Unicellular Green Alga (unicellular + green_alga)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts


Harold G. Weger
Four species of green algae (Chlorella kessleri Fott et NovŠkovŠ, Chlorococcum macrostigmatum Starr, Haematococcus lacustris[Girod-Chantrans] Rostaf., Stichococcus bacillaris Nšg.) were grown in iron-limited chemostats and under phosphate limitation and iron (nutrient) sufficiency. For all four species, steady-state culture density declined with decreasing degree of iron limitation (increasing iron-limited growth rate), whereas chl per cell or biovolume increased. Plasma membrane ferric chelate reductase activity was enhanced by iron limitation in all species and suppressed by phosphate limitation and iron sufficiency. These results confirm previous work that C. kessleri uses a reductive mechanism of iron acquisition and also suggest that the other three species use the same mechanism. Although imposition of iron limitation led to enhanced activities of ferric chelate reductase in all species, the relationship between ferric chelate reductase activity and degree of iron limitation varied. Ferric chelate reductase activity in C. macrostigmatum and S. bacillaris was an inverse function of the degree of iron limitation, with the most rapidly growing iron-limited cells exhibiting the highest ferric chelate reductase activity. In contrast, ferric chelate reductase activity was only weakly affected by the degree of iron limitation in C. kessleri and H. lacustris. Calculation of ferric reductase activity per unit chl allowed a clear differentiation between iron-limited and iron-sufficient cells. The possible extension of the ferric chelate reductase assay to investigate the absence or presence of iron limitation in natural waters may be feasible, but it is unlikely that the assay could be used to estimate the degree of iron limitation. [source]

Ecological niche partitioning in the picoplanktonic green alga Micromonas pusilla: evidence from environmental surveys using phylogenetic probes

Elodie Foulon
Summary Very few studies have analysed the niches of pelagic protist in details. This is because for most protists, both an accurate species definition and methods for routine detection and quantification of cells are lacking. The morphospecies Micromonas pusilla, a marine unicellular green alga, is the most ubiquitous and cosmopolitan picoeukaryote described to date. This species comprises several independent genetic lineages or clades, which are not currently distinguishable based on comparison of their morphology or biogeographical distribution. Molecular probes were used to detect and quantify the genetic clades of M. pusilla in samples from temperate, polar and tropical environments in order to assess potential ecological niche partitioning. The three clades were detected in all biogeographical regions studied and were commonly found in sympatry. Cell abundances recorded for clades A and B were high, especially at coastal stations. Clade C, when detected, was always at low abundances and is suggested to be a low-light clade. Shifts in the contribution of clades to total M. pusilla abundance were observed along environmental gradients, both at local and basin-wide scales. This suggests that the phylogenetic clades occupy specific niches and confirms the existence of cryptic species within the morphospecies M. pusilla. Parameters which can precisely explain the distribution of these cryptic species remain to be elucidated. [source]

Temperature- and pH-dependent accumulation of heat-shock proteins in the acidophilic green alga Chlamydomonas acidophila

Antje Gerloff-Elias
Abstract Chlamydomonas acidophila, a unicellular green alga, is a dominant phytoplankton species in acidic water bodies, facing severe environmental conditions such as low pH and high heavy metal concentrations. We examined the pH-, and temperature-dependent accumulation of heat-shock proteins in this alga to determine whether heat-shock proteins play a role in adaptation to their environment. Our results show increased heat-shock proteins accumulation at suboptimal pHs, which were not connected with any change in intracellular pH. In comparison to the mesophilic Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, the acidophilic species exhibited significantly higher accumulations of heat-shock proteins under control conditions, indicating an environmental adaptation of increased basal levels of heat-shock proteins. The results suggest that heat-shock proteins might play a role in the adaptation of C. acidophila, and possibly other acidophilic algae, to their extreme environment. [source]

Carbonic anhydrases in plants and algae

J. V. Moroney
ABSTRACT Carbonic anhydrases catalyse the reversible hydration of CO2, increasing the interconversion between CO2 and HCO3, + H+ in living organisms. The three evolutionarily unrelated families of carbonic anhydrases are designated ,-, ,-and ,-CA. Animals have only the ,-carbonic anhydrase type of carbonic anhydrase, but they contain multiple isoforms of this carbonic anhydrase. In contrast, higher plants, algae and cyanobacteria may contain members of all three CA families. Analysis of the Arabidopsis database reveals at least 14 genes potentially encoding carbonic anhydrases. The database also contains expressed sequence tags (ESTs) with homology to most of these genes. Clearly the number of carbonic anhydrases in plants is much greater than previously thought. Chlamydomonas, a unicellular green alga, is not far behind with five carbonic anhydrases already identified and another in the EST database. In algae, carbonic anhydrases have been found in the mitochondria, the chloroplast thylakoid, the cytoplasm and the periplasmic space. In C3 dicots, only two carbonic anhydrases have been localized, one to the chloroplast stroma and one to the cytoplasm. A challenge for plant scientists is to identify the number, location and physiological roles of the carbonic anhydrases. [source]

The Occurrence of the psbS Gene Product in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and in Other Photosynthetic Organisms and Its Correlation with Energy Quenching,

Giulia Bonente
To avoid photodamage, photosynthetic organisms have developed mechanisms to evade or dissipate excess energy. Lumen overacidification caused by light-induced electron transport triggers quenching of excited chlorophylls and dissipation of excess energy into heat. In higher plants participation of the PsbS protein as the sensor of low lumenal pH was clearly demonstrated. Although light-dependent energy quenching is a property of all photosynthetic organisms, large differences in amplitude and kinetics can be observed thus raising the question whether a single common mechanism is in action. We performed a detailed study of PsbS expression/accumulation in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and investigated its accumulation in other algae and plants. We showed that PsbS cannot be detected in Chlamydomonas under a wide range of growth conditions. Overexpression of the endogenous psbs gene showed that the corresponding protein could not be addressed to the thylakoid membranes. Survey of different unicellular green algae showed no accumulation of anti-PsbS reactive proteins differently from multicellular species. Nevertheless, some unicellular species exhibit high energy quenching activity, suggesting that a PsbS-independent mechanism is activated. By correlating growth habitat and PsbS accumulation in different species, we suggest that during the evolution the light environment has been a determinant factor for the conservation/loss of the PsbS function. [source]