Resistance of Spirulina platensis to ammonia at high pH values

Shimshon Belkin, Sammy Boussiba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Spirulina platensis is an alkalophilic cyanobacterium, exhibiting optimal growth at pH 9.0 to 10.0. It grows well at pH 11.5 but not at pH 7.0. Unlike many other photosynthetic microorganisms, it is capable of utilizing ammonia3 even at high pH values, and is resistant to the ammonia-mediated uncoupling of photosynthesis. The entry of ammonia into the cells is ΔpH-dependent, and is limited by a relatively high average internal pH. This high pH value appears to be maintained predominantly by a high intrathylakoid pH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)953-958
Number of pages6
JournalPlant and Cell Physiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1991


  • Ammonia toxicity
  • Ammonia uptake
  • PH gradients
  • Spirulina platensis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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