Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Group Of Algae Discovered: Picobiliphytes

Date:
January 15, 2007
Source:
Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research
Summary:
An international group of researchers has succeeded in identifying a previously unknown group of algae. As currently reported in the scientific journal Science, the newly discovered algae are found among the smallest members of photosynthetic plankton -- the picoplankton. On account of the minute size of the organisms and the appearance of phycobili-proteins, researchers have termed the new group "Picobiliphyta."

The picture shows a phycobiliphyta cell in fluorescence microscope. The cell nucleus is colored in blue, the cytoplasma in green. The red fluorescence comes from a plastide with phycobiliproteins. The cell measures 2x5 m (1m = 1/1000 millimetre).
Credit: Photo : Fabrice Not/Station Biologique de Roscoff

An international group of researchers has succeeded in identifying a previously unknown group of algae. As currently reported in the scientific journal Science, the newly discovered algae are found among the smallest members of photosynthetic plankton - the picoplankton ('Picobiliphytes: A marine picoplanktonic algal group with unknown affinities to other Eukaroytes" Science, Vol. 316'). On account of the minute size of the organisms (no more than a few thousandth of a millimetre) and the appearance of phycobili-proteins, researchers have termed the new group Picobiliphyta.

Related Articles


Approximately 50 percent of global photosynthesis is conducted in the world's oceans where it is dominated by microscopic algae, the so-called phytoplankton. Scientists estimate that up to 90 percent of phytoplanktonic species are currently unidentified. In the present study, scientists used molecular techniques to investigate the smallest members of the plankton, the picoplankton. Because picoplankton algae are so extremely small, they are almost impossible to study by means of microscopy.

Researchers investigated gene sequences of the 18S gene, common to all cells. The identity of new organisms can be deduced from a comparison of familiar and unfamiliar gene sequences.

"The gene sequences found in these algae could not be associated with any previously known group of organisms", explain Dr Klaus Valentin and Dr. Linda Medlin, co-authors of the study and molecularbiologists at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven.

The algae in this study were found in plankton samples originating from various regions of the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean. The scientists have discovered a group of organisms which, despite being completely new to science, have a wide distribution.

"This is a good indication for how much there is still to discover in the oceans, especially using molecular tools", says Valentin.

Apart from the unfamiliar gene sequences, the researchers also extracted phycobili-proteins from the algae. In red algae, for example, these proteins occur as colour pigments. However, in the newly discovered algal group, the phycobili-proteins are found at the sites for photosynthesis, i.e. in the plastids. This location of pigment proteins represents a novelty in that it has not been reported for any other algal species. Hence, it provides a clear indication that the researchers are dealing with a previously unidentified species of algae. Referring to their small size and the presence of phycobili proteins, the researchers named the new group Picobiliphytes.

On January 12, 2007, the study entitled 'Picobiliphytes: A marine picoplanktonic algal group with unknown affinities to other Eukaroytes' will be published in the scientific journal Science.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research. "New Group Of Algae Discovered: Picobiliphytes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 January 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070111181710.htm>.
Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research. (2007, January 15). New Group Of Algae Discovered: Picobiliphytes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070111181710.htm
Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research. "New Group Of Algae Discovered: Picobiliphytes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070111181710.htm (accessed March 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Whale-Watching Scientists Spot Baby Orca

Whale-Watching Scientists Spot Baby Orca

AP (Feb. 28, 2015) Researchers following endangered killer whales spotted a baby orca off the coast of Washington state, the third birth documented this winter but still leaving the population dangerously low. (Feb. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Drinks for Your Health

The Best Drinks for Your Health

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) When it comes to health and fitness, there&apos;s lots of talk about what foods to eat, but there are a few liquids that can promote good nutrition. Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has the healthiest drinks to boost your health! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cherries, Snap Peas and More Tasty Spring Produce

Cherries, Snap Peas and More Tasty Spring Produce

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) From sweet cherries to sugar snap peas, spring is the peak season for some of the tastiest and healthiest produce. Krystin Goodwin (@Krystingoodwin) has the best seasonal fruits and veggies to spring in to good health! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Foods to Battle Stress

The Best Foods to Battle Stress

Buzz60 (Feb. 26, 2015) If you&apos;re dealing with anxiety, there are a few foods that can help. Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has the best foods to tame stress. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins