Colonies of the marine cyanobacterium Trichodesmium optimize dust utilization by selective collection and retention of nutrient-rich particles

Siyuan Wang, Coco Koedooder, Futing Zhang, Nivi Kessler, Meri Eichner, Dalin Shi, Yeala Shaked*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Trichodesmium, a globally important, N2-fixing, and colony-forming cyanobacterium, employs multiple pathways for acquiring nutrients from air-borne dust, including active dust collection. Once concentrated within the colony core, dust can supply Trichodesmium with nutrients. Recently, we reported a selectivity in particle collection enabling Trichodesmium to center iron-rich minerals and optimize its nutrient utilization. In this follow-up study we examined if colonies select Phosphorus (P) minerals. We incubated 1,200 Trichodesmium colonies from the Red Sea with P-free CaCO3, P-coated CaCO3, and dust, over an entire bloom season. These colonies preferably interacted, centered, and retained P-coated CaCO3 compared with P-free CaCO3. In both studies, Trichodesmium clearly favored dust over all other particles tested, whereas nutrient-free particles were barely collected or retained, indicating that the colonies sense the particle composition and preferably collect nutrient-rich particles. This unique ability contributes to Trichodesmium's current ecological success and may assist it to flourish in future warmer oceans.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number103587
JournaliScience
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 21 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors

Keywords

  • Ecology
  • Geomicrobiology
  • Microbiology

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