Journal of
Oceanography and Marine Science

  • Abbreviation: J. Oceanogr. Mar. Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2294
  • DOI: 10.5897/JOMS
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 61

Full Length Research Paper

Comparison of two methods for estimating energy storage efficiency in phytoplankton photosynthesis

Yulia Pinchasov Grinblat1*, David Iluz1,2,3, Alla Alster4, Alexander Perelman1and Zvy Dubinsky1
  1The Mina and Everard Goodman, Faculty of Life Sciences, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 52900, Israel. 2Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archeology, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 52900, Israel. 3Department for Environmental Science and Agriculture, Beit Berl College, Kfar Saba 44905, Israel. 4Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research Limited, Kinneret Limnological Laboratory, P. O. Box 447, Migdal 14950, Israel.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 04 December 2010
  •  Published: 31 December 2010



The energy storage efficiency of photosynthesis is a sensitive diagnostic tool for probing the physiological status of phytoplankton in the laboratory and in nature. Furthermore, it is also a key factor in determining the economics of photobioreactors and algal mass culture ponds for the production of biodiesel and related applications. Photoacoustics allows direct determination of the energy storage efficiency of photosynthesis as the ratio of energy stored in the photosynthetic process, and not dissipated as heat, to the total light energy absorbed by the photosynthetic apparatus. The aim of the present study was to compare our novel, photoacoustics-based method with an oxygen-evolution–based calculation of photosynthetic energy storage. We also illustrate and discuss the use of photoacoustics for generating photosynthesis versus energy relationship curves. The photoacoustic efficiencies were always higher than the oxygen-based ones, and this difference in results is discussed. Our results show the power of photoacoustics as a tool in the research of various aspects of phytoplankton physiology.


Key words: Efficiency of photosynthesis, photoacoustics, light pipette, phytoplankton.