Isoprene production by Prochlorococcus, a marine cyanobacterium, and other phytoplankton

TitleIsoprene production by Prochlorococcus, a marine cyanobacterium, and other phytoplankton
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsShaw, SL, Chisholm, SW, Prinn, RG
JournalMarine Chemistry
Date PublishedFeb
ISBN Number0304-4203
Accession NumberWOS:000181512200001
KeywordsAlgae, boundary-layer, dissolved organic-carbon, field-measurements, Isoprene, laboratory experiments, methyl-chloride, micromonas-pusilla prasinophyceae, NMHC, Non-methane hydrocarbons, nonmethane hydrocarbons, north pacific-ocean, phaeocystis-pouchetii, Phytoplankton, Prochlorococcus, viral-infection

The oceans are a small source of light (C-2-C-6) non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC), which influence the photo-oxidant chemistry of the remote marine atmosphere. Previous work has shown that water column sources of alkenes include photochemical processes, and that various phytoplankton species can produce isoprene. However, only a few phytoplankton species have been studied, and no assessment has been performed of the effects of other pelagic microorganisms on NMHC cycling. The dependence of phytoplanktonic isoprene production on light, temperature, and organism size has also not been investigated. In this work, laboratory cultures of five different marine phytoplankton species (Prochlorococcus, Synechococcus, Micromonas pusilla, Pelagomonas calceolata, and Emiliania huxleyi) were examined for NMHC production capabilities. All species were found to produce isoprene at constant rates during the balanced exponential growth phase; rates ranged from 1 X 10(-21) to 4 X 10(-19) mol cell(-1) day(-1) over all cell species and growth conditions tested. No other NMHC was consistently produced or consumed by these cells. The presence of heterotrophic bacteria in phytoplankton cultures had no effect on isoprene production rates per phytoplankton cell. A positive allomettic relationship was observed between isoprene production rate and cell volume; highest production rates were found for the largest cell, E. huxleyi, and lowest rates for Prochlorococcus, the smallest cell. Isoprene production was a function of light intensity and temperature in Prochlorococcus, with patterns that were similar to those between growth rate and these environmental variables. The maximum production with light intensity occurred in the photoinhibited regime, and the maximum with temperature was at the maximum of growth rate for this species, near 23 degreesC. Nanoflagellate grazing by Cafeteria roenbergensis on, and phage infection of, Prochlorococcus controlled total isoprene produced in the flask by controlling cell abundances. Phage infection also decreased the isoprene production rate per cell during latent period of infection as compared to healthy cells. With certain assumptions, combining the measured laboratory isoprene production rates with observed water column phytoplankton abundances resulted in a maximum estimated sea-to-air flux of isoprene that was on the same order of magnitude as previously reported values determined using in situ measured seawater and atmospheric measurements. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Short TitleMar Chem
Alternate JournalMar Chem