This study explores key features of bromine and iodine metabolism in the filamentous brown alga and genomics model Ectocarpus siliculosus. Both elements are accumulated in Ectocarpus, albeit at much lower concentration factors (2-3 orders of magnitude for iodine, and < 1 order of magnitude for bromine) than e.g. in the kelp Laminaria digitata. Iodide competitively reduces the accumulation of bromide. Both iodide and bromide are accumulated in the cell wall (apoplast) of Ectocarpus, with minor amounts of bromine also detectable in the cytosol. Ectocarpus emits a range of volatile halogenated compounds, the most prominent of which by far is methyl iodide. Interestingly, biosynthesis of this compound cannot be accounted for by vanadium haloperoxidase since the latter have not been found to catalyze direct halogenation of an unactivated methyl group or hydrocarbon so a methyl halide transferase-type production mechanism is proposed.
Bibliographical note© The Author(s) 2018
- Energy-dispersive X-ray analysis
- Methyl iodide
- X-ray absorption spectroscopy