Marine Biology

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 41–47 | Cite as

Amino acid uptake and respiration by marine heterotrophs

  • P. J. Le B. Williams
  • T. Berman
  • O. Holm-Hansen


The concentration and turnover of dissolved free amino acids were measured in samples from 25 and 100 m on three occasions at a station 6 miles off the California (USA) coast. Individual amino acid concentrations varied from undetectable (<0.05 μg/l) to 3 μg/l, the total amino acid concentration from 1.8 to 8.5 μg/l. The greater concentration of total amino acids was always found at 25 m. The predominant amino acids were serine, lysine, aspartate, glutamate and alanine; reliable analyses could not be made for glycine because of a high blank. For the 10 individual amino acids studied, the rate of heterotrophic turnover ranged from undetectable to 1.2 μg/l day-1; serine, aspartate, alanine and glutamate showed the highest rates. In samples from 25 m, the rates were 15 to 20 times higher than those taken from 100 m. The total calculated flux of the amino acids studied varied from 0.015 to 3.2 μg/l day-1 and amounted to 1–10% of photosynthetic carbon dioxide fixation.


Glutamate Respiration Serine Alanine Free Amino 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. J. Le B. Williams
    • 1
    • 2
  • T. Berman
    • 1
  • O. Holm-Hansen
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Marine ResourcesScripps Institution of OceanographySan DiegoUSA
  2. 2.Department of OceanographyThe UniversitySouthamptonEngland

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