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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2019-493
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2019-493
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 16 Jan 2020

Submitted as: research article | 16 Jan 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

Co-occurrence of Fe and P stress in natural populations of the marine diazotroph Trichodesmium

Noelle A. Held1,2, Eric A. Webb3, Matthew M. McIlvin1, David A. Hutchins3, Natalie R. Cohen1, Dawn M. Moran1, Korinna Kunde4, Maeve C. Lohan4, Claire M. Mahaffey5, E. Malcolm S. Woodward6, and Mak A. Saito1 Noelle A. Held et al.
  • 1Department of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA 02543 USA
  • 2Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139 USA
  • 3Marine and Environmental Biology, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, 90089 USA
  • 4Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
  • 5Department of Earth, Ocean and Ecological Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK
  • 6Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Plymouth, UK

Abstract. Trichodesmium is a globally important marine microbe that provides fixed nitrogen to otherwise N limited ecosystems. In nature, nitrogen fixation is likely regulated by iron or phosphate availability, but the extent and interaction of these controls is unclear. From metaproteomics analyses using established protein biomarkers for iron and phosphate stress, we found that co-stress is the norm rather than the exception for field Trichodesmium colonies. Counter-intuitively, the nitrogenase enzyme was most abundant under co-stress, consistent with the idea that Trichodesmium has a specific physiological state under nutrient co-stress. Organic nitrogen uptake was observed to occur simultaneously with nitrogen fixation. Quantification of the phosphate ABC transporter PstC combined with a cellular model of nutrient uptake suggested that Trichodesmium is confronted by the biophysical limits of membrane space and diffusion rates for iron and phosphate acquisition. Colony formation may benefit nutrient acquisition from particulate and organic nutrient sources, alleviating these pressures. The results indicate that to predict the behavior of Trichodesmium, we must consider multiple nutrients simultaneously across biogeochemical contexts.

Noelle A. Held et al.

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Status: open (until 27 Feb 2020)
Status: open (until 27 Feb 2020)
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Noelle A. Held et al.

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Short summary
Trichodesmium is a globally important marine nitrogen fixer that stimulates primary production in the surface ocean. We surveyed metaproteomes of Trichodesmium populations across the North Atlantic and other oceans, and found that they experiences simultaneous phosphate and iron stress because of the biophysical limits of nutrient uptake. Importantly, nitrogenase was most abundant during co-stress, indicating the potential importance of this phenotype to global nitrogen and carbon cycling.
Trichodesmium is a globally important marine nitrogen fixer that stimulates primary production...
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