Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Lavish blue-green algae: Surprising supply of amino acids for zooplankton

09.04.2018

In the international journal Limnology and Oceanography, marine biologist Natalie Loick-Wilde from Rostock reports about a study in the central Baltic Sea in which she and her colleagues from the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde and the US-American Georgia Institute of Technology succeeded in proving that blue-green algae produce an excess of amino acids at a late stage of their bloom. In a typically nutrient-poor season, this leads to a surprising food supply for marine microorganisms and thus for the entire food web.

Our seas are not everywhere fertile and full of colourful, diverse life. Wide areas of the world's oceans are naturally poor in nutrients. The fact that marine life nevertheless develops is to a large extent the work of cyanobacteria (colloquially: blue-green algae). Thanks to their unique ability to harness atmospheric nitrogen - a process known in the scientific community as nitrogen fixation - the small amounts of phosphorus that a nutrient-poor ocean has to offer are sufficient for them to form massive blooms.


r/v METEOR passing a decaying blue-green algae bloom

Andreas Raeke, DWD

However, these relatively large and often toxic organisms are unsuitable for direct use in the food web. Rather, it is the amino acids produced by the blue-green algae that supply the food web, so that zooplankton and fish can also be fed. So far it has been largely unclear how high the amino acid synthesis is during nitrogen fixation and what influence the stage of the bloom has.

Natalie Loick-Wilde and her colleagues used a research cruise to the central Baltic Sea in summer 2015 to take a closer look at the supply of amino acids at the peak as well as at the beginning and advanced decay of a blue-green algae bloom. The Baltic Sea in general is not a nutrient-poor sea, but in midsummer its nitrogen and phosphorus reserves are largely depleted.

Then, even in the Baltic Sea, which is suffering from over-fertilization, it is "blue-green algae time". At four stations in the western and central Baltic Sea, the team sampled blue-green algae blooms in different stages, incubated the samples on deck already during the cruise and later determined the total nitrogen as well as the amino acid-specific nitrogen content. Using stable nitrogen isotopes in the amino acids, they developed for the first time an approach to investigate the synthesis of 13 amino acids during nitrogen fixation.

"We are one of the few laboratories in the world that can apply compound-specific nitrogen isotope analysis in amino acids (CSIA-AA for short)," Natalie Loick-Wilde reports. "It is this method that allowed us to develop the approach to see how much essential nutrients are being produced for a food web."

It turned out that at a time when the blue-green algae themselves already largely stop their activity, so much amino acids are still produced in the bloom that this inevitably must have consequences for the food web. In anticipation of a proposed global increase of cyanobacteria blooms this excessive supply of nutrients before winter is a relevant parameter for the seasonal growth cycle of zooplankton – but also for fish-stocks. Its development and consequences should be further pursued.

Reference:
Loick-Wilde, N., S.C. Weber, E. Eglite, I. Liskow, D. Schulz-Bull, N. Wasmund, D. Wo-darg, and J. P. Montoya. 2017. De novo amino acid synthesis and turnover during N2 fixation. Limnology & Oceanography, doi: 10.1002/lno.10755

Scientific experts:
Dr. Natalie Loick-Wilde| +49 381 5197-206 | natalie.loick-wilde@io-warnemuende.de

Press and public relation:
Dr. Barbara Hentzsch | +49 381 5197-102 | barbara.hentzsch@io-warnemuende.de

IOW is a member of the Leibniz Association with currently 91 research institutes and scientific infrastructure facilities. The focus of the Leibniz Institutes ranges from natural, engineering and environmental sciences to economic, social and space sciences as well as to the humanities. The institutes are jointly financed at the state and national levels. The Leibniz Institutes employ a total of 18.100 people, of whom 9.200 are scientists. The total budget of the institutes is 1.6 billion Euros.

www.leibniz-association.eu

Dr. Barbara Hentzsch | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Microscope measures muscle weakness
16.11.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

nachricht Good preparation is half the digestion
16.11.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Stoffwechselforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>