Cellular costs underpin micronutrient limitation in phytoplankton

J. Scott P. McCain, Alessandro Tagliabue, Edward Susko, Eric P. Achterberg, Andrew E. Allen & Erin M. Bertrand
Micronutrients control phytoplankton growth in the ocean, influencing carbon export and fisheries. It is currently unclear how micronutrient scarcity affects cellular processes, and how interdependence across micronutrients arises. We show that proximate causes of micronutrient growth limitation and interdependence are governed by cumulative cellular costs of acquiring and using micronutrients. Using a mechanistic proteomic allocation model of a polar diatom focused on iron and manganese, we demonstrate how cellular processes fundamentally underpin micronutrient limitation, and...
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