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Matrai, PA, Vernet M, Hood R, Jennings A, Brody E, Saemundsdottir S.  1995.  Light-dependence of carbon and sulfur production by polar clones of the genus Phaeocystis. Marine Biology. 124:157-167.   10.1007/bf00349157   AbstractWebsite

Blooms of the marine prymnesiophyte genus Phaeocystis link the oceanic and atmospheric compartments of the carbon and sulfur cycles. Modeling the fluxes of dimethylsulfide from the ocean to the atmosphere has been limited due to a lack of information on functional responses to environmental variables. In this study, the light-dependence of extracellular carbon production and dimethyl sulfide (DMS) production by non-axenic polar clones of Phaeocystis spp. was examined at different growth stages. Comparative experiments were run with non-axenic arctic clones of the diatoms Thalassiossira nordenskioeldii and Skeletonema costatum. A large portion of carbon incorporated by the colonial stage of Phaeocystis spp. is released extracellularly, in particular in stationary colonies. This extracellular production can be modeled as a function of irradiance, as for carbon incorporation. In Phaeocyst is spp., cellular and extracellular carbon incorporation represent different uptake rates, indicating the formation of two distinct carbon pools. The release of extracellular carbon by polar Phaeocystis spp. was not a constant fraction of total production over the irradiance range used. We observed little extracellular carbon production by cells at high irradiance, and maximal rates were observed at intermediate irradiance. Newly incorporated carbon that accumulates in the mucilage of the colonial stage of antarctic Phaeocystis spp. during photosynthesis was not reutilized for cellular growth during the dark period, as observed for temperate clones. In contrast, only a minor fraction of the radiocarbon incorporated by the diatoms was released extracellularly for all growth stages. The production of DMS was an order of magnitude higher for Phaeocystis spp. than for diatoms. The chlorophyll-specific production of DMS and DMSP (dimethylsulphoniopropionate, the precursor to DMS) by Phaeocystis spp. showed a hyperbolic response to irradiance, while arctic diatoms (weak or non-producers of DMS), on the other hand, did not show any light-dependency of DMS production. An inverse relationship between DMS and DMSP production in stationary clones of arctic P. pouchetii was observed, but not for the exponentially growing antarctic clone. Stationary colonies also had higher DMS and dissolved DMSP production rates than exponentially growing ones, These relationships can be extrapolated to the field in areas where Phaeocystis spp, dominates.