Data from: Expressions of nitrate transporter genes reveal different nitrogen statuses of dominant diatom groups in the southern East China Sea
Kang, Lee-Kuo; Gong, Gwo-Ching; Wu, Yi-Hsuan; Chang, Jeng (2015), Data from: Expressions of nitrate transporter genes reveal different nitrogen statuses of dominant diatom groups in the southern East China Sea, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.f267k
In this study, the mRNA levels of the Nrt2 nitrate transporter gene were used as a molecular indicator of nitrogen status in two dominant diatom groups, Skeletonema and Chaetoceros, which inhabit the southern East China Sea (ECS). To accurately interpret the abundance of Nrt2 transcripts in situ, maximum and minimum expression levels were determined under conditions of nitrogen deprivation and ammonium addition, respectively. In August 2010, Nrt2 transcript levels in Skeletonema at the inner shelf region exhibited a mean of 111 mmole/(mole EFL); at the mid-shelf region, the mean Nrt2 mRNA levels were 298 mmole/(mole EFL), which was very close to the maximum levels observed under nitrogen starvation. By contrast, the Nrt2 transcript levels in Chaetoceros were low at all of the shelf locations, except at one station in the mid-shelf region. The cross-shelf mean was 2.86 mmole/(mole EFL), which was similar to the expression levels observed in cultured Chaetoceros under conditions of sufficient ammonium. Similar expression patterns were observed in diatoms in the southern ECS in June 2011, but the Nrt2 transcript levels in Skeletonema at the inner shelf region were reduced to a mean of 28.6 mmole/(mole EFL). Regression analysis indicated that cell abundance and Nrt2 expression were closely related to the nutricline depth in the coastward half of the southern ECS for Skeletonema but not for Chaetoceros. These results indicate that the evaluated species differ in nitrogen status, which may reflect their evolutionary strategies to survive in a fluctuating marine environment.