Morphology, Ultrastructure and Life Cycle of Vitrella brassicaformis n. sp., n. gen., a Novel Chromerid from the Great Barrier Reef

Miroslav Oborník, David Modrý, Martin Lukeš, Eva Černotíková-Stříbrná, Jaromír Cihlář, Martina Tesařová, Eva Kotabová, Marie Vancová, Ondřej Prášil, Julius Lukeš

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations


Chromerida are photoautotrophic alveolates so far only isolated from corals in Australia. It has been shown that these secondary plastid-containing algae are closely related to apicomplexan parasites and share various morphological and molecular characters with both Apicomplexa and Dinophyta. So far, the only known representative of the phylum was Chromera velia. Here we provide a formal description of another chromerid, Vitrella brassicaformis gen. et sp. nov., complemented with a detailed study on its ultrastructure, allowing insight into its life cycle. The novel alga differs significantly from the related chromerid C. velia in life cycle, morphology as well as the plastid genome. Analysis of photosynthetic pigments on the other hand demonstrate that both chromerids lack chlorophyll c, the hallmark of phototrophic chromalveolates. Based on the relatively high divergence between C. velia and V. brassicaformis, we propose their classification into distinct families Chromeraceae and Vitrellaceae. Moreover, we predict a hidden and unexplored diversity of the chromerid algae. © 2011 Elsevier GmbH.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)306-323
Number of pages18
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): FIC/2010/09
Acknowledgements: This work was supported by the Grant Agency of the Czech Academy of Sciences (IAA601410907) and the project Algatech (CZ.1.05/2.1.00/03.0110) to M.O., the Ministry of Education of the Czech Republic (2B06129 and 6007665801), and the Praemium Academiae Award to J.L., the Grant Agency of the University of South Bohemia (146/2010/P) and the award FIC/2010/09 by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) to M.O. and J.L. Olympus BX53F was kindly loaned by Dr. Tomas Jendrulek (Olympus Czech Group Ltd). We thank Marek Elias (University of Ostrava) and Hassan Hashimi (Institute of Parasitology) for critical reading of the manuscript.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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