte SOD was studied. It was found that in all cases SOD activity increased with decreasing temperature within the temperature range assayed, in the Polar as well as the temperate plankton cells. This behavior of SOD is counterintuitive in terms of our experience when looking at enzyme activity or any other chemical reaction. We suggest a theoretical explanation for this apparently odd behavior. The advantage of such behavior is that the same amount of antioxidant will act better under low temperatures when reactive oxygen species (ROS) increase. Moreover, this protective process would act in vivo at a faster pace than the ex novo enzyme synthesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-235
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 11 Jul 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Work on Antarctic plankton was funded by Spanish Interministerial Comission for Science and Technology (CICYT) cruise HE047 (E-DOVETAIL). This research is part of A. P.'s Ph.D. thesis at Bar-Ilan University. We are grateful to the crew of R/V Hesperides and to our scientific colleagues on board. We acknowledge the improvements to the manuscript contributed to by two anonymous referees. [SS]


  • Antarctic Ocean
  • Enzyme activity
  • Oxygen radicals
  • Phytoplankton
  • Plankton
  • Superoxide dismutase
  • Temperature effect


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