SUMMARY: The effects of N and P limitation on cell division and on cellular contents of limiting and non-limiting nutrients were examined in cyclostat cultures of the freshwater diatoms and Nutrient-limited cell cycles of both species were readily entrained by a 14 h/10 h light/dark cycle. In , the maxima relative to the onset of the light phase of the photocycle occurred at approximately -- 1 to +1 h for cell division, +11 to 13 h for cell N, and +21 to 23 h for cell P. In the maxima occurred at approximately +3 to 10 h for cell division and +2 to 4 h for cell N and cell P. Changes in culture dilution rate (integrated growth) and in the type of nutrient limiting growth did not significantly alter these times for either species. The cell-number oscillations can be explained by a simple exponential function for the instantaneous population growth rate, which occurs after a single modal transition time τ, which is characteristic for each species. The consistency of phase relations between N and P limitations and culture dilution rates suggests that the temporal organization for events within the cell cycle of each organism is independent of the nutrient-limited status of the cell populations.


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