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Brazilian Journal of Oceanography

Print version ISSN 1679-8759On-line version ISSN 1982-436X


LAVIN, Paris L.  and  LOURENCO, Sergio O.. An evaluation of the accumulation of intracellular inorganic nitrogen pools by marine microalgae in batch cultures. Braz. j. oceanogr. [online]. 2005, vol.53, n.1-2, pp.55-68. ISSN 1982-436X.

Methods of extraction, changes in concentrations with growth, and effects of culture conditions on intracellular inorganic nitrogen pools (IIN - ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate) were studied in nine species of marine microalgae in batch cultures. The microalgae were analysed to compare three methods of extraction of IIN, one of them developed in this study. The extraction of IIN occurs efficient by with all three methods for four out of the nine species tested. However, for five species significant differences were found among the methods, the best results being obtained with the new method. Microalgae accumulate inorganic forms of nitrogen in different proportions. The species show higher concentrations of either ammonia or nitrate, and always lower concentrations of nitrite. Microalgae of smaller cellular volumes tend to attain higher values of IIN per cubic micrometer (the converse in large-volume species), with some exceptions (Amphidinium carterae and Nannochloropsis oculata). The use of aeration in the cultures determines a decrease in the concentrations of IIN, favours nitrogen assimilation, and generates an increase in growth rates and C:N ratio. High concentrations of IIN are characteristic of the exponential growth phase, but in some cases their occurrence may result from carbon deficiency.

Keywords : Batch Culture; Carbon; Intracellular Inorganic Nitrogen; Marine Microalgae; Nitrogen; Surface : Volume Ratio.

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