Article

Ecology: a niche for cyanobacteria containing chlorophyll d.

Marine Biological Laboratory, Institute of Biology, University of Copenhagen, 3000 Helsingør, Denmark.
Nature (Impact Factor: 42.35). 03/2005; 433(7028):820. DOI: 10.1038/433820a
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The cyanobacterium known as Acaryochloris marina is a unique phototroph that uses chlorophyll d as its principal light-harvesting pigment instead of chlorophyll a, the form commonly found in plants, algae and other cyanobacteria; this means that it depends on far-red light for photosynthesis. Here we demonstrate photosynthetic activity in Acaryochloris-like phototrophs that live underneath minute coral-reef invertebrates (didemnid ascidians) in a shaded niche enriched in near-infrared light. This discovery clarifies how these cyanobacteria are able to thrive as free-living organisms in their natural habitat.

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