Competition for phosphorus between the nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria Anabaena and Aphanizomenon

DeNobel, WT., Snoep, JL. & Mur, LR., Nov-1997, In : FEMS Microbial Ecology. 24, 3, p. 259-267 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • WT DeNobel
  • JL Snoep
  • LR Mur

The influence of Na fixation on the P-limited growth of two strains of Anabaena and Aphanizomenon was investigated using continuous cultures. Under N-2-fixing conditions Anabaena had a higher maximum growth rate, a greater affinity for P, a higher yield on P and a higher N-2 fixation activity than Aphanizomenon. In contrast to Anabaena, Aphanizomenon did not adjust its specific N-2 fixation activity and its cells became N depleted at high growth rates. Metabolic control analysis revealed that the growth rate of Aphanizomenon was controlled to a lesser extent by P than Anabaena's growth rate. As predicted on the basis of these monoculture measurements, Anabaena was the superior competitor for P in competition experiments. The results might help to distinguish the niches of these two closely related species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-267
Number of pages9
JournalFEMS Microbial Ecology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov-1997


  • Anabaena, Aphanizomenon, cyanobacteria, nitrogen fixation, phosphorus limitation, resource competition, METABOLIC CONTROL ANALYSIS, GROWTH-RATE, PHYTOPLANKTON GROWTH, CONTINUOUS-CULTURE, FRESH-WATER, FLOS-AQUAE, CHEMOSTAT, FIXATION, LIGHT

ID: 6533308