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Paradox of relatively more phospholipids in phytoplankton in phosphorus limited sea

Gašparović, Blaženka; Vrana Špoljarić, Ivna; Frka Milosavljević, Sanja; Marić Pfannkuchen, Daniela; Vlašiček, Ivan; Đakovac, Tamara; Ivančić, Ingrid; Smodlaka Tanković, Mirta; Milinković, Andrea; Flanja, Lana; Chaux, Frederic; Novak, Tihana; Medić, Nikola; Godrijan, Jelena (2023) Paradox of relatively more phospholipids in phytoplankton in phosphorus limited sea. Limnology and Oceanography, 68 . pp. 2800-2813. ISSN 0024-3590

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Marine life is threatened by global warming and its indirect consequences, which include, among others, increased stratification leading to phosphorus (P) and nitrogen depletion in the upper water column. Phosphorus plays a key role in all biochemical systems; storage of metabolic energy, formation of genetic material, and subcellular compartmentalization. Our multi-year study of lipid biogeochemistry in the northern Adriatic (Mediterranean), which is becoming warmer and nutrient-poorer, particularly regarding P, has shown that under conditions of P scarcity, phospholipids are relatively more abundant and smaller plankton cells dominate. Consistent with the field data, experiments with seven phytoplankton monocultures, comprising micro-, nano-, and picoplankton, confirmed a relatively higher phospholipid content in the smaller phytoplankton species and, in particular, an increase in those grown under stress conditions in general, including, unexpectedly, P-limitation. We suggest two reasons for the observed "P paradox" of P-limited phytoplankton: (i) cell geometry: volume of the plasma membrane relative to the volume of the entire cell is greater in smaller cells and, therefore, the proportion of plasma membrane phospholipids to intracellular lipids is greater in smaller cells, (ii) higher proportion of densely packed saturated fatty acids found in stressful conditions, including P oligotrophy, additionally increase the proportion of membrane phospholipids relative to intracellular lipids. Our findings contribute to the understanding of P cycling in the sea. In addition, our data suggest that higher phospholipid export to deep waters is possible by smaller plankton.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Phospholipids; phytoplankton; P-limitation
Subjects: NATURAL SCIENCES > Interdisciplinary Natural Sciences
NATURAL SCIENCES > Interdisciplinary Natural Sciences > Marine Science
Divisions: Division for Marine and Enviromental Research
Center for Marine Research
Project titleProject leaderProject codeProject type
Molekularne životne strategije fitoplanktona u Jadranu-Adri LIFEDaniela Marić PfannkuchenUIP-2020-02-7868HRZZ
Biokemijski odgovori površinskog sloja oligotrofnog područja Jadranskog mora na atmosfersko taloženje-BiREADISanja Frka MilosavljevićIP-2018-01-3105HRZZ
Utjecaj okolišnog stresa na pojavnost i međudjelovanje biološki važnih organskih molekula i mikronutrijenata u morskom ekosustavu-AMBIOMERESBlaženka GašparovićIP-2013-11-8607HRZZ
Depositing User: Blaženka Gašparović
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2024 11:18
DOI: 10.1002/lno.12464

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