Gao, Meng, Andrews, Jamal, Armin, Gabrielle, Chakraborty, Subhendu ORCID:, Zehr, Jonathan P. and Inomura, Keisuke (2024) Rapid mode switching facilitates the growth of Trichodesmium: A model analysis. iScience . p. 109906. DOI

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Trichodesmium is one of the dominant dinitrogen (N2) fixers in the ocean, influencing global carbon and nitrogen cycles through biochemical reactions. Although its photosynthetic activity fluctuates rapidly, the physiological or ecological advantage of this fluctuation is unclear. We develop a metabolic model of Trichodesmium that can perform daytime N2 fixation. We examined (1) the effect of the duration of switches between photosynthetic and non-photosynthetic cellular states and (2) the effect of the presence and absence of N2 fixation in photosynthetic states. Results show that a rapid switch between photosynthetic and non-photosynthetic states increases Trichodesmium growth rates by improving metabolic efficiencies due to an improved balance of C and N metabolism. This provides a strategy for previous paradoxical observations that all Trichodesmium cells can contain nitrogenase. This study reveals the importance of fluctuating photosynthetic activity and provides a mechanism for daytime N2 fixation that allows Trichodesmium to fix N2 aerobically in the global ocean.

Document Type: Article
Programme Area: PA2
Research affiliation: Integrated Modelling > Systems Ecology
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
ISSN: 25890042
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2024 11:09
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2024 11:09

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