Effect of tissue nitrogen and phosphorus quota on growth of Porphyra yezoensis blades in suspension cultures

  • Jeff T. Hafting
Conference paper
Part of the Developments in Hydrobiology book series (DIHY, volume 137)


The effect of tissue N and P on growth of Porphyra yezoensis (strain U-51) blades in suspension cultures was investigated. Blades had the ability to store N in excess of requirements. The critical (0.40% fresh wt) and subsistence (0.153% fresh wt) levels of N were constant regardless of N source (NO3 or NH4 +) or light level. Blades did not have the ability to store excess P over the range of P loads given. The subsistence quota for P was higher when NH4 + was given, suggesting a decreased ability to utilize tissue P for growth. NO3 was a better source of N than NH4 + in terms of growth. Blades became bright green in colour when N limited, suggesting a link between phycoerythrin and tissue N. The optimal molar N:P of 13–15 was constant regardless of N source (NO3 or NH4 +) or light level. N:P < 13–15 indicated N limitation, while N:P > 13–15 indicated P limitation. P limited and light limited blades could store more N when NH4 + was given, than when NO3 was the N source, suggesting physiological mechanisms for taking advantage of this usually ephemeral N source, even when growth was limited. N and P reserves were used up relatively quickly (5 days), a characteristic of opportunistic species. Tissue analysis for N and P was a useful technique for determining nutrient status of P. yezoensis blades in land based tanks. As long as tissue N >0.40% fresh wt. and an N:P supply ratio of 13–15 is maintained, blade growth is not limited by N or P.

Key words

Porphyra yezoensis suspension cultures critical N subsistence quota molar N:P nutrient status 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeff T. Hafting
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BotanyUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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