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    Several species of the genus Tetraselmis (Chlorodendrophyceae, Chlorophyta) were recently discovered to possess unsuspected biomineralization capacities: they produce multiple intracellular inclusions of amorphous calcium carbonate (ACC), called micropearls. Early light-microscopists had spotted rows of refractive granules in some species, although without identifying their mineral nature. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) observations showed that the distribution of the micropearls in the cell forms a pattern, which appears to be characteristic for a given species. The present study shows that this pattern correlates with the shape of the chloroplast, which differs between Tetraselmis species, because micropearls align themselves along the incisions between chloroplast lobes. This was observed both by SEM and in live cells by light microscopy (LM) using Nomarski differential interference contrast. Additionally, molecular phylogenetic analyses, of rbcL and ITS2 gene sequences from diverse strains of Chlorodendrophyceae, corroborated the morphological observations by identifying two groups among nominal Tetraselmis spp. that differ in chloroplast morphology, micropearl arrangement, and ITS2 RNA secondary structure. Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier GmbH.. All rights reserved.


    Agathe Martignier, Sophie De Respinis, Montserrat Filella, Inés Segovia-Campos, Birger Marin, Gerd Günther, François Barja, Mauro Tonolla, Jean-Michel Jaquet, Michael Melkonian, Daniel Ariztegui. Biomineralization Capacities of Chlorodendrophyceae: Correlation Between Chloroplast Morphology and the Distribution of Micropearls in the Cell. Protist. 2020 Nov;171(5):125760

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    PMID: 33126021

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