Project Information
ANT LIA: Collaborative Research: Adaptations of Southern Ocean Diatoms to Manganese Scarcity: Can Physiological Ingenuity Overcome Unfavorable Chemistry?
Short Title:
SO Diatom Mn Limitation
Start Date:
End Date:
This proposal represents collaborative research to explore manganese (Mn) limitation in Antarctic diatoms by two early career investigators. Diatoms are central players in the Southern Ocean carbon cycle, where the micronutrient chemistry is fundamentally different from other oceans. The Southern Ocean is characterized by widespread low Mn, coupled with high zinc (Zn). High Zn levels are potentially toxic to diatoms as Zn can competitively inhibit Mn uptake and metabolism, compromising the ability of building critical cellular components, thus impacting the biological pump. Using culture experiments with a matrix of micronutrient treatments (Mn, Zn, Fe) and irradiances, and using physiological and transcriptomic approaches, along with biochemical principles, the Principal Investigators will address the central hypothesis (that diatoms from the Southern Ocean possess unique physiological mechanisms to adapt to low Mn/high Zn) by quantifying rates of uptake and transporter binding constants. The transcriptomics approach will help to identify candidate genes that may provide Antarctic diatoms physiological mechanisms in low Mn/high Zn environment. The project does not require fieldwork but instead would make use of culture experiments with 4 diatom species (3 Antarctic, and 1 temperate). The proposed approach will also enable the goal of developing biomarker(s) for assessing Mn stress or Zn toxicity and results from the physiological experiments will help parameterize models of micronutrient limitation in the Southern Ocean. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
Person Role
Hawco, Nicholas Investigator and contact
Rudresh, Megha Researcher
Cohen, Natalie Co-Investigator
Antarctic Organisms and Ecosystems Award # 2149070
AMD - DIF Record(s)
Data Management Plan
None in the Database
Product Level:
0 (raw data)

This project has been viewed 13 times since May 2019 (based on unique date-IP combinations)