What is it about?
Protists belonging to the Labyrinthulea (stramenopiles) have been newly discovered to prey on diatoms, an important primary producer in the ocean. Comprehensive analysis of environmental DNA suggests that it has a large impact on marine ecosystems. The discovery of a new pathway by Labyrinthulean protists is expected to lead to a clarification of the mystery of DHA accumulation in marine animals.
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Why is it important?
DHA (omega-3 unsaturated fatty acid), which is abundantly accumulated in fish, is not biosynthesized by the fish itself, but is acquired by the fish preying on food in the food chain. However, there are many unclear points about which microorganisms biosynthesize DHA and serve as the main source of DHA. Protists belonging to Labyrintulea have a DHA synthesis pathway, are ubiquitous in the ocean, and are one of the candidate sources of DHA. The discovery that Labyrintulea mates prey on diatoms, important primary producers in the ocean, has made them even more important as suppliers of DHA.
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: Nutritional intake of Aplanochytrium (Labyrinthulea, Stramenopiles) from living diatoms revealed by culture experiments suggesting the new prey–predator interactions in the grazing food web of the marine ecosystem, PLoS ONE, January 2019, PLOS, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0208941.
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Aplanochytrium and Skeletonema in two-membered cultures
This time-lapse video corresponds to 14 hours 3 min obser- vation. Scale bar = 50 μm.
Aggregate formation with Skeletonema cells by ectoplasmic nets of Aplanochytrium
This time-lapse video corresponds to 4 hours 20 min observation. Scale bar = 10 μm.
Nutritional intake from Skeletonema by Aplanochytrium cells via ectoplasmic nets
This time-lapse video corresponds to 6 hours 9 min observation. Scale bar = 10 μm.
This time-lapse video corresponds to 1 hours 57 min observation. Scale bar = 10 μm.
Aplanochytrium (SEK 717) and Chaetoceros (NIES 3712) in two-membered cul- tures
This time-lapse video corre- sponds to 16 hours 19 min observation. Scale bar = 50 μm.
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