AME 39:183-191 (2005)  -  doi:10.3354/ame039183

Changes in O2 and H2O2 production by Chattonella antiqua during diel vertical migration under nutrient stratification

Daekyung Kim1,3,4, Masataka Watanabe1,*, Yoko Nakayasu1, Kunio Kohata2

1Water and Soil Environment Division, and 2Watershed Environmental Management Group, National Institute forEnvironmental Studies, Onogawa, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8506, Japan
3Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), Kojimachi Office Yamato Bldg., 5-3-1 Kojimachi, Chiyoda-ku,Tokyo 102-8471, Japan
4Present address: Division of Biochemistry, Faculty of Fisheries, Nagasaki University, Bunkyo-machi 1-14, Nagasaki 852-8521, Japan
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: The red tide flagellate Chattonella antiqua produces high levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as the superoxide anion (O2) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Production of ROS by this flagellate species depends on nutrient and water conditions during its growth phases. To clarify the effect of nutrient depletion on ROS production, we investigated the production pattern of ROS in a culture tank containing 1 m3 of medium with low nitrate and phosphate nutrient concentrations. The production of O2 and H2O2 by C. antiqua was lower when nutrients were limited than when they were fully supplied (f/2 medium), as indicated by reductions in nitrogen and phosphorus cell quotas. We also examined ROS formation by C. antiqua under stratified conditions subsequent to the nutrient depletion experiment. The vertical stratification of salinity (ΔS = 2.5 psu) and temperature (ΔT = 5°C) in the tank were analogous to natural conditions during red tides, and only the bottom layer was enriched with nutrients. C. antiqua showed clear diel vertical migration under stratified conditions. The ROS production due to photosynthesis was high during the light period at the surface, even though the ambient nutrient concentration of the surface was low, and it decreased in the dark bottom layer. The generation of H2O2 increased continuously for 4 d, but O2 generation peaked on the second day of stratification and then gradually decreased.


KEY WORDS: Chattonella antiqua · Diel vertical migration · Hydrogen peroxide · Nutrient stratification · Reactive oxygen species · Superoxide anion


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