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Evidence of nickel ion requirement for autotrophic growth of a marine diatom cyclotella cryptica with urea serving as nitrogen source

, : Evidence of nickel ion requirement for autotrophic growth of a marine diatom cyclotella cryptica with urea serving as nitrogen source. British Phycological Journal 19(2): 125-134

C. cryptica Reimann, Lewin et Guillard was unable to grow on urea added to the seawater enriched with phosphate, silicate, vitamins (B12, thiamine, biotin), trace metal ions (Fe, Mn, Zn, Mo, Cu, Co) and buffered at pH 7.5-8.0. On addition of minute Ni2+ concentrations to this medium, the diatom showed good growth on urea compared to that on equivalent nitrate without Ni2+ addition. The growth on urea was optimal at Ni2+ concentrations in the range 0.1-1 .mu.M, but good growth was also obtained at 0.01 and 10 .mu.M Ni2+. Higher Ni2+ concentrations were inhibitory to growth on both urea and nitrate, while the lower Ni2+ concentration limit for measurable urea growth was reached at 4-5 nM. In the simultaneous presence of a chelating agent, the diatom failed to grow on urea, indicating a growth requirement for free Ni2+ ions. This Ni2+ requirement could not be replaced by Cu2+, Mn2+, Zn2+, Pd2+ while Co2+ could substitute for Ni2+ to the extent of about 20%. At a Ni2+ concentration of 0.1 .mu.M, the diatom yield increased to a saturation maximum with increasing urea concentration up to 5 mM and was little depressed at higher urea levels. While a Ni2+ requirement could be universal to urease-producing phytoplankters, it was inferred that this requirement may be greater and more stringent for C. cryptica so that other algae could meet their requirement, without Ni2+ supplementation, from the trace metal concentrations normally present in seawater. Alternatively, they might more readily substitute Ni2+ by a trace metal analogue (such as Co2+) from the nutrient enrichments normally made in preparing culture media.

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