Phosphorus resource partitioning in the North Pacific subtropical gyre: new insights from single cell approaches


Thursday, May 10, 2012
Redfield Auditorium - 12:00 Noon
Dr. Solange Duhamel
Postdoctoral Scholar, Biology Department

Phosphorus (P) is one of the essential elements for all living organisms and has a key role in ocean productivity. The most bioavailable form of P is dissolved inorganic P as orthophosphate, but many compounds of the dissolved organic P pool can be used as a P source, even under P-sufficient microbial growth. The partitioning of P among the main groups of microorganisms inhabiting the North Pacific subtropical gyre is poorly characterized. Yet, it is necessary to identify the competitive ability in P utilization among different microbial groups in order to better predicts the effect of changes in microbial communities species composition on carbon and nutrient fluxes. New approaches are necessary in order to answer the questions: who is using what, at what rate and under which conditions? The interplay between microorganisms and the P cycling was studied using total, size fractionated and flow cytometry cell sorted samples. I will discuss how single cell approaches allow for new understanding on P resource utilization by major microbial groups in the ocean.