LIPIDS AND CHEMOTAXONOMY OF PROCHLOROTHRIX HOLLANDICA, A PLANKTONIC PROKARYOTE CONTAINING CHLOROPHYLLS a AND b

John K. Volkman*, Tineke Burger‐Wiersma, Peter D. Nichols, Roger E. Summons

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    18 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The lipid composition of a planktonic prokaryote, Prochlorothrix hollandica Burger‐Wiersma, isolated from Lake Loosdrecht (The Netherlands) has been determined. This species is only the second prokaryote that has been found to contain chlorophylls a and b. Its lipid composition is similar to that of another prochlorophyte, Prochloron didemni Lewin, as well as to some cyanobacteria and bacteria, but there are also some unique features. Major fatty acids were 14:0, 14: 1ω5, 16:0, 16: 1ω7 and two novel fatty acids 16: 1ω12 (hexadec‐4‐enoic acid) and a new 16:2 isomer. Double bond positions in monounsaturated fatty acids and alkenes were determined by derivatization with dimethyl disulfide followed by analysis of the products by gas chromatography‐mass spectrometry. Hydrocarbons consisted mainly of the pentacyclic triterpene hop‐22(29)‐ene and straight‐chain n‐heptadecane and n‐heptadec‐5‐ene. The presence of hopanoids, low abundance of triacylglycerols and absence of sterols clearly show that the lipid biochemistry of this organism is more closely related to that of prokaryotes than to eukaryotes even though it contains chlorophyll b which is more typical of green algae. Implications of these data to chemotaxonomic studies of this unusual group of prokaryotes are discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)554-559
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Phycology
    Volume24
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1988

    Keywords

    • alkenes
    • chemotaxonomy
    • fatty acids
    • hop‐22(29)‐ene
    • lipids
    • Prochlorophyta
    • Prochlorothrix
    • prokaryote

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