Honors College Thesis

 

Cyclic electron flow : Powering unique motility and alternative nitrogen uptake in Synechococcus WH8102 during nitrogen limited growth Public

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  • Global atmospheric carbon levels are continuing to rise from pre-industrial revolution levels. One of the main regulators of global atmospheric carbon levels, and thus climate, is the world's oceans. Unicellular marine cyanobacteria account for a large percent of total marine carbon fixation. We measured chlorophyll-specific ¹⁴C uptake rates (P[superscript b]) and net primary production (NPP*) in continuous steady state cultures of Synechococcus WH8102 grown at three different nitrogen limited specific growth rates. P[superscript b], NPP*, as well as cellular carbon, nitrogen, and Chl data revealed that NPP* was linearly dependent on nitrogen limited growth rate (R²=0.99). P[superscript b] also increased with nitrogen limited growth rate for Synechococcus WH8102, but growth rates of 0.2d⁻¹ and 0.5d⁻¹ gave similar production values (R²=0.89). The relationship between NPP* and P[superscript b] generally increased with decreasing nitrogen limitation, however, the two production measurements did not co-vary and P[superscript b] could not give a simple estimate for NPP*. Based on our experimental results, extensive literature search, and examination of Synechococcus WH8102's annotated genome, we conclude that cyclic electron flow around PS I is used by Synechococcus WH8102 to generate additional energy for uptake of alternative nitrogen sources and power for cellular motility.
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  • E.R. Jackman internship support program
  • National Science Foundation
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