Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 73, Issue 1–3, pp 59–61 | Cite as

Prochlorophyta – a matter of class distinctions

  • Ralph A. Lewin


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.

bilin T. Burger-Wiersma S.W. Chisholm chlorophyll divinyl-chlorophyll cyanophyte R.A. Lewin E.H. Newcomb Prochlorococcus Prochloron Prochlorothrix Prochlorophyta Prochlorococcus prokaryote O.M. Skulberg symbiont 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ralph A. Lewin
    • 1
  1. 1.Scripps Institution of OceanographyUniversity of California (San Diego)La JollaUSA

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