Production of terpenes in the culture of Chlorophyceae and Rhodophyta

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Minami Abe and Shinya Hashimoto, Nihon University, Tokyo, Japan
Terpenes show high reactivity in the troposphere, contributing to organic aerosol reactions with OH radicals. One of the main sources of terpenes in the atmosphere is terrestrial plants. It has been recently reported that marine phytoplankton also produce monoterpenes (Yassaa et al: 2008). Because aerosol production of natural origin affects the cloud cover over the open ocean, it is important to investigate the origin of aerosol generation in the open ocean. In this study, we investigated the production of terpenes and isoprene with a focus on Chlamydomonas (Chlorophyceae) and Rhodella maculata (Rhodophyta). Concentrations of terpenes and isoprene were measured using a dynamic headspace (GERSTEL DHS)—gas chromatograph (Agilent 6890N)—mass spectrometer (Agilent 5975C). In addition, chlorophyll a was measured using a fluorometer (Turner TD-700). The results showed that isoprene, α-pinene, and β-pinene were produced by Chlamydomonas sp. and that isoprene, limonene, and camphene were produced by Rhodella maculata. Chlamydomonas sp. produced α-pinene and β-pinene, similar to land plants. The ratio of the pinene/isoprene concentrations in the atmosphere over seawater where phytoplankton are blooming has been reported as approximately 0.7 (Yassaa et al: 2008). In this experiment, the pinene/isoprene concentration ratios in the cultures were approximately 0.1. This result indicates that marine phytoplankton may not be ignored in the marine atmosphere chemistry of terpenes.