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Effects of nitrogen availability on inorganic carbon concentrating mechanisms in marine phytoplankton Corkum, Miranda Elyse

Abstract

Carbon and nitrogen metabolism are tightly coupled through the enzyme RubisCO, but the effects of nitrogen limitation on cellular carbon acquisition are not well understood. This thesis reports measurements of RubisCO and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC - an enzyme involved in the C₄ photosynthetic pathway) activity in Thalassiosira weissflogii grown under steadystate nitrogen limitation as well as data on the utilization of dissolved inorganic carbon species by this microalgae. These biochemical and physiological parameters were also examined across a natural nitrogen gradient in a field study of phytoplankton assemblages in the Queen Charlotte Sound coastal region. In nitrogen-limited T.weissflogii cultures, RubisCO activity decreased with decreasing growth rate (r=0.821; p

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