Mixotrophs metabolism can impact carbon cycle

Jay Kakade
0
Mixotrophic Protists
The mixotrophic protist Prorocentrum cf. balticum in center. (Image Credit: Dr. Michaela E. Larsson)

Protists – Vital for carbon fixing

Protists play an important role in carbon recycling of ocean. Unlike other microorganisms that are either Autotrophic or Heterotrophic, some of the protists are capable of carbon recycling by the both means of photosynthetic carbon fixation and heterotrophic carbon respiration – capturing prey for carbon.
Therefore, Protists are termed as mixotrophs.

Mixotrophic organisms are vital in managing carbon flow through an ecosystem.

They fix carbon loss done by photosynthesis, this allows animals in an ecosystem to grow larger and increases organic material sinking by biological carbon pumping.

Mixotrophic are considered to be Omnipresent and are 12% of all micro-eukaryotic.

Therefore, Mixotrophic are important supplier of carbon recycling.

Though analysis mixotrophs in lab, ecological and biochemical roles of few mixotrophy remains unknown.

Predictions say, after studying their impact on biochemistry, they are important factor in carbon recycling.

Mixotrophy

Mixotroph is example of complex metabolism that allows protists to survive in unhabitable conditions that sometime may occur in water.

Mixotrophs carry out carbon fixation and photosynthesis through external energy. But when conditions are not favorable for photosynthesis, it can hunt prey for carbon.

This hunting is crucial for biochemistry of oceans. When this feeding is finished, it increases carbon sinking.


The degree of phototrophic and heterotrophic metabolism can be triggered by organisms, light, nutrients and abundance of prey.

In order to understand these trophic modes, they need to be studied in lab minutely. But it is difficult to identify mixotrophs in nature.
This is because species within a genus are not necessarily be mixotrophs.

If we are able to identify and qualify them, life cycles and feeding behavioural will become clearer to us.

FAQ

Why are Protists called as Mixotrophs?

Unlike other microorganisms that are either Autotrophic or Heterotrophic, some of the protists are capable of carbon recycling by the both means of photosynthetic carbon fixation and heterotrophic carbon respiration – capturing prey for carbon.
Therefore, Protists are termed as mixotrophs.



What is significance of Mixotrophs in marine environment?

Mixotrophs are vital in carbon fixation either by heterotrophic way or autotrophic way.

References
  • Cohen, N.R. Mixotrophic plankton foraging behaviour linked to carbon export. Nat Commun 13, 1302 (2022). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-022-28868-7
  • Post a Comment

    0 Comments
    * Please Don't Spam Here. All the Comments are Reviewed by Admin.
    Post a Comment (0)
    To Top