Diatom fucan polysaccharide precipitates carbon during algal blooms


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Antje.Wichels [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

The formation of sinking particles in the ocean, which promote carbon sequestration into deeper water and sediments, involves algal polysaccharides acting as an adhesive, binding together molecules, cells and minerals. These as yet unidentified adhesive polysaccharides must resist degradation by bacterial enzymes or else they dissolve and particles disassemble before exporting carbon. Here, using monoclonal antibodies as analytical tools, we trace the abundance of polysaccharide epitopes in dissolved and particulate organic matter during a series of diatom blooms in the North Sea, and discover a fucose-containing sulphated polysaccharide (FCSP) that resists enzymatic degradation, accumulates and aggregates. Previously only known as a macroalgal polysaccharide, we find FCSP to be secreted by several globally abundant diatom species including the genera Chaetoceros and Thalassiosira. These findings provide evidence for a novel polysaccharide candidate to contribute to carbon sequestration in the ocean.



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Article
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ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
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Published
Eprint ID
52442
DOI 10.1038/s41467-021-21009-6

Cite as
Vidal-Melgosa, S. , Sichert, A. , Francis, T. B. , Bartosik, D. , Niggemann, J. , Wichels, A. , Willats, W. G. , Fuchs, B. , Teeling, H. , Becher, D. , Schweder, T. , Amann, R. and Hehemann, J. H. (2021): Diatom fucan polysaccharide precipitates carbon during algal blooms , Nature Communications . doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-21009-6


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