Some aspects of the iodine metabolism of the giant kelp Macrocystis pyrifera (phaeophyceae)

Teresa M. Tymon, Eric P. Miller, Jennifer L. Gonzales, Andrea Raab, Frithjof C. Küpper, Carl J. Carrano*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


Despite its paramount role in the functioning of coastal ecosystems, relatively little is known about halogen metabolism in giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera). This is an important shortcoming given the potential implications for marine and atmospheric chemical processes in the wide distribution range of Macrocystis. The work presented here constitutes the first in depth investigation of the uptake, efflux, and of the physiological function of iodide in this important kelp species. Iodide uptake and efflux rates were measured in adult sporophytes of Macrocystis under normal and stressed (exogenous hydrogen peroxide and an elicitor-triggered oxidative burst) conditions. Kelp tissue took up iodide according to Michaelis-Menten type kinetics when incubated in seawater enriched with various concentrations of iodide. Upon the addition of exogenous hydrogen peroxide, simulating oxidative stress, a marked efflux of iodide occurred. In situ generation of hydrogen peroxide was elicited in Macrocystis upon the addition of oligomeric degradation products of alginate as well as arachidonic acid and methyl jasmonate constituting a defensive oxidative burst that could be linked to iodine accumulation. H2O2 was detected at the single cell level using dichlorohydrofluorescein diacetate, a fluorogenic probe capable of detecting intracellular H2O2. When assayed for vanadium haloperoxidase activity, several bromoperoxidase isoforms were detected as well as a single iodoperoxidase. Altogether, the results of this study show that Macrocystis has an elaborate iodine metabolism, which is likely significant for impacting iodine speciation in seawater around kelp beds and for volatile halogen emissions into the coastal atmosphere.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-88
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Inorganic Biochemistry
Early online date8 Sept 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

Bibliographical note

We are grateful to the Total Foundation (Paris) and to the MASTS pooling initiative (Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland, funded by the Scottish Funding Council and contributing institutions; grant reference HR09011), both for their funding support to FCK. We thank Prof. Matt Edwards (SDSU department of Biology) and his students for help in collecting specimens and for the use of equipment.


  • Haloperoxidase
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Iodine
  • Macrocystis
  • Marine algae


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