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Journal Article

# Responses of Heterotrophic Cultures of Chlorella vulgaris Beyerinck to Darkness and Light. II. Action Spectrum for and Mechanism of the Light Requirement for Heterotrophic Growth

Edward P. Karlander and Robert W. Krauss
Plant Physiology
Vol. 41, No. 1 (Jan., 1966), pp. 7-14
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4260597
Page Count: 8

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Topics: Plant growth, Algae, Respiration, Plant cells, Flasks, Pigments, Chlorophylls, Plants, Aeration, Malonates

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## Abstract

Chlorella vulgaris Beyerinck (Emerson's strain), fails to grow in the dark even when sugars are provided. This phenomenon was clearly demonstrated in the alga, C. vulgaris, for which the growth rate in darkness on a glucose medium remained constant for 2 days and then declined to approach zero. Pigment concentrations also declined in darkness. Changes in flow rate of 1% CO2-in-air from zero to 7 ml per minute caused a progressive increase in the dark growth rate over a 5-day period, but did not maintain growth in the dark. Rates above 7 ml per minute produced no changes in growth rates. White light intensities below the compensation point of the alga maintained heterotrophic growth. The saturation value for this response was 0.8 $\mu \text{w}/\text{cm}^{2}$. White light also initiated growth in nongrowing cultures transferred from darkness to light. The action spectrum for heterotrophic growth indicated a porphyrin as the active pigment. Light in the 425 mμ region was 4 times as effective as white light in stimulating heterotrophic growth. A secondary peak of growth stimulation occurred in the 575 mμ region. The respiration of glucose by the alga was stimulated by low intensities of white light. This response was not immediate, but was clearly present after the third day of incubation. Malonate and cyanide were inhibitory to growth of C. vulgaris on inorganic medium or glucose medium under 300 ft-c of white light. These data suggested that succinic dehydrogenase and cytochrome oxidase systems were present. Substances inhibitory to growth were excreted into the medium under dark-growth conditions, and 2 of these substances were indentified as formic and acetic acids. The evidence suggested that respiration of glucose cannot proceed for an extended period of time in darkness. The reason for this is postulated to be the lack of a cytochrome or a cytochrome precursor.

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