Hawaii Ocean Time-series (HOT)
in the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa

Adenosine 5'-Triphosphate

ATP Filtration
FTP View Data
To assist in the interpretation of the data, it can be displayed using the Hawaii Ocean Time-series Data Organization & Graphical System (HOT-DOGS©).

Analytical Method

The amount of living microbial biomass in the water column was determined by the measurement of adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP) concentrations. Seawater samples were filtered through glass fiber filters (Whatman GF/F, 47 mm diameter) to collect particulate material and the filters placed in boiling Tris-buffer for ATP extraction. ATP concentrations were measured on a Turner Luminometer using the firefly bioluminescence technique described by Karl and Holm-Hansen (1978).

The average field precision of Particulate ATP determinations during 2018 determined from triplicate analyses are presented in the Table below. The figure below shows the time-series of our in-house check standard. Should the mean result of the calculated check standard value fall outside the control limits, a new dilution curve will be made and the check standard remeasured against the new curve.

Cruise Mean CV
Mean SD
300 15.7 2.173 9
301 15.3 1.885 9
302 23.0 3.173 8
303 18.2 4.006 9
304 20.9 3.908 9
305 18.4 1.743 9
306 30.6 3.438 9
307 15.1 2.332 8
Mean 19.7 2.832 8

QC plot of ATP
Values obtained using an in-house check standard at 5 ng ATP/ml. The check standard is used to verify the independently made standard curve dilution series used in each analytical run. The mean (± stdev, n=104) was 4.854 ± 0.269 ng ml-1.


The concentration of particulate ATP resembles those of the particulate bioelements, showing maximum concentration near the surface and a decreasing profile with depth (Figure 53). Surface ocean ATP varies between years more than three-fold, with conspicuously high levels noted in 1994-1995.