SUMMARY: Five pure cultures of diatoms, sp., sp., sp., and two closely related spp., were isolated from enrichment cultures made from ice and water samples from the ice-edge in the Bering Sea. Four cultures were studied in detail. The isolates did not grow above 18 °C; optimum growth was from 10 to 14 °C. The sp. and spp. grew reproducibly at 0 ± 0.2 °C, albeit with long generation times of 6 to 7 d. Generation times at 10 °C were 0.8 to 1.9 d. The long generation times at 0 °C appeared intrinsic; growth rates were not increased by addition of ammonia, complex organic hydrolysates or light and dark cycles. The elemental analysis and culture density of the algae were reasonable. For example, the elemental analysis of sp. grown at 0 °C was C, 34.51%; H, 5.00%; N, 5.12%; ash, 30.3%, very similar to the values for cells grown at 10 °C. Cell yields of 0-5 mg dry weight ml-1 were routinely achieved. These appear to be among the first pure cultures of psychrophilic diatoms and possibly of microalgae in general.


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