Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Photosynth Res. 2011 Sep;109(1-3):73-84. doi: 10.1007/s11120-010-9611-3. Epub 2010 Dec 29.

Interactions between CCM and N2 fixation in Trichodesmium.

Author information

  • 1Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany. Sven.Kranz@awi.de


In view of the current increase in atmospheric pCO(2) and concomitant changes in the marine environment, it is crucial to assess, understand, and predict future responses of ecologically relevant phytoplankton species. The diazotrophic cyanobacterium Trichodesmium erythraeum was found to respond strongly to elevated pCO(2) by increasing growth, production rates, and N(2) fixation. The magnitude of these CO(2) effects exceeds those previously seen in other phytoplankton, raising the question about the underlying mechanisms. Here, we review recent publications on metabolic pathways of Trichodesmium from a gene transcription level to the protein activities and energy fluxes. Diurnal patterns of nitrogenase activity change markedly with CO(2) availability, causing higher diel N(2) fixation rates under elevated pCO(2). The observed responses to elevated pCO(2) could not be attributed to enhanced energy generation via gross photosynthesis, although there are indications for CO(2)-dependent changes in ATP/NADPH + H(+) production. The CO(2) concentrating mechanism (CCM) in Trichodesmium is primarily based on HCO(3)(-) uptake. Although only little CO(2) uptake was detected, the NDH complex seems to play a crucial role in internal cycling of inorganic carbon, especially under elevated pCO(2). Affinities for inorganic carbon change over the day, closely following the pattern in N(2) fixation, and generally decrease with increasing pCO(2). This down-regulation of CCM activity and the simultaneously enhanced N(2) fixation point to a shift in energy allocation from carbon acquisition to N(2) fixation under elevated pCO(2) levels. A strong light modulation of CO(2) effects further corroborates the role of energy fluxes as a key to understand the responses of Trichodesmium.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for Springer
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk