Temperature-dependent phagotrophy and phototrophy in a mixotrophic chrysophyte

Sarah De Vaul Princiotta, Brian T. Smith, Robert W. Sanders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The roles of temperature and light on grazing and photosynthesis were examined for Dinobryon sociale, a common freshwater mixotrophic alga. Photosynthetic rate was determined for D. sociale adapted to temperatures of 8, 12, 16, and 20°C under photosynthetically active radiation light irradiances of 25, 66, and 130 μmol photons · m−2 · s−1, with concurrent measurement of bacterial ingestion at all temperatures under medium and high light (66 and 130 μmol photons · m−2 · s−1). Rates of ingestion and photosynthesis increased with temperature to a maximum at 16°C under the two higher light regimes, and declined at 20°C. Although both light and temperature had a marked effect on photosynthesis, there was no significant difference in bacterivory at medium and high irradiances at any given temperature. At the lowest light condition (25 μmol photons · m−2 · s−1), photosynthesis remained low and relatively stable at all temperatures. D. sociale acquired the majority of carbon from photosynthesis, although the low photosynthetic rate without a concurrent decline in feeding rate at 8°C suggested 20%–30% of the carbon budget could be attributed to bacterivory at low temperatures. Grazing experiments in nutrient-modified media revealed that this mixotroph had increased ingestion rates when either dissolved nitrogen or phosphorus was decreased. This work increases our understanding of environmental effects on mixotrophic nutrition. Although the influence of abiotic factors on phagotrophy and phototrophy in pure heterotrophs and phototrophs has been well studied, much less is known for mixotrophic organisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)432-440
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Phycology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aquatic Science
  • Plant Science


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