AME 60:227-232 (2010)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/ame01422

Prokaryotic carbon utilization in the dark ocean: growth efficiency, leucine-to-carbon conversion factors, and their relation

Federico Baltar1,*, Javier Arístegui1, Josep M. Gasol2, Gerhard J. Herndl3,4

1Facultad de Ciencias del Mar, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Campus Universitario de Tafira,
35017 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
2Departament de Biologia Marina i Oceanografia, Institut de Ciències del Mar—CSIC, Pg. Marítim de la Barceloneta 37–49, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
3Department of Marine Biology, Faculty Center of Ecology, University of Vienna, Althanstr. 14, 1090 Vienna, Austria
4Department of Biological Oceanography, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, 1790 AB Den Burg, The Netherlands

ABSTRACT: Experiments were conducted in the mesopelagic subtropical northeast Atlantic Ocean to determine the range of variability in the prokaryotic leucine-to-carbon conversion factor (CF), and prokaryotic growth efficiency (PGE). The way prokaryotic heterotrophic production (PHP) is calculated directly influences PGE (variations of PGE between 1 and 31% were found for a single sample). The empirically obtained deep-water CFs showed a 7-fold variability (0.13 to 0.85 kg C mol–1 Leu), but were always lower than the theoretical CF of 1.55 kg C mol–1 Leu assuming no isotope dilution. Empirically determined CFs were highly correlated to PGE, suggesting that both parameters are representations of the same basic metabolic processes. Overall, the PGEs obtained in this study suggest that mesopelagic prokaryotic assemblages can sometimes be as important in carbon processing as their epipelagic counterparts.


KEY WORDS: Prokaryotic growth efficiency · Leucine-to-carbon conversion factor · Deep ocean


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Cite this article as: Baltar F, Arístegui J, Gasol JM, Herndl GJ (2010) Prokaryotic carbon utilization in the dark ocean: growth efficiency, leucine-to-carbon conversion factors, and their relation. Aquat Microb Ecol 60:227-232. https://doi.org/10.3354/ame01422

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