Production, characterization and novel roles of sea-ice diatom exopolymers (EPS)

S. Aslam, S. Papadimitriou, N. Norman, Krzysztof J. Nowotarski, J. Hallsworth, D. Thomas, G. Underwood

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


    Sea ice at its maximum extent covers over 13% of the Earth’s surface area. The major primary producers within sea ice are diatoms, predominantly pennate taxa. Ability to produce extracellular mucilages (EPS) is a typical characteristic of many species of pennate diatoms. EPS is increasingly recognised as an important component of aquatic systems; however, there has been no systematic investigation of the rates of production, chemical composition and potential function of this diatom-derived EPS within the sea ice matrix. Brine and ice core samples were collected during The Sea Ice Physics and Ecosystems Experiment (SIPEX) expedition around Eastern Antarctica between 110ºand 130ºE from September to October 2007 with associated biotic and abiotic environmental parameters such as, temperature, salinity, DOC, Chl a and nutrients. We compared EPS abundance and monosaccharide composition and found distinct monosaccharide pattern in carbohydrates from both Brine and Ice cores. Uronic acids comprised <15% of total amount of carbohydrates. EPS produced in situ in the Antarctic Ocean showed a degree of comparibility with EPS produced using culture of the sea ice diatom, F.cylindrus and F.curta under defined conditions
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009

    Bibliographical note

    Paper presented at the at Aquatic Sciences Meeting 2009 "A Cruise Through Nice Waters". Held 25-30 January 2009, Center de Congres Acropolis, Nice, France.


    • sea ice
    • diatoms
    • extracelluar mucilages
    • EPS


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