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Photosynth Res. 2002;73(1-3):59-61.

Prochlorophyta - a matter of class distinctions.

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  • 1Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California (San Diego), La Jolla, CA, 92093-0202, USA,


Prochloron (a marine symbiont) and Prochlorothrix (from freshwater plankton) contain chlorophylls a and b; Prochlorococcus (common in marine picoplankton) contains divinyl-chlorophylls a and b. Like cyanophytes they are all clearly photosynthetic prokaryotes, but since they contain no blue or red bilin pigment they were assigned to a new algal sub-class, the Prochlorophyta. However, since their possible phylogenetic relationships to ancestral green-plant chloroplasts have not received support from molecular biology, it now seems expedient to consider them as aberrant cyanophytes.

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