Prey-dependent retention of dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) by mixotrophic dinoflagellates

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We investigated the retention of dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) in phototrophic dinoflagellates arising from mixotrophy by estimating the cellular content of DMSP inKarlodinium veneficum(mixotrophic growth) fed for 7–10 days on either DMSP-richAmphidinium carterae(phototrophic growth only) or DMSP-poorTeleaulaxsp. (phototrophic growth only). InK. veneficumfed on DMSP-poor prey, the cellular content of DMSP remained almost unchanged regardless of the rate of feeding, whereas the cellular content of DMSP in cells ofK. veneficumfed on DMSP-rich prey increased by as much as 21 times the cellular concentration derived exclusively from phototrophic growth. In both cases, significant fractions (10–32% in the former case and 55–65% in the latter) of the total DMSP ingested byK. veneficumwere transformed into dimethylsulfide and other biochemical compounds. The results may indicate that the DMSP content of prey species affects temporal variations in the cellular DMSP content of mixotrophic dinoflagellates, and that mixotrophic dinoflagellates produce DMS through grazing on DMSP-rich preys. Additional studies should be performed to examine the universality of our finding in other mixotrophic dinoflagellates feeding on diverse prey species.

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