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|Title:||Morphology and physiology of the marine straminipilan fungi, the aplanochytrids isolated from the equatorial Indian Ocean|
|Abstract:||While thraustochytrids, a group of unicellular marine straminipilan protists, have been found to be abundant in the water column, little is known of aplanochytrids. These constitute one of the 3 groups belonging to the Labyrinthulomycetes. Aplanochytrids were isolated from 34 out of 76 zooplankton samples from different strata in the 0–1000 m water column in the equatorial Indian Ocean. None of the samples yielded thraustochytrids in culture, suggesting that aplanochytrids might be more prevalent in the zooplankton samples of these waters than thraustochytrids. Fourteen isolates of aplanochytrids were studied with reference to their colony and cell morphological characteristics, carbon and nitrogen nutrition and the production of four degradative enzymes. All isolates produced proteases, but not lipase, amylase or chitinase. Major interesting features of several isolates included the production of motile amoebae, preference to pentoses and disaccharides and the common preference to glutamate. Cluster analysis based on all the characters showed no clear relations to morphological or physiological traits of the isolates, thus indicating the unreliability of these characters in taxonomy of aplanochytrids. All isolates corresponded to taxon Aplanochytrium yorkensis. The differences observed in these isolates correspond to variations in populations of A. yorkensis inhabiting zooplankton in the Indian Ocean and not related to different species of the genus.|
|Appears in Collections:|| IJMS Vol.35(4) [December 2006]|
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