Low-Ammonium Environment Increases the Nutrient Exchange between Diatom–Diazotroph Association Cells and Facilitates Photosynthesis and N2 Fixation—a Mechanistic Modeling Analysis
Date of Original Version
Diatom–diazotroph associations (DDAs) are one of the most important symbiotic dinitrogen (N2) fixing groups in the oligotrophic ocean. Despite their capability to fix N2, ammonium (NH4+) remains a key nitrogen (N) source for DDAs, and the effect of NH4+ on their metabolism remains elusive. Here, we developed a coarse-grained, cellular model of the DDA with NH4+ uptake and quantified how the level of extracellular NH4+ influences metabolism and nutrient exchange within the symbiosis. The model shows that, under a fixed growth rate, an increased NH4+ concentration may lower the required level of N2 fixation and photosynthesis, and decrease carbon (C) and N exchange. A low-NH4+ environment leads to more C and N in nutrient exchange and more fixed N2 to support a higher growth rate. With higher growth rates, nutrient exchange and metabolism increased. Our study shows a strong effect of NH4+ on metabolic processes within DDAs, and thus highlights the importance of in situ measurement of NH4+ concentrations.
Publication Title, e.g., Journal
Gao, Meng, Gabrielle Armin, and Keisuke Inomura. "Low-Ammonium Environment Increases the Nutrient Exchange between Diatom–Diazotroph Association Cells and Facilitates Photosynthesis and N2 Fixation—a Mechanistic Modeling Analysis." Cells 11, 18 (2022). doi: 10.3390/cells11182911.