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Editorial: Marine N2 Fixation: Recent Discoveries and Future Challenges

Abstract : Unicellular nitrogen fixing cyanobacteria (UCYN) are abundant members of phytoplankton communities in a wide range of marine environments, including those with rapidly changing nitrogen (N) concentrations. We hypothesized that differences in N availability (N 2 vs. combined N) would cause UCYN to shift strategies of intracellular N and C allocation. We used transmission electron microscopy and nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry imaging to track assimilation and intracellular allocation of 13 C-labeled CO 2 and 15 N-labeled N 2 or NO 3 at different periods across a diel cycle in Cyanothece sp. ATCC 51142. We present new ideas on interpreting these imaging data, including the influences of pre-incubation cellular C and N contents and turnover rates of inclusion bodies. Within cultures growing diazotrophically, distinct subpopulations were detected that fixed N 2 at night or in the morning. Additional significant within-population heterogeneity was likely caused by differences in the relative amounts of N assimilated into cyanophycin from sources external and internal to the cells. Whether growing on N 2 or NO 3 , cells prioritized cyanophycin synthesis when N assimilation rates were highest. N assimilation in cells growing on NO 3 switched from cyanophycin synthesis to protein synthesis, suggesting that once a cyanophycin quota is met, it is bypassed in favor of protein synthesis. Growth on NO 3 also revealed that at night, there is a very low level of CO 2 assimilation into polysaccharides simultaneous with their catabolism for protein synthesis. This study revealed multiple, detailed mechanisms underlying C and N management in Cyanothece that facilitate its success in dynamic aquatic environments.
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Contributor : Sophie Rabouille Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, November 16, 2021 - 12:13:58 PM
Last modification on : Friday, January 7, 2022 - 3:42:46 PM


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Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License



Angela Landolfi, Sophie Rabouille, Beatriz Mouriño-Carballido. Editorial: Marine N2 Fixation: Recent Discoveries and Future Challenges. Frontiers in Marine Science, Frontiers Media, 2021, 8, ⟨10.3389/fmars.2021.664195⟩. ⟨hal-03428610⟩



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