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Bhaskar Mallimadugula

Sep 1, 2015
07:22

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http://phys.org/news/2015-08-linking-photosynthesis-respiration.html

published on the website of the journal Nature on July 13

"Diatoms, consisting of thousands of distinct marine species, dominate the phytoplanktons forming the first link in the marine food chain. They capture CO2 from the atmosphere, locking it away in the ocean depths and accounting for around 20 % of all the photosynthesis occurring on the planet. How is it that diatoms have come to dominate the phytoplankton community to such an extent?"

This appears to be the key issue - 

"In diatoms, the molecular mechanisms used to manage the ratio of ATP to NADPH require sustained exchanges between the chloroplast and the mitochondrion, the cellular organelle responsible for respiration."

This means that in other phytoplankton the CO2 produced during respiration is exhaled into the environment but in diatoms this is retained in the cell and used for photosynthesis. So less CO2 is released by Diatoms, so the net O2 release is higher in Diatoms.


Bhaskar Mallimadugula

Sep 1, 2015
07:43

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http://phys.org/news/2011-05-urea-anabolic-steroid-diatoms.html

"Scientists have discovered that marine diatoms, tiny phytoplankton abundant in the sea, have an animal-like urea cycle, and that this cycle enables the diatoms to efficiently use carbon and nitrogen from their environment."

Another reason why Diatoms are superior to other algae / phytoplankton.