Estimate of phytoplankton division rates by the mitotic index method: The fmax approach revisited

Vaulot, D.

Limnology and Oceanography 37(3): 644-649


ISSN/ISBN: 0024-3590
DOI: 10.4319/lo.1992.37.3.0644
Accession: 068500940

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The mitotic index method is re-examined by solving an idealized case analytically. A lower bound for the daily division rate of a phased cell population can be computed as ln[(1 + fmax)/(1 + fmin)] where fmax and fmin are the maximal and minimal fractions of cells in a terminal phase of the cell cycle (e. g. mitosis) over a light: dark cycle. This new formula extends the previous analysis of Mc Duff and Chisholm to the case of slow-growing cells that spend more than 1 d in the terminal phase. It should be useful in the case of phytoplankton populations growing in oligotrophic waters. Further, the error between this lower bound and the actual value of the division rate is expressed as a function of the durations of the terminal phase and of the division burst.