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Putting the N in dinoflagellates

Author(s): Dagenais-Bellefeuille S, Morse D

Abstract

The cosmopolitan presence of dinoflagellates in aquatic habitats is now believed to be a direct consequence of the different trophic modes they have developed through evolution. While heterotrophs ingest food and photoautotrophs photosynthesize, mixotrophic species are able to use both strategies to harvest energy and nutrients. These different trophic modes are of particular importance when nitrogen nutrition is considered. Nitrogen is required for the synthesis of amino acids, nucleic acids, chlorophylls, and toxins, and thus changes in the concentrations of various nitrogenous compounds can strongly affect both primary and secondary metabolism.

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