Synthesis of Lipid During Photosynthesis by Phytoplankton of the Southern Ocean

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Science  11 Jan 1980:
Vol. 207, Issue 4427, pp. 197-199
DOI: 10.1126/science.207.4427.197


Assimilation of carbon-14 labeled bicarbonate into photosynthetic products was measured at four stations in the Southern Ocean. Phytoplankton populations incorporated as much as 80 percent of the fixed carbon into lipid under conditions of low temperatures (–0.2° to –1.8°C) and low light intensities. At higher temperatures (+0.3° to +0.8°C) and higher light intensities, incorporation into lipid accounted for less than 20 percent of the fixed carbon, synthesis of polysaccharide and protein being more prominent.