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Astaxanthin production in marine pelagic copepods grazing on two different phytoplankton diets
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Evolution, Genomics and Systematics, Evolutionary Biology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution.
2005 (English)In: Journal of Sea Research, ISSN 1385-1101, E-ISSN 1873-1414, Vol. 53, no 3, 147-160 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The red carotenoid astaxanthin is a powerful natural antioxidant of great importance in aquatic food webs where it is abundant in eggs and body tissues of fish and crustaceans. Little is known about the impact of the phytoplankton diet on astaxanthin production in copepods, its major pelagic producers. We followed the transfer of carotenoids from phytoplankton to copepods in a mesocosm experiment on the northern Atlantic coast (Norway) and recorded the astaxanthin production in copepods. Wild copepods grazed on nutrient-manipulated phytoplankton blooms, which differed in community composition and nutrient status (nitrogen or silicate limitation). The copepod pigments consisted mainly of free astaxanthin and mono- and diesters of astaxanthin. We found no significant difference in astaxanthin production per copepod individual or per unit C depending on the phytoplankton community. However, in the mesocosms astaxanthin per unit C decreased compared with natural levels, probably through a lower demand for photoprotection by the copepods in the dense phytoplankton blooms. The total astaxanthin production per litre was higher in the silicate-limited mesocosms through increased copepod density. Pigment ratio comparisons suggested that the copepod diet here consisted more of diatoms than in the nitrogen-limited mesocosms. Silicate-saturated diatoms were less grazed, possibly because they could invest more in defence mechanisms against their predators. Our study suggests that the production of astaxanthin in aquatic systems can be affected by changes in nutrient dynamics mediated by phytoplankton community composition and copepod population growth. This bottom-up force may have implications for antioxidant protection at higher trophic levels in the food web.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 53, no 3, 147-160 p.
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-92156DOI: 10.1016/j.seares.2004.07.003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-92156DiVA: diva2:165132
Available from: 2004-10-01 Created: 2004-10-01 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Pigment and Thiamine Dynamics in Marine Phytoplankton and Copepods
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Pigment and Thiamine Dynamics in Marine Phytoplankton and Copepods
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Based on a field study and several mesocosm experiments, I evaluated the use of pigments as chemotaxonomical biomarkers for phytoplankton community composition in the Baltic Sea and I examined effects of inorganic nutrients on the dynamics of carotenoids and thiamine (vitamin B1) at the phytoplankton–copepod level in marine pelagic food webs.

My results show that HPLC pigment analysis combined with CHEMTAX data processing was an accurate alternative to microscopic analysis of Baltic Sea phytoplankton.

Experimental supply of N, P and Si affected copepod growth and biochemical status via changes in biomass and composition of their phytoplankton diet. Net population growth rates were generally higher when phytoflagellates dominated (low Si:N ratio) and lower when diatoms dominated (high Si:N ratio).

Copepod body concentrations of astaxanthin decreased with fertilization. Correlations with reduced under-water irradiance were consistent with the photo-protective function of this antioxidant. Thiamine concentrations in phytoplankton also decreased with fertilization. In copepods, low Si:N ratios resulted in higher thiamine concentrations than high Si:N ratios. Thiamine concentration and degree of phosphorylation were useful as indicators of thiamine shortage both in phytoplankton and copepods. The concentrations of thiamine and astaxanthin in the copepod communities were positively correlated.

As copepods constitute a major link between pelagic primary producers and higher trophic levels, fertilization effects may be responsible for astaxanthin and thiamine deficiencies in salmon suffering from the M74 syndrome, which appeared concurrently with large-scale eutrophication in the Baltic Sea. As both thiamine and astaxanthin are deficient in M74-affected salmon, there is a need for physiological and molecular investigations of possible interactions between the two compounds in living cells.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2004. 38 p.
Series
Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1104-232X ; 1016
Keyword
Biology, phytoplankton composition, pigments, chemotaxonomy, inorganic nutrients, pelagic copepods, grazing, astaxanthin, thiamine, mesocosm experiments, marine food webs, eutrophication, Baltic Sea, Biologi
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-4560 (URN)91-554-6042-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2004-10-22, The lecture hall, Dept. of Plant Ecology, Villav. 14, Uppsala, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2004-10-01 Created: 2004-10-01 Last updated: 2009-03-31Bibliographically approved

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