Phenotypic Variability in the Coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi

Blanco-Ameijeiras, Sonia, Lebrato, Mario, Stoll, Heather M., Iglesias-Rodriguez, Debora, Müller, Marius N., Mendez-Vicente, Ana and Oschlies, Andreas (2016) Phenotypic Variability in the Coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi PLoS ONE, 11 (6). e0157697. DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0157697.

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Abstract

Coccolithophores are a vital part of oceanic phytoplankton assemblages that produce organic matter and calcium carbonate (CaCO3) containing traces of other elements (i.e. Sr and Mg). Their associated carbon export from the euphotic zone to the oceans' interior plays a crucial role in CO2 feedback mechanisms and biogeochemical cycles. The coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi has been widely studied as a model organism to understand physiological, biogeochemical, and ecological processes in marine sciences. Here, we show the inter-strain variability in physiological and biogeochemical traits in 13 strains of E. huxleyi from various biogeographical provinces obtained from culture collections commonly used in the literature. Our results demonstrate that inter-strain genetic variability has greater potential to induce larger phenotypic differences than the phenotypic plasticity of single strains cultured under a broad range of variable environmental conditions. The range of variation found in physiological parameters and calcite Sr:Ca highlights the need to reconsider phenotypic variability in paleoproxy calibrations and model parameterizations to adequately translate findings from single strain laboratory experiments to the real ocean.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000378801200012, PubMed ID: 27348427
Keywords: SEAWATER CARBONATE CHEMISTRY; MARINE-PHYTOPLANKTON; OCEAN ACIDIFICATION; GENETIC-VARIATION; ORGANIC-CARBON; SOUTHERN-OCEAN; CALCIFICATION; CO2; CALCITE; PRYMNESIOPHYCEAE
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-BM Biogeochemical Modeling
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EOE-N Experimental Ecology - Food Webs
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence > FO-R11
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence > FO-R04
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1371/journal.pone.0157697
ISSN: 1932-6203
Projects: EPOCA, Future Ocean, ASSEMBLE
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2016 09:59
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2017 12:47
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/33337

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