Unicellular Algae (unicellular + alga)

Distribution by Scientific Domains


Selected Abstracts


ANALYSIS OF EXPRESSED SEQUENCE TAGS FROM THE MARINE MICROALGA NANNOCHLOROPSIS OCULATA (EUSTIGMATOPHYCEAE),

JOURNAL OF PHYCOLOGY, Issue 1 2008
Juan Shi
Nannochloropsis oculata (Droop) D. J. Hibberd (Eustigmatophyceae), a marine eukaryotic unicellular alga, is widely used in mariculture as live feed. It is considered to be of high nutritional value owing to its high content of proteins; polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), especially eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, C20:5n3); and diverse pigments. Previous studies of this microalga focused on its taxonomy, culture, and biochemistry, but little is known at the molecular level. Establishing a molecular base is vital to understand the biological processes of this alga. Therefore, we constructed a cDNA library using algal cells grown at exponential growth phase and carried out expressed sequence tag (EST) analysis. A total of 1,960 nonredundant sequences (NRSs) were generated for N. oculata clone CS-179. Only 32.5% of NRSs showed significant similarity (E < 1e-04) to proteins registered in the GenBank nonredundant protein database. The KOG (clusters of euKaryotic Orthologous Groups) profile database returned significant hits for 490 NRSs. Analysis revealed that a large proportion of NRSs could be unique to this microalga. [source]


Effects of isoflurane on measurements of delayed lumininescence in Acetabularia acetabulum

LUMINESCENCE: THE JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL LUMINESCENCE, Issue 1 2005
Wen Li Chen
Abstract The volatile halogenated methyl ethyl ether, isoflurane, used as an anaesthetic, inhibits actin-based dynamics directly or indirectly in animal cells. In plant cells, most intracellular movements are related to actin pathways. We have used isoflurane in a unicellular alga, Acetabularia acetabulum, to test the dynamics of choloroplast organization. By measuring the delayed luminescence, we found that isoflurane worked efficiently in the unicellular organism and showed dose- and time-course-dependent actin-inhibition patterns. When A. acetabulum was treated with saturated solutions of isoflurane in artificial seawater (defined as 100% isoflurane) for 3 or 6 min, the delayed luminescence (DL) was decreased and was never recovered. In contrast, if treated with 75% diluted isoflurane, the DL was firstly inhibited and then recovered several hours later, and if treated with 50% diluted isoflurane, the change of DL was small. Our work proved that isoflurane can affect actin-related pathways in both animals and plants. Copyright 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Temperature dependence of nitrate reductase in the psychrophilic unicellular alga Koliella antarctica and the mesophilic alga Chlorella sorokiniana

PLANT CELL & ENVIRONMENT, Issue 7 2006
VITTORIA DI MARTINO RIGANO
ABSTRACT Temperature responses of nitrate reductase (NR) were studied in the psychrophilic unicellular alga, Koliella antarctica, and in the mesophilic species, Chlorella sorokiniana. Enzymes from both species were purified to near homogeneity by Blue Sepharose (Pharmacia, Uppsala, Sweden) affinity chromatography and high-resolution anion-exchange chromatography (MonoQ; Pharmacia; Uppsala, Sweden). Both enzymes have a subunit molecular mass of 100 kDa, and K. antarctica NR has a native molecular mass of 367 kDa. NR from K. antarctica used both NADPH and NADH, whereas NR from C. sorokiniana used NADH only. Both NRs used reduced methyl viologen (MVH) or benzyl viologen (BVH). In crude extracts, maximal NADH and MVH-dependent activities of cryophilic NR were found at 15 and 35 C, respectively, and retained 77 and 62% of maximal activity, respectively, at 10 C. Maximal NADH and MVH-dependent activities of mesophilic NR, however, were found at 25 and 45 C, respectively, with only 33 and 23% of maximal activities being retained at 10 C. In presence of 2 m flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD), activities of cryophilic NADH:NR and mesophilic NADH:NR were stable up to 25 and 35 C, respectively. Arrhenius plots constructed with cryophilic and mesophilic MVH:NR rate constants, in both presence or absence of FAD, showed break points at 15 and 25 C, respectively. Essentially, similar results were obtained for purified enzymes and for activities measured in crude extracts. Factors by which the rate increases by raising temperature 10 C (Q10) and apparent activation energy (Ea) values for NADH and MVH activities measured in enzyme preparations without added FAD differed slightly from those measured with FAD. Overall thermal features of the NADH and MVH activities of the cryophilic NR, including optimal temperatures, heat inactivation (with/without added FAD) and break-point temperature in Arrhenius plots, are all shifted by about 10 C towards lower temperatures than those of the mesophilic enzyme. Transfer of electrons from NADH to nitrate occurs via all three redox centres within NR molecule, whereas transfer from MVH requires Mo-pterin prosthetic group only; therefore, our results strongly suggest that structural modification(s) for cold adaptation affect thermodynamic properties of each of the functional domains within NR holoenzyme in equal measure. [source]


Diatomaceous Lessons in Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials

ADVANCED MATERIALS, Issue 29 2009
Dusan Losic
Abstract Silicon, in its various forms, finds widespread use in electronic, optical, and structural materials. Research on uses of silicon and silica has been intense for decades, raising the question of how much diversity is left for innovation with this element. Shape variation is particularly well examined. Here, we review the principles revealed by diatom frustules, the porous silica shells of diatoms, microscopic, unicellular algae. The frustules have nanometer-scale detail, and the almost 100,000 species with unique frustule morphologies suggest nuanced structural and optical functions well beyond the current ranges used in advanced materials. The unique frustule morphologies have arisen through tens of millions of years of evolutionary selection, and so are likely to reflect optimized design and function. Performing the structural and optical equivalent of data mining, and understanding and adopting these designs, affords a new paradigm in materials science, an alternative to combinatorial materials synthesis approaches in spurring the development of new material and more nuanced materials. [source]


Paternal sex in parthenogenetic planarians: a tool to investigate the accumulation of deleterious mutations

JOURNAL OF EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY, Issue 1 2000
Storhas
Clonally reproducing organisms are expected to accumulate slightly deleterious mutations, and this has been demonstrated in RNA viruses, bacteria and unicellular algae. In this paper we present evidence for increased embryo mortality in obligate parthenogenetic strains of the freshwater flatworm Schmidtea polychroa, possibly indicating the action of deleterious mutations. The inheritance of this fitness defect was tested by crossing parthenogens with sexuals. This is possible because both forms are simultaneous hermaphrodites that produce fertile sperm. The resulting sexual offspring showed significantly increased embryo mortality in comparison to offspring of a sexual sexual cross. Alternatives to a mutation explanation of these results, like the degeneration of male traits in parthenogens, are being discussed. In conclusion, these results lend support to the hypothesis that sex is advantageous to a multicellular organism because it prevents the accumulation of deleterious mutations. [source]


A BATCH CULTURE METHOD FOR MICROALGAE AND CYANOBACTERIA WITH CO2 SUPPLY THROUGH POLYETHYLENE MEMBRANES,

JOURNAL OF PHYCOLOGY, Issue 4 2010
Yvonne Prs
A new method for CO2 supply to photoautotrophic organisms was developed, and its applicability for measuring specific growth rates in shaken batch cultures of cyanobacteria and unicellular algae was shown. Small bags containing a concentrated carbonate buffer with a CO2 partial pressure of 32 mbar were prepared from a thin foil of low density polyethylene (LDPE). These bags were inserted as CO2 reservoirs (CRs) into polystyrene culture flasks with gas-permeable screw caps, which were suitable to photometric growth measurement. CO2 was released directly into the medium with membrane-controlled kinetics. The CRs were not depleted within 1 week, although the atmosphere in the culture vessel exchanged rapidly with the ambient air. Rates of initial growth and final densities of the cultures of six different unicellular algal species and one cyanobacterium were markedly increased by diffusive CO2 supply from the CR. In the presence of a CR, growth was exponential during the first 2 d in all cultures studied. The method described allowed a high number of measurements of specific growth rates with relatively simple experimental setup. [source]


REPRODUCTIVE ISOLATION BY SEX PHEROMONES IN THE CLOSTERIUM PERACEROSUM,STRIGOSUM,LITTORALE COMPLEX (ZYGNEMATALES, CHAROPHYCEAE),

JOURNAL OF PHYCOLOGY, Issue 5 2008
Yuki Tsuchikane
The Closterium peracerosum,strigosum,littorale (C. psl.) complex consists of unicellular algae and is known to be composed of several reproductively isolated mating groups of heterothallic strains. Group I-E is completely isolated from mating groups II-A and II-B, groups II-A and II-B are partially isolated from each other, and only mating-type plus (mt+) cells of group II-A and mating-type minus (mt,) cells of group II-B form zygotes. Based on the alignment of 1506 group I introns, significant phylogenetic relationships were observed among mating groups II-A and II-B, while mating group I-E was distant from groups II-A and II-B. Sexual cell division in both mating-type cells of group II-A was stimulated in conditioned media in which cells of group II-B had been cultured. When mt, cells of group II-B were stimulated in conditioned medium derived from group II-A, mt+ cells of group II-B did not respond to the conditioned medium. Conditioned media derived from group I-E did not exhibit sexual cell division (SCD),inducing activity against any strain except those within its own group. From the alignment of deduced amino acid sequences from orthologous protoplast-release-inducing protein (PR-IP) Inducer genes, we detected a significant similarity among groups II-A and II-B, and mating group I-E had low similarity to other mating groups. The existing degree of reproductive isolation can be partially explained by differences in molecular structures and physiological activities of sex pheromones of these heterothallic mating groups. [source]


Rationalizing elemental ratios in unicellular algae

JOURNAL OF PHYCOLOGY, Issue 1 2000
Paul G. Falkowski
[source]


Bioactive aldehydes from diatoms block the fertilization current in ascidian oocytes

MOLECULAR REPRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT, Issue 1 2003
Elisabetta Tosti
Abstract The effects of bioactive aldehydes from diatoms, unicellular algae at the base of the marine food web, were studied on fertilization and early development processes of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. Using whole-cell voltage clamp techniques, we show that 2- trans -4- trans -decadienal (DD) and 2- trans -4- cis -7- cis -decatrienal (DT) inhibited the fertilization current which is generated in oocytes upon interaction with the spermatozoon. This inhibition was dose-dependent and was accompanied by inhibition of the voltage-gated calcium current activity of the plasma membrane. DD and DT did not inhibit the subsequent contraction of the cortex. Moreover, DD specifically acted as a fertilization channel inhibitor since it did not affect the steady state conductance of the plasma membrane or gap junctional (GJ) communication within blastomeres of the embryo. On the other hand, DD did affect actin reorganization even though the mechanism of action on actin filaments differed from that of other actin blockers. Possibly this effect on actin reorganization was responsible for the subsequent teratogenic action on larval development. The effect of DD was reversible if oocytes were washed soon after fertilization indicating that DD may specifically target certain fertilization mechanisms. Thus, diatom reactive aldehydes such as DD may have a dual effect on reproductive processes, influencing primary fertilization events such as gating of fertilization channels and secondary processes such as actin reorganization which is responsible for the segregation of cell lineages. These findings add to a growing body of evidence on the antiproliferative effects of diatom-derived aldehydes. Our results also report, for the first time, on the action of a fertilization channel blocker in marine invertebrates. Mol. Reprod. Dev. 66: 72,80, 2003. 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]


Ion channels and the transduction of light signals

PLANT CELL & ENVIRONMENT, Issue 7 2000
E. P. Spalding
ABSTRACT Studies of biological light-sensing mechanisms are revealing important roles for ion channels. Photosensory transduction in plants is no exception. In this article, the evidence that ion channels perform such signal-transducing functions in the complex array of mechanisms that bring about plant photomorphogenesis will be reviewed and discussed. The examples selected for discussion range from light-gradient detection in unicellular algae to the photocontrol of stem growth in Arabidopsis. Also included is some discussion of the technical aspects of studies that combine electrophysiology and photobiology. [source]


Silica Pattern Formation in Diatoms: Species-Specific Polyamine Biosynthesis

CHEMBIOCHEM, Issue 9 2006
Manfred Sumper Prof. Dr.
Abstract Diatoms are eukaryotic, unicellular algae that are well known for the intricate architecture of their silica-based cell walls. Species identification is mainly based on variations of their hierarchically organized silica structures. Particularly striking silica frameworks are found among diatoms that belong to the genus Coscinodiscus. Recent work indicates an important role for long-chain polyamines in guiding silica precipitation as well as in silica-pattern formation. Here we demonstrate that polyamines, even if isolated from closely related diatom species, exhibit substantial structural differences. Structural variations include the overall chain length, the degree of methylation, positions of secondary amino functionalities, and, unexpectedly, site-specific incorporation of a quaternary ammonium functionality. These findings support a specific role for polyamines in creating silica nanostructures. [source]