University Of Tasmania

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Insights into the production and role of nitric oxide in the Antarctic sea-ice diatom Fragilariopsis cylindrus

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 15:44 authored by Fraser KennedyFraser Kennedy, Martin, A, Andrew McMinnAndrew McMinn

Nitric oxide (NO) is widely recognized as an important transmitter molecule in biological systems, from animals to plants and microbes. However, the role of NO in marine photosynthetic microbes remains unclear and even less is known about the role of this metabolite in Antarctic sea‐ice diatoms. Using a combination of microsensors, microfluidic chambers, and artificial sea‐ice tanks, a basic mechanistic insight into NO's dynamics within the Antarctic sea‐ice diatom Fragilariopsis cylindrus was obtained. Results suggest that NO production in F. cylindrus is nitrite‐dependent via nitrate reductase. NO production was abolished upon exposure to light but could be induced in the light when normal photosynthetic electron flow was disrupted. The addition of exogenous NO to cellular suspensions of F. cylindrus negatively influenced growth, disrupted photosynthesis, and altered non‐photochemical dissipation mechanisms. NO production was also observed when cells were exposed to stressful salinity and temperature regimes. These results suggest that during periods of environmental stress, NO could be produced in F. cylindrus as a “stress signa” molecule.


Publication title

Journal of Phycology










Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Blackwell Publishing Inc

Place of publication

350 Main St, Malden, USA, Ma, 02148

Rights statement

Copyright 2020 Phycological Society of America

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences