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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Inhibition of Photosynthesis and Nitrogen Fixation in Algae by Volatile Nitrogen Bases1


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 7 No. 2, p. 237-240
    Received: July 16, 1977

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  1. A. R. Mosier2



Pure-culture studies were conducted to determine the effect of short-chain aliphatic amines and ammonia on photosynthesis by a green alga, Chlorella ellipsoidea, and a blue-green alga, Anabaena subcylindrica, and on the nitrogennse activity by A. subcylindrica. The aliphatic amines (1 to 5 carbons) and ammonia decreased C. ellipsoidea O2 production 50% at concentrations ranging from 1.2 × 10−9 to 23.5 × 10−9 µg free amine N/cell and 160 × 10−9 µg free ammonia N/cell, respectively. Amine (1 to 6 carbons) concentrations, ranging from 3.0 × 10−9 to 25.8 × 10−8 µg free amine N/cell, decreased A. subcylindrica O2 production and N3 fixation 50% (as estimated by the acetylene reduction technique). Ammonia concentrations of 12 to 2,510 and 14 to 1,220 times greater than any single amine concentration were needed to decrease A. subcylindrica O2 production or acetylene reduction by 50%, respectively. The effect of the chemicals on C. ellipsoidea was reversible and depended on pH and free amine concentration.

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