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

Sampling Procedure

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 2021 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
329 15.1 2.892 8
330 14.1 3.966 8
331 20.4 3.904 7
332 17.4 4.073 7
333 19.8 3.821 8
334 18.5 2.203 8
Mean 17.6 3.477 6

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=132) was 4.852 ± 0.248 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.