University of Tasmania

File(s) under permanent embargo

Development of Immunoassays for the Iron-Regulated Proteins Ferredoxin and Flavodoxin in Polar Microalgae

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 23:51 authored by Pankowski, A, Andrew McMinnAndrew McMinn
While the growth of Southern Ocean phytoplank- ton is often limited by iron availability, there are no comparable experiments on sea-ice algae. Here we assess the use of ferredoxin and flavodoxin to inves- tigate the iron nutritional status of sea-ice algae and describe the development of a quantitative immuno- assay for both proteins in marine diatoms. High- affinity monoclonal antibodies toward both proteins were produced from Cylindrotheca closterium (Ehrenb.) J. M. Lewin et Reimann, and these were used to develop Western blots. Western blots run on whole protein extracts detected both proteins with little cross-reactivity toward other proteins. The two proteins could be successfully quantitated when applied to gels at between 5 and 50 ng in a volume of 25 lL (0.2–2 lg Æ mL)1). Flavodoxin and ferrodox- in expression was examined in the Antarctic diatoms Entomoneis kjellmannii (Cleve) Poulin et Cardinal, Navicula directa (W. Sm.) Ralfs, Fragilariopsis curta (Van Heurck) Hust., Pseudo-nitzschia sp., Porosira gla- cialis (Grunow) E. G. Jørg., Fragilariopsis cylindrus (Grunow) Willi Krieg., Fragilariopsis sublinearis (Van Heurck) Heiden et Kolbe, C. closterium, Nitzschia leco- intei Van Heurck, and the dinoflagellate Polarella gla- cialis Montresor, Procaccini et Stoecker. Two Arctic isolates were also examined, Nitzschia frigida (Gru- now) and Fragilariopsis oceanica (Cleve) Hasle. Signif- icant heterogeneity of protein expression was observed despite all cultures being grown in iron- replete f ⁄ 2 medium. Only one species, F. cylindrus, displayed the expected expression of ferredoxin only in iron-replete medium. Four were observed to produce both proteins under iron-replete conditions. Ferredoxin was not detected at all in F. curta and Pseudo-nitzschia sp., but distinct flavodoxin bands were observed in both of these organisms. All species examined were observed to express either flavodoxin or ferredoxin or both of the proteins as determined by Western immunoblotting.


Publication title

Journal of Phycology








Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Wiley-Blackwell Publishing

Place of publication

Malden, USA

Rights statement

The definitive published version is available online at:

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Marine biodiversity

Usage metrics

    University Of Tasmania


    Ref. manager