Copper uptake kinetics in diverse marine phytoplankton

Quigg, Antonietta, John R. Reinfelder, Nicholas S. Fisher

Limnol. Oceanogr., 51(2), 2006, 893-899 | DOI: 10.4319/lo.2006.51.2.0893

ABSTRACT: We measured short-term uptake rates of copper using the gamma-emitting radioisotope 67Cu in seven algal species in natural and artificial seawater. Cellular net uptake of Cu was typically rapid over periods of 2-20 min. Net uptake ceased after about 60 min. The most copper-sensitive species examined, Synechococcus sp., exhibited 2-3 orders of magnitude higher carbon and surface-area-normalized Cu-accumulation rates (46 µmol Cu mol C-1 min-1 and 1,100 zmol Cu µm-2 min-1) (zmol X 10-21 moles) than those measured in diatoms, chlorophytes, a dinoflagellate, and a coccolithophore. Cu-accumulation rates for Thalassiosira weissflogii were three times faster in natural seawater than in EDTA-buffered artificial seawater containing an inorganic Cu concentration of 28 pmol L-1. Calculations showing that the diffusive flux of inorganic Cu was insufficient to account for observed short-term uptake rates suggest that some of the Cu bound to naturally occurring organic ligands is released through the rapid dissociation of those complexes in the cell¬ís boundary layer.

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