Mesodinium chamaeleon

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Mesodinium chamaeleon
Scientific classification
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M. chamaeleon
Binomial name
Mesodinium chamaeleon
Moestrup, Garcia-Cuetos, Hansen & Fenchel, 2012

Mesodinium chamaeleon is a ciliate of the genus Mesodinium. It is known for being able to consume and maintain algae endosymbiotically for days before digesting the algae.[1][2] It has the ability to eat red and green algae, and afterwards using the chlorophyll granules from the algae to generate energy, turning itself from being a heterotroph into an autotroph. The species was discovered in January 2012 outside the coast of Nivå, Denmark by professor Øjvind Moestrup.

In contrast to certain other species of the genus, Mesodinium chamaeleon can be maintained in culture for short periods only. It captures and ingests flagellates including cryptomonads. The prey is ingested very rapidly into a food vacuole without the cryptomonad flagella being shed and the trichocysts being discharged. The individual food vacuoles subsequently serve as photosynthetic units, each containing the cryptomonad chloroplast, a nucleus, and some mitochondria. The ingested cells are eventually digested. This type of symbiosis differs from other plastid-bearing Mesodinium spp. in retaining ingested cryptomonad cells almost intact. The food strategy of the new species appears to be intermediate between heterotrophic species, such as Mesodinium pulex and Mesodinium pupula, and species with red cryptomonad endosymbionts, such as Mesodinium rubrum.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Michael Marshall (13 January 2012). "Zoologger: Unique life form is half plant, half animal". New Scientist.
  2. ^ Moestrup, Ø.; Garcia-Cuetos, L.; Hansen, P. J.; Fenchel, T. (2012). "Studies on the Genus Mesodinium I: Ultrastructure and Description of Mesodinium chamaeleon n. sp., a Benthic Marine Species with Green or Red Chloroplasts". Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology. 59 (1): 20–39. doi:10.1111/j.1550-7408.2011.00593.x. PMID 22221919.
  3. ^ Moestrup, Ojvind; Garcia-Cuetos, Lydia; Hansen, Per Juel; Fenchel, Tom (January 2012). "Studies on the Genus Mesodinium I: Ultrastructure and Description of Mesodinium chamaeleon n. sp., a Benthic Marine Species with Green or Red Chloroplasts". Journal of Eukaryotic Biology. 59 (1): 20–39. doi:10.1111/j.1550-7408.2011.00593.x. PMID 22221919.

Further reading[edit]

  • Moestrup, Ojvind; Garcia-Cuetos, Lydia; Hansen, Per Juel; Fenchel, Tom (January 2012). "Studies on the Genus Mesodinium I: Ultrastructure and Description of Mesodinium chamaeleon n. sp., a Benthic Marine Species with Green or Red Chloroplasts". Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology. 59 (1): 20–39. doi:10.1111/j.1550-7408.2011.00593.x. PMID 22221919.
  • Johnson, Matthew (April 21, 2011). "Acquired Phototrophy in Ciliates: A Review of Cellular Interactions and Structural Adaptations". The Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology. 58 (3): 185–195. doi:10.1111/j.1550-7408.2011.00545.x.
  • Garcia-Cuetos, Lydia; Moestrup, Ojvind; Hansen, Per J. (July 2012). "Studies on the Genus Mesodinium II. Ultrastructural and Molecular Investigations of Five Marine Species Help Clarifying the Taxonomy". Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology. 59 (4): 374–400. doi:10.1111/j.1550-7408.2012.00630.x. PMID 22708786.

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