Polyunsaturated Aldehydes from Large Phytoplankton of the Atlantic Ocean Surface (42°N to 33°S)
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SourceMarine Drugs, 12, 682-699
Polyunsaturated aldehydes (PUAs) are organic compounds mainly produced by diatoms, after cell wounding. These compounds are increasingly reported as teratogenic for species of grazers and deleterious for phytoplanktonic species, but there is still scarce information regarding concentration ranges and the composition of PUAs in the open ocean. In this study, we analyzed the spatial distribution and the type of aldehydes produced by the large-sized (>10 μm) phytoplankton in the Atlantic Ocean surface. Analyses were conducted on PUAs released after mechanical disruption of the phytoplankton cells, referred to here as potential PUAs (pPUAs). Results show the ubiquitous presence of pPUA in the open ocean, including upwelling areas, as well as oligotrophic gyres. Total pPUA concentrations ranged from zero to 4.18 pmol from cells in 1 L. Identified PUAs were heptadienal, octadienal and decadienal, with heptadienal being the most common (79% of total stations). PUA amount and composition across the Atlantic Ocean was mainly related to the nitrogen:phosphorus ratio, suggesting nutrient-driven mechanisms of PUA production. Extending the range of trophic conditions considered by adding data reported for productive coastal waters, we found a pattern of PUA variation in relation to trophic status.