AB - Vol. 11, No. 1 - Feature article

Schematic diagram of the potential pathways of uptake, exudation and conversion of iodine species by phytoplankton cells. Schematic diagram: Katrin Bluhm

Bluhm K, Croot P, Wuttig K, Lochte K


Transformation of iodate to iodide in marine phytoplankton driven by cell senescence


Phytoplankton may play a key role in the biogeochemical cycling of iodine in the ocean due to their ability to reduce iodate to iodide. Bluhm et al. examined this process by observing changes in iodine speciation, for several phytoplankton species in batch culture, over the course of the growth cycle. For most species they observed the reduction of iodate to iodide commencing in the stationary phase and peaking when cells became senescent. The data suggest iodate reduction results from increased cell permeability allowing reactions of iodate with reduced sulphur species contained in or exuded from the cell. Reduction of iodate by phytoplankton may be related to cell senescence/permeability rather than growth rate or nitrate uptake as suggested previously.


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