Isolation of an Algal Morphogenesis Inducer from a Marine Bacterium

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Science  11 Mar 2005:
Vol. 307, Issue 5715, pp. 1598
DOI: 10.1126/science.1105486


Ulva and Enteromorpha are cosmopolitan and familiar marine algal genera. It is well known that these green macroalgae lose their natural morphology during short-term cultivation under aseptic conditions and during long-term cultivation in nutrient-added seawater and adopt an unusual form instead. These phenomena led to the belief that undefined morphogenetic factors that were indispensable to the foliaceous morphology of macroalgae exist throughout the oceans. We characterize a causative factor, named thallusin, isolated from an epiphytic marine bacterium. Thallusin induces normal germination and morphogenesis of green macroalgae.

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