Publication List

Public Writing

Texas Special


Dark survival strategies in marine phytoplankton assessed by cytometric measurement of metabolic activity with fluorescein diacetate


Frank J. Jochem

Marine Biology 135: 721-728; 1999



Cytometric quantification of cellular fluorescence upon cleavage of fluorescein diacetate (FDA) is presented as a sensitive and rapid technique to assess phytoplankton metabolic activity during exposure to prolonged darkness of 10-12 days. Two distinct types of metabolic response upon darkness are distinguished: Type I cells (Brachiomonas submarina, Pavlova lutheri, Chrysochromulina hirta) adapt to prolonged darkness by reducing their metabolism to a lower level of activity (~10% of initial in P. lutheri, C. hirta, ~0.5% in B. submarina) within few days whereas type II cells (Prymnesium parvum, Bacteriastrum sp., unidentified pennate diatom) continue with unchanged activity. Type I cells were able to maintain their initial cell abundance and commenced rapid cell growth upon re-illumination after 12 days of darkness. Among type II cells, diatoms were able to maintain cell abundance and growth capacity as well whereas P. parvum was not. Type I cells are expected to exhibit competitive advantages in environments with frequent or long dark periods. Bacterivory further supports dark survival in C. hirta.


Choose to:

Read the paper in HTML-Format 

Read the paper in publication format and download your reprint in PDF format 

Get your free Adobe Acrobat Reader to download PDF formatted files