2020 | Sweden | Erika Eriksson

Phytoplankton and Thiamine

Water issue adressed: Too little

Have you ever heard of thiamine deficiency? A high mortality among animals due to thiamine deficiency has recently been observed and the cause has been proposed to be phytoplankton. These are the main producers of thiamine out in open water and the share of thiamine auxotrophic phytoplankton, plankton who are unable to produce thiamine, is likely to affect the deficiency.

In this project it is examined how the concentration of phytoplankton in water from the Baltic Sea changes upon addition of thiamine. The results indicated a substantial share of thiamine auxotrophic phytoplankton when and where the samples were collected. With more knowledge about phytoplankton communities we would be able to improve the conditions for aquatic ecosystems.

This is how I came up with the idea for this project:

My interest in thiamine deficiency has developed over many years. When reseaching this topic I encountered auxotrophy and since it was an interesting part of the dynamics in a phytoplankton community I decided to examine the share of thiamine auxotrophs in the Baltic Sea.


Ania Andersch

Programme manager ania.andersch@siwi.org +46 8 121 360 59