Skip to main content

Prochlorococcus marinus nov. gen. nov. sp.: an oxyphototrophic marine prokaryote containing divinyl chlorophyll a and b

Abstract

Several years ago, prochlorophyte picoplankton were discovered in the N. Atlantic. They have since been found to be abundant within the euphotic zone of the world's tropical and temperate oceans. The cells are extremely small, lack phycobiliproteins, and contain divinyl chlorophyll a and b as their primary photosynthetic pigments. Phylogenies constructed from DNA sequence data indicate that these cells are more closely related to a cluster of marine cyanobacteria than to their prochlorophyte ‘relatives’ Prochlorothrix and Prochloron. Several strains of this organism have recently been brought into culture, and herewith are given the name Prochlorococcus marinus.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  • Brand LE, Sunda WG, Guillard RRL (1983) Limitation of marine phytoplankton reproduction rates by zinc, manganese, and iron. Limnol Oceanogr 28: 1182–1198

    Google Scholar 

  • Chavez FP, Buck K, Coale K, Martin JH, DiTullio GR, Welschmeyer NA, Jacobson AC, Barber RT (1991) Growth rates, grazing, sinking and iron limitation of equatorial Pacific phytoplankton. Limnol Oceanogr (in press)

  • Chisholm SW, Olson RJ, Zettler ER, Goericke R, Waterbury JB, Welschmeyer NA (1988) A novel free-living prochlorophyte abundant in the occanic euphotic zone. Nature 334: 340–343

    Google Scholar 

  • Everitt DA, Wright SW, Volkman JK, Thomas DP, Lindstrom EJ (1990) Phytoplankton community compositions in the western equatorial Pacific determined from chlorophyll and carotenoid pigment distributions. Deep Sea Res 37: 975–997

    Google Scholar 

  • Fitzwater SE, Knauer GA, Martin JH (1982) Metal contamination and its effect on primary production measurements. Limnol Oceanogr 27: 544–551

    Google Scholar 

  • Gieskes WWC, Kraay GW (1983) Unknown chlorophyll a derivatives in the North Sea and the tropical Atlantic Ocean revealed by HPLC analysis. Limnol Oceanogr 28: 757–765

    Google Scholar 

  • Gieskes WWC, Kraay GW (1986) Floristic and physiological differences between the shallow and the deep nanoplankton community in the euphotic zone of the open tropical Atlantic revealed by HPLC analysis of pigments. Mar Biol 91: 567–576

    Google Scholar 

  • Gieskes WWC, Kraay GW, Nontji A, Setiapermana D, Sutomo (1988) Monsoonal alternation of a mixed and a layered structure in the phytoplankton of the euphotic zone of the Banda Sea (Indonesia): a mathematical analysis of algal pigment fingerprints. Neth J Sea Res 22: 123–137

    Google Scholar 

  • Goericke R (1990) Pigments as ecological tracers for the abundance and growth of marine phytoplankton. PhD Thesis, Harvard University

  • Goericke R, Repeta D (1992) The pigments of Prochlorococcus marinus: the presence of divinyl-chlorophyll a and b in a marine cyanobacterium. Limnol Oceanogr (in press)

  • Johnson PW, Sieburth J McN (1979) Chroococcoid cyanobacteria in the sea: a ubiquitous and diverse phototrophic biomass. Limnol Oceanogr 24: 928–935

    Google Scholar 

  • Keller MD, Bellows WK, Guillard RRL (1988) Microwave treatment for the sterilization of phytoplankton culture media. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 117: 279–283

    Google Scholar 

  • Keller MD, Selvin RC, Claus W, Guillard RRL (1987) Media for the culture of oceanic ultraphytoplankton. J Phycol 23: 633–638

    Google Scholar 

  • Lewin RA (1981) The Prochlorophytes. In: Starr MP, Stolp H, Truper HG, Balows A, Schlegel HG (eds) The prokaryotes, vol 1. Springer, Berlin, pp 256–266

    Google Scholar 

  • Li WGW, Wood M (1988) Vertical distribution of North Atlantic ultraplankton: analysis by flow cytometry and epifluorescence microscopy. Deep Sea Res 35: 1615–1638

    Google Scholar 

  • Morden CW, Golden SS (1989a) psbA genes indicate common ancestry of prochlorophytes and chloroplasts. Nature 337: 382–385

    Google Scholar 

  • Morden CW, Golden SS (1989b) Corrigendum: psbA genes indicate common ancestry of prochlorophytes and chloroplasts. Nature 339: 400

    Google Scholar 

  • Morel FMM, Reuter JG, Anderson DM, Guillard RRL (1979) Aquil: a chemically defined phytoplankton culture medium for trace metal studies. J Phycol 15: 135–141

    Google Scholar 

  • Neveux J, Vaulot D, Courties C, Fukai E (1989) Green photosynthetic bacteria associated with the deep chlorophyll maximum of the Sargasso Sea. CR Acad Sci Paris 308: 9–14

    Google Scholar 

  • Olson RJ, Chisholm SW, Zettler ER, Altabet M, Dusenberry J (1990) Spatial and temporal distributions of prochlorophyte picoplankton in the North Atlantic Ocean. Deep Sea Res 37: 1033–1051

    Google Scholar 

  • Palenik BP, Haselkorn R (1992) Multiple evolutionary origins of prochlorophytes, the chlorophyll b-containing prokaryotes. Nature 355: 267–269

    Google Scholar 

  • Sieburth J McN (1983) Microbiological and organic-chemical processes in the surface and mixed layers. In: Liss PS, Slinn WGN (eds) Air-sea exchange of gases and particles. D Reidel Publishing, Dordrecht Boston Lancaster, pp 121–172

    Google Scholar 

  • Turner S, Burger-Wiersma T, Giovannoni SJ, Mur LR, Pace NR (1989) The relationship of a prochlorophyte Prochlorothrix hollandica to green chloroplasts. Nature 337: 380–382

    Google Scholar 

  • Urbach E, Robertson D, Chisholm SW (1992) Multiple evolutionary origins of prochlorophytes within the cyanobacterial radiation. Nature 355: 267–269

    Google Scholar 

  • Vaulot D, Partensky F, Neveux J, Mantoura R, and Llewellyn C (1990) Wintertime presence of prochlorophytes in surface waters of the North-Western Mediterranean Sea. Limnol Oceanogr 35: 1156–1164

    Google Scholar 

  • Veldhuis MJW, Kraay GW (1990) Vertical distribution and pigment composition of a picoplanktonic prochlorophyte in the subtropical N Atlantic: a combined study of HPLC-analysis of pigments and flow cytometry. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 68: 121–127

    Google Scholar 

  • Waterbury JB, Rippka R (1989) The order Chroococcales. In: Kreig NR, Holt JB (eds) Bergey's manual of systematic bacteriology vol 3. Williams and Wilkens, New York, pp 1728–1746

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Chisholm, S.W., Frankel, S.L., Goericke, R. et al. Prochlorococcus marinus nov. gen. nov. sp.: an oxyphototrophic marine prokaryote containing divinyl chlorophyll a and b . Arch. Microbiol. 157, 297–300 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00245165

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00245165

Key words

  • Prokaryote
  • Prochlorophyte
  • Prochlorococcus marinus
  • Cyanobacteria
  • Picoplankton
  • Molecular phylogeny
  • Divinyl chlorophyll