Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Proteins generated during primary production represent an important fraction of marine organic nitrogen and carbon, and have the potential to provide organism-specific information in the environment. The Bering Sea is a highly productive system dominated by seasonal blooms and was used as a model system for algal proteins to be tracked through the water column and incorporated into detrital sedimentary material. Samples of suspended and sinking particles were collected at multiple depths along with surface sediments on the continental shelf and deeper basin of the Bering Sea. Modified standard proteomic preparations were used in conjunction with high pressure liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry to identify the suite of proteins present and monitor changes in their distribution. In surface waters 207 proteins were identified, decreasing through the water column to 52 proteins identified in post-bloom shelf surface sediments and 24 proteins in deeper (3490 m) basin sediments. The vast majority of identified proteins in all samples were diatom in origin, reflecting their dominant contribution of biomass during the spring bloom. Identified proteins were predominantly from metabolic, binding/structural, and transport-related protein groups. Significant linear correlations were observed between the number of proteins identified and the concentration of total hydrolysable amino acids normalized to carbon and nitrogen. Organelle-bound, transmembrane, photosynthetic, and other proteins involved in light harvesting were preferentially retained during recycling. These findings suggest that organelle and membrane protection represent important mechanisms that enhance the preservation of protein during transport and incorporation into sediments.
Original Publication Citation
Moore, E. K., Nunn, B. L., Goodlett, D. R., & Harvey, H. R. (2012). Identifying and tracking proteins through the marine water column: Insights into the inputs and preservation mechanisms of protein in sediments. Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta, 83, 324-359. doi:10.1016/j.gca.2012.01.002
Moore, Eli K.; Nunn, Brook L.; Goodlett, David R.; and Harvey, H. Rodger, "Identifying and Tracking Proteins Through the Marine Water Column: Insights Into the Inputs and Preservation Mechanisms of Protein in Sediments" (2012). OES Faculty Publications. 261.