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Aquatic Microbial Ecology

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AME 69:205-210 (2013)  -  DOI:

Transformation of chlorophyll a during viral infection of Emiliania huxleyi

Nicole J. Bale1,2,*, Ruth L. Airs1, Susan A. Kimmance1, Carole A. Llewellyn

1Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Prospect Place, The Hoe, Plymouth PL1 3DH, UK
2Present address: Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), 1797 SZ, Den Hoorn, The Netherlands

ABSTRACT: Although viruses can significantly reduce primary production-mediated carbon cycling, the effect of viral infection on the principal photosynthetic pigment that enables autotrophic production, chlorophyll a (chl a), remains unresolved. We compared the production of chl a transformation compounds in Emiliania huxleyi cultures undergoing viral infection with that in control cultures left to decline in the stationary phase of growth. A high performance liquid chromatography mass spectrometry method developed for the detection of Type I chl a transformation products was used. A rapid decline in cellular concentrations of chl a, C-132 diastereomer of chl a (chl a’) and phaeophytin a (phytin a) was observed in both infected and control cultures. The most notable finding was the significant increase in the cellular concentrations of Type I chl oxidation products (allomers) in the infected cultures, and we hypothesise that this may be due to increased oxidative stress and reactive oxygen species.

KEY WORDS: Viral infection · Emiliania huxleyi · Chlorophyll a · Transformation products · Oxidative transformation

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Cite this article as: Bale NJ, Airs RL, Kimmance SA, Llewellyn CA (2013) Transformation of chlorophyll a during viral infection of Emiliania huxleyi. Aquat Microb Ecol 69:205-210.

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