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      Influence of N, P, Fe Nutrients Availability on Nitrogen Metabolism-Relevant Genes Expression in Skeletonema marinoi

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          Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Iron (Fe) are essential elements for cellular structure and metabolism. In addition to dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN), phytoplankton is able to utilize dissolved organic nitrogen (DON). There is general consensus that both bacteria and higher plants nitrogen metabolism is affected by phosphate availability; this was also found to be true in coccolithophorid . Iron affects the structure and function of ecosystems through its effects on nitrogen metabolism. However, it is unclear how these nutrients affect Skeletonema marinoi’s nitrogen metabolism. Here, using RT-qPCR, we investigate effects of N, P, and Fe on S. marinoi’s nitrogen metabolism and nitrate reductase activity. These results illuminate that in S. marinoi, various nutrients have direct regulation on these genes expression at the molecular level. The varying degree of responses for these genes expression with differing N sources may act to increase the efficiency of nutrient capture when nitrate is limited. Suitable gene expression occurs at a N/P ratio of 16, which represents the atomic N/P ratio of phytoplankton cells and N/P concentrations in ocean; thus, nitrogen metabolism gene expression should be regulated by the existing N/P ratios in the phytoplankton’s internal and external environment. Fe concentration has a direct and significant effect on nitrogen metabolism by regulating gene expression and nitrate reductase activity. Gene expression profiles identified in S. marinoi provide a foundation for understanding molecular mechanisms behind diatom nitrogen metabolism with changing N, P, and Fe nutrients allowing a basic understanding of how diatom growth is affected by nutrient utilization.

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          Author and article information

          Journal of Ocean University of China
          Science Press and Springer (China )
          10 January 2019
          01 February 2019
          : 18
          : 1
          : 239-252
          1 College of Marine Life Science, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266003, China
          2 Function Laboratory for Marine Ecology and Environmental Science, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao 266071, China
          3 Key Laboratory of Marine Environment and Ecology, Ministry of Education, Qingdao 266100, China
          4 College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266100, China
          5 Key Laboratory of Marine Chemical Theory and Technology, Ministry of Education, Qingdao 266100, China
          Author notes
          *Corresponding author: MI Tiezhu
          Copyright © Ocean University of China, Science Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2019.

          The copyright to this article, including any graphic elements therein (e.g. illustrations, charts, moving images), is hereby assigned for good and valuable consideration to the editorial office of Journal of Ocean University of China, Science Press and Springer effective if and when the article is accepted for publication and to the extent assignable if assignability is restricted for by applicable law or regulations (e.g. for U.S. government or crown employees).

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