AME 74:173-185 (2015)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/ame01735

Effect of short-term light- and UV-stress on DMSP, DMS, and DMSP lyase activity in Emiliania huxleyi 

Louise J. Darroch1,6, Michel Lavoie1, Maurice Levasseur1,*, Isabelle Laurion2, William G. Sunda3, Sonia Michaud4, Michael Scarratt4, Michel Gosselin5, Gitane Caron

1Québec-Océan and Unité Mixte Internationale Takuvik U. Laval-CNRS, Département de biologie, Université Laval, Québec, Québec G1V 0A6, Canada
2Institut national de la recherche scientifique, Centre Eau, Terre et Environnement, 490 rue de la Couronne, Québec, Québec G1K 9A9, Canada
3Beaufort Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Beaufort, North Carolina 28516, USA
4Maurice Lamontagne Institute, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 850 Route de la mer, Mont-Joli, Québec G5H 3Z4, Canada
5Institut des sciences de la mer, Université du Québec à Rimouski, 310 allée des Ursulines, Rimouski, Québec G5L 3A1, Canada
6Present address: British Oceanographic Data Centre, Joseph Proudman Building, 6 Brownlow Street, Liverpool L3 5DA, UK
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The ecological conditions and cellular mechanisms which affect the production of dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) and dimethylsulfide (DMS) in marine ecosystems are still enigmatic. This information is crucial for deriving accurate oceanic ecosystem models for the dynamics of these major players in the Earth’s sulfur cycle and climate. In the present study, we examined the effect of short-term increases in photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) and ultraviolet radiation (UVR) on the production of DMSP and DMS and on DMSP lyase potential activity (DLPA) in an axenic culture of the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi (CCMP 1742). Algal cells were subjected to a rapid shift from a low intensity of PAR (50 μE m-2 s-1; low light, LL) to a high intensity of PAR (198 μE m-2 s-1) and elevated UVR conditions (high light, HL), simulating what may occur during upward mixing in the surface mixed layer or during changes in cloud cover. During the 4.5 h exposure to HL, the intracellular DMSP normalized to cell volume increased by ca. 30%, and dissolved DMSP doubled relative to control values. However, the DLPA per unit of cell volume decreased by ~45% compared to the control value. The up-regulation of cellular DMSP concentration is consistent with an antioxidant and/or energy dissipation role for DMSP. The decrease in DLPA may indicate that the DMSP lyase enzyme plays no role in antioxidant protection in this algal species, but rather serves some other cellular function, such as grazing protection.


KEY WORDS: DMSP · DMS · DMSP lyase · Light stress · Ultraviolet radiation · Phytoplankton


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Cite this article as: Darroch LJ, Lavoie M, Levasseur M, Laurion I and others (2015) Effect of short-term light- and UV-stress on DMSP, DMS, and DMSP lyase activity in Emiliania huxleyi . Aquat Microb Ecol 74:173-185. https://doi.org/10.3354/ame01735

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