In-vivo single-cell fluorescence and size-scaling of phytoplankton chlorophyll content


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eva.alvarez [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

In unicellular phytoplankton, the size scaling exponent of chlorophyll content per cell decreases with increasing light limitation. Empirical studies have ex- plored this allometry by combining data from several species, using average values of pigment content and cell size for each species. The resulting allometry thus in- cludes phylogenetic and size scaling effects. The possibility of measuring single-cell fluorescence with imaging-in-flow cytometry devices allows the study of the size scaling of chlorophyll content at both the inter- and intraspecific levels. In this work, the changing allometry of chlorophyll content was estimated for the first time for single phytoplankton populations by using data from a series of incubations with monocultures exposed to different light levels. Interspecifically, our experiments con- firm previous modeling and experimental results of increasing size scaling exponents with increasing irradiance. A similar pattern was observed intraspecifically but with a larger variability in size scaling exponents. Our results show that size-based pro- cesses and geometrical approaches explain variations in chlorophyll content. We also show that the single-cell fluorescence measurements provided by imaging-in-flow devices can be applied to field samples to understand the changes in the size de- pendence of chlorophyll content in response to environmental variables affecting primary production.



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ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
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Published
Eprint ID
44025
DOI 10.1128/AEM.03317-16

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Álvarez, E. , Nogueira, E. and López-Urrutia, Á. (2017): In-vivo single-cell fluorescence and size-scaling of phytoplankton chlorophyll content , Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 83 (7), pp. 1-16 . doi: 10.1128/AEM.03317-16


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