On the use of 31P NMR for the quantification of hydrosoluble phosphorus-containing compounds in coral host tissues and cultured zooxanthellae
Thomas, Olivier P.
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Godinot, Claire, Gaysinski, Marc, Thomas, Olivier P., Ferrier-Pagès, Christine, & Grover, Renaud. (2016). On the use of 31P NMR for the quantification of hydrosoluble phosphorus-containing compounds in coral host tissues and cultured zooxanthellae. Scientific Reports, 6, 21760. doi: 10.1038/srep21760
31P Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) was assessed to investigate the phosphorus-containing compounds present in the tissues of the scleractinian coral Stylophora pistillata as well as of cultured zooxanthellae (CZ). Results showed that phosphorus-containing compounds observed in CZ were mainly phosphate and phosphate esters. Phosphate accounted for 19 ± 2% of the total phosphorus compounds observed in CZ maintained under low P-levels (0.02 μM). Adding 5 mM of dissolved inorganic phosphorus (KH2PO4) to the CZ culture medium led to a 3.1-fold increase in intracellular phosphate, while adding 5 mM of dissolved organic phosphorus led to a reduction in the concentration of phosphorus compounds, including a 2.5-fold intracellular phosphate decrease. In sharp contrast to zooxanthellae, the host mainly contained phosphonates, and to a lesser extent, phosphate esters and phosphate. Two-months of host starvation decreased the phosphate content by 2.4 fold, while bleaching of fed corals did not modify this content. Based on 31P NMR analyses, this study highlights the importance of phosphonates in the composition of coral host tissues, and illustrates the impact of phosphorus availability on the phosphorus composition of host tissues and CZ, both through feeding of the host and inorganic phosphorus enrichment of the CZ.
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