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Hogle, SL, Barbeau KA, Gledhill M.  2014.  Heme in the marine environment: from cells to the iron cycle. Metallomics. 6:1107-1120.   10.1039/c4mt00031e   AbstractWebsite

Hemes are iron containing heterocyclic molecules important in many cellular processes. In the marine environment, hemes participate as enzymatic cofactors in biogeochemically significant processes like photosynthesis, respiration, and nitrate assimilation. Further, hemoproteins, hemes, and their analogs appear to be iron sources for some marine bacterioplankton under certain conditions. Current oceanographic analytical methodologies allow for the extraction and measurement of heme b from marine material, and a handful of studies have begun to examine the distribution of heme b in ocean basins. The study of heme in the marine environment is still in its infancy, but some trends can be gleaned from the work that has been published so far. In this review, we summarize what is known or might be inferred about the roles of heme in marine microbes as well as the few studies on heme in the marine environment that have been conducted to date. We conclude by presenting some future questions and challenges for the field.

Roe, KL, Barbeau K, Mann EL, Haygood MG.  2012.  Acquisition of iron by Trichodesmium and associated bacteria in culture. Environmental Microbiology. 14:1681-1695.   10.1111/j.1462-2920.2011.02653.x   AbstractWebsite

Trichodesmium colonies contain an abundant microbial consortium that is likely to play a role in nutrient cycling within the colony. This study used laboratory cultures of Trichodesmium and two genome-sequenced strains of bacteria typical of Trichodesmium-associated microbes to develop an understanding of the cycling of iron, a potentially limiting micronutrient, within Trichodesmium colonies. We found that the ferric siderophores desferrioxamine B and aerobactin were not readily bioavailable to Trichodesmium, relative to ferric chloride or citrate-associated iron. In contrast, the representative bacterial strains we studied were able to acquire iron from all of the iron sources, implying that naturally occurring Trichodesmium-associated bacteria may be capable of utilizing a more diverse array of iron sources than Trichodesmium. From the organism-specific uptake data collected in this study, a theoretical Trichodesmium colony was designed to model whole colony iron uptake. The bacteria accounted for most (> 70%) of the iron acquired by the colony, highlighting the importance of determining organism-specific uptake in a complex environment. Our findings suggest that, although they may share the same micro-environment, Trichodesmium and its colony-associated microbial cohort may differ substantially in terms of iron acquisition strategy.

Buck, KN, Moffett J, Barbeau KA, Bundy RM, Kondo Y, Wu JF.  2012.  The organic complexation of iron and copper: an intercomparison of competitive ligand exchange-adsorptive cathodic stripping voltammetry (CLE-ACSV) techniques. Limnology and Oceanography-Methods. 10:496-515.   10.4319/lom.2012.10.496   AbstractWebsite

Characterization of the speciation of iron and copper is an important objective of the GEOTRACES Science Plan. To incorporate speciation measurements into such a multinational program, standard practices must be adopted that allow data from multiple labs to be synthesized. Competitive ligand exchange-adsorptive cathodic stripping voltammetry (CLE-ACSV) is the primary technique employed for measuring metal-binding ligands and determining metal speciation in seawater. The determination of concentrations and conditional stability constants of metal-binding ligands is particularly challenging, as results can be influenced both by experimental conditions and interpretation of titration data. Here, we report an investigation between four laboratories to study the speciation of iron and copper using CLE-ACSV. Samples were collected on the GEOTRACES II intercomparison cruise in the North Pacific Ocean in May 2009 at 30 degrees N, 140 degrees W. This intercomparison was carried out shipboard and included an assessment of the viability of sample preservation by freezing. Results showed that consensus values could be obtained between different labs, but that some existing practices were problematic and require further attention in future work. A series of recommendations emerged from this study that will be useful in implementing multi-investigator programs like GEOTRACES.

King, AL, Buck KN, Barbeau KA.  2012.  Quasi-Lagrangian drifter studies of iron speciation and cycling off Point Conception, California. Marine Chemistry. 128:1-12.   10.1016/j.marchem.2011.11.001   AbstractWebsite

The distribution and speciation of dissolved Fe (dFe) were measured during four quasi-Lagrangian drogued drifter studies (similar to 4 d duration each) that were conducted in the southern California Current System in May 2006 and April 2007. Three of the four drifter studies were within the coastal upwelling regime and one drifter study was in a warm-core anticyclonic eddy. Incubation bottle experiments were also conducted to determine the degree of phytoplankton Fe limitation and to assess changes in the concentration of Fe-binding ligands. In the coastal upwelling drifter studies, in situ dFe (1.4-1.8 nM) and macronutrients were initially high and declined over time. Fe addition incubation experiments indicated that the phytoplankton community was not Fe limited at the beginning of the coastal upwelling drifter experiments (when mu M nitrate:nM dFe ratios were similar to 7-8). By the end of two of the three drifter studies (when mu M nitrate:nM dFe ratios were similar to 12-19), Fe addition resulted in larger nitrate and silicic acid drawdown, and larger accumulations in chlorophyll a, particulate organic carbon and nitrogen, and diatom and dinoflagellate-specific carotenoid pigments. Fe speciation was measured in situ in three of the four drifter studies with stronger L-1-type ligands found to be present in excess of dFe in all samples. In Fe speciation incubation experiments. L-1-type ligand production was observed in conjunction with phytoplankton growth under Fe-limiting conditions. The results presented here support and add a quasi-Lagrangian perspective to previous observations of dFe and macronutrient cycling over space and time within the California coastal upwelling regime, including Fe limitation within the phytoplankton community in this region and the biological production of Fe-binding ligands concomitant with Fe limitation. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Buck, KN, Selph KE, Barbeau KA.  2010.  Iron-binding ligand production and copper speciation in an incubation experiment of Antarctic Peninsula shelf waters from the Bransfield Strait, Southern Ocean. Marine Chemistry. 122:148-159.   10.1016/j.marchem.2010.06.002   AbstractWebsite

The evolution of dissolved iron (Fe) and copper (Cu) speciation was followed through a simulated spring bloom event in a 15-day incubation experiment of natural seawater collected during austral winter from high macronutrient high Fe waters of Bransfield Strait in the Southern Ocean. The incubation experiment included unamended bottles as well as Fe additions using the stable isotope of Fe, Fe-57. as inorganic ((FeCl3)-Fe-57) and organic (Fe-57-aerobactin, Fe-57-desferrioxamine B) amendments. Exposure to summer light conditions resulted in substantial growth for all treatments, mimicking the initiation of a spring bloom. The addition of Fe resulted in a 30% increase in phytoplankton biomass over unamended controls by day 15, indicating that the unamended waters became Fe limited despite initially elevated dissolved Fe concentrations. Dissolved Cu and Cu speciation remained largely unchanged for all treatments of the incubation, with Cu speciation dominated by exceedingly strong Cu-binding ligands (log K-CuL1.Cu2+(Cond) similar to 16) and low resultant Cu2+ concentrations (10(-16.3 +/- 0.3) mol L-1). In only the unamended light bottles, strong Fe-binding ligands were produced over the course of the experiment. The observed production of strong Fe-binding ligands in the control bottles that became Fe-limited supports the important role of biologically produced siderophore-type natural ligands in the marine Fe cycle. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Barbeau, K.  2006.  Photochemistry of organic iron(III) complexing ligands in oceanic systems. Photochemistry and Photobiology. 82:1505-1516.   10.1562/2006-06-16-ir-935   AbstractWebsite

Iron is a limiting nutrient for primary production in marine systems, and photochemical processes play a significant role in the upper ocean biogeochemical cycling of this key element. In recent years, progress has been made toward understanding the role of biologically produced organic ligands in controlling the speciation and photochemical redox cycling of iron in ocean surface waters. Most (> 99%) of the dissolved iron in seawater is now known to be associated with strong organic ligands. New data concerning the structure and photochemical reactivity of strong Fe(III) binding ligands (siderophores) produced by pelagic marine bacteria suggest that direct photolysis via ligand-to-metal charge transfer reactions may be an important mechanism for the production of reduced, biologically available iron (Fe[II]) in surface waters. Questions remain, however, about the importance of these processes relative to secondary photochemical reactions with photochemically produced radical species, such as superoxide (O-2(-))The mechanism of superoxide-mediated reduction of Fe(III) in the presence of strong Fe(III) organic ligands is also open to debate. This review highlights recent findings, including both model ligand studies and experimental/observational studies of the natural seawater ligand pool.