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Phenotypic Variability in the Coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi

Lebrato, Mario
Stoll, Heather M.
Iglesias-Rodriguez, Debora
Müller, Marius N.
Méndez-Vicente, Ana
Oschlies, Andreas
Published in PloS one. 2016, vol. 11, no. 6, e0157697
Abstract Coccolithophores are a vital part of oceanic phytoplankton assemblages that produce organic matter and calcium carbonate (CaCO3) containing traces of other elements (i.e. Sr and Mg). Their associated carbon export from the euphotic zone to the oceans' interior plays a crucial role in CO2 feedback mechanisms and biogeochemical cycles. The coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi has been widely studied as a model organism to understand physiological, biogeochemical, and ecological processes in marine sciences. Here, we show the inter-strain variability in physiological and biogeochemical traits in 13 strains of E. huxleyi from various biogeographical provinces obtained from culture collections commonly used in the literature. Our results demonstrate that inter-strain genetic variability has greater potential to induce larger phenotypic differences than the phenotypic plasticity of single strains cultured under a broad range of variable environmental conditions. The range of variation found in physiological parameters and calcite Sr:Ca highlights the need to reconsider phenotypic variability in paleoproxy calibrations and model parameterizations to adequately translate findings from single strain laboratory experiments to the real ocean.
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Research group Marine and Lake Biogeochemistry
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BLANCO AMEIJEIRAS, Sonia et al. Phenotypic Variability in the Coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi. In: PloS one, 2016, vol. 11, n° 6, p. e0157697. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0157697 https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:85001

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Deposited on : 2016-07-04

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