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Picobiliphytes: A Marine Picoplanktonic Algal Group with Unknown Affinities to Other Eukaryotes

Science  12 Jan 2007:
Vol. 315, Issue 5809, pp. 253-255
DOI: 10.1126/science.1136264

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Abstract

Environmental sequencing has revealed unimagined diversity among eukaryotic picoplankton. A distinct picoplanktonic algal group, initially detected from 18S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) sequences, was hybridized with rRNA λ-targeted (rRNA-targeted) probes, detected by tyramide signal amplification–fluorescent in situ hybridization, and showed an organelle-like body with orange fluorescence indicative of phycobilins. Using this fluorescence signal, cells were sorted by flow cytometry and probed. Hybridized cells contained a 4′,6′-diamidino-2-phenylindole–stained organelle resembling a plastid with a nucleomorph. This suggests that they may be secondary endosymbiotic algae. Pending the isolation of living cells and their formal description, these algae have been termed picobiliphytes.

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