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J Exp Mar Bio Ecol. 2000 Jun 28;249(2):219-233.

The synthesis of mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs) by cultured, symbiotic dinoflagellates.

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Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, 21037, Edgewater, MD, USA


We tested the hypothesis that there is a relation between phylotypes (phylogenetic types, as determined by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and partial sequence analysis of the small subunit ribosomal RNA gene (SSUrDNA)) and the synthesis of mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs) by symbiotic dinoflagellates under the influence of ultraviolet radiation (UV-B/A) and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR). We exposed 27 isolates of symbiotic dinoflagellates simultaneously to UV-B/A and PAR, and subsequently determined the MAAs present in cell extracts and in the media. The algae used included 24 isolates of Symbiodinium spp. originating from jellyfishes, sea anemones, zoanthids, scleractinians, octocorals, and bivalves, and three others in the genera Gymnodinium, Gloeodinium and Amphidinium from a jellyfish, an hydrocoral and a flatworm, respectively. In this study, all of the phylotype A Symbiodinium spp. synthesized up to three identified MAAs. None of the 11 cultured phylotypes B and C Symbiodinium spp. synthesized MAAs. The three non-Symbiodinium symbionts also synthesized up to three MAAs. The results support a conclusion that phylotype A Symbiodinium spp. have a high predilection for the synthesis of MAAs, while phylotypes B and C do not. Synthesis of MAAs by symbiotic dinoflagellates in culture does not appear to relate directly to depths or to the UV exposure regimes from which the consortia were collected.

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