Marine Biology

, Volume 120, Issue 1, pp 17–23 | Cite as

Nitrate-reductase activity and in vivo nitrate-reduction rate in Ulva rigida illuminated by blue light

  • A. Corzo
  • F. X. Niell


In the marine green alga Ulva rigida C. Agardh, nitrate reductase (NR) is synergetically induced by blue light and nitrate. The present study examines the effect of blue light and a large NO 3 pulse (0.3 mM) on relevant variables of NO 3 -assimilation such as NO 3 -uptake, intracellular NO 3 -storage, NR activity, in vivo NO 3 -reduction rate and NO 2 and NH 4 + -accumulation. Nitrate uptake started immediately upon addition of NO 3 , suggesting the presence of a constitutive carrier, however in the first 1.5 to 2 h, periods of net NO 3 efflux were frequent. After this time, NO 3 -uptake and intracellular NO 3 -accumulation proceeded linearly with time, suggesting the existence of a different NO 3 -uptake mechanism, which seems to be inducible. Our results indicate that in vivo NO 3 -reduction is not exclusively dependent on the potential NR activity. In U. rigida, during the first 2 h after a NO 3 pulse (300 μM) there were clear indications that the induction state of the NO 3 -carrier limits the reduction rate of NO 3 . Once the induction of the NO 3 -transporter had been completed (1.5 to 2 h), the NO 3 -assimilation pathway reached a steady state, NO 3 -uptake rate, NO 3 -reduction rate and NO 2 and NH 4 + -accumulation being linear with time. Since the reduction of NO 3 leads mainly to the accumulation of NH 4 + , we conclude that, after the NO 3 -reduction itself, NH 4 + -fixation into carbon skeletons is the limiting step in the assimilation of NO 3 by U. rigida under blue light.


Assimilation Uptake Rate Green Alga Reduction Rate Blue Light 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Corzo
    • 1
  • F. X. Niell
    • 2
  1. 1.Departamento de Biología y Ecología, Facultad de Ciencias del MarUniversidad de CádizPuerto RealSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de EcologíaUniversidad de MálagaMálagaSpain

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