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Author(s) : T. Bauersachs, S. Schouten, J. Compaore, U. Wollenzien, L. J. Stal and J. S. S. Damste
Title : Nitrogen isotopic fractionation associated with growth on dinitrogen gas and nitrate by cyanobacteria
Publication : Journal Article: Limnology and Oceanography
Year : 2009


Keyword(s) :arabian sea, assimilation, carbon, cultures, fixation, marine-phytoplankton, natural abundance, north pacific-ocean, organic-matter, trichodesmium cyanobacteria
Abstracts : This study investigated the bulk nitrogen isotopic composition and fractionation of marine and freshwater cyanobacteria growing at the expense of atmospheric dinitrogen gas (N-2) or nitrate (NO3-). In agreement with previous studies, cyanobacteria using N-2 had delta N-15 values ranging from -2 parts per thousand to -1 parts per thousand and fractionated by 2-3 parts per thousand against atmospheric N-2. When grown on NO3-, the analyzed cyanobacteria had a remarkably large range in delta N-15, from -14 parts per thousand to 1 parts per thousand, and fractionated by 4-19 parts per thousand relative to the supplied NO3-. Interestingly, several of the NO3--utilizing cyanobacteria expressed a nitrogen isotopic signal similar to the one expected for diazotrophic species. Extrapolation to the natural environment indicates that delta N-15 signals considered to be associated with dinitrogen fixation could also be generated by NO3- utilization, depending on the isotopic composition of the nitrogen source, the degree of fractionation, and the type of cyanobacterium involved.


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  Cyanobacteria biogeochemical cycling  Role of cyanobacteria in past biogeochemical cycling
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