MEPS 270:83-102 (2004)  -  doi:10.3354/meps270083

Photosynthetic pigments in 37 species (65 strains) of Haptophyta: implications for oceanography and chemotaxonomy

Manuel Zapata1, S. W. Jeffrey2,*, Simon W. Wright3, Francisco Rodríguez1, José L. Garrido4, Lesley Clementson2


1Centro de Investigacións Mariñas (CIMA), Consellería de Pesca, Xunta de Galicia, Apartado 13, 36620 Vilanova de Arousa, Spain
2CSIRO Marine Research, GPO Box 1538, Hobart, Tasmania 7001, Australia
3Australian Antarctic Division, Kingston, Tasmania 7050, Australia
4Instituto de Investigacións Mariñas, Consejo Superior de Investigacións Cientificas (CSIC), Eduardo Cabello 6, 36208 Vigo, Spain
*Corresponding author: Email:

ABSTRACT: The pigment compositions of 37 species (65 strains) of cultured haptophytes were analysed using improved HPLC methods. We distinguished 8 pigment types based on the distribution of 9 chlorophyll c (chl c) pigments and 5 fucoxanthin derivatives. All types contained chl c2 and Mg-2,4-divinyl phaeoporphyrin a5 monomethyl ester (MgDVP), fucoxanthin, diadinoxanthin and β,β-carotene. Pigment types were based on the following additional pigments: Type 1: chl c1; Type 2: chl c1 and chl c2-Pavlova gyrans-type; Type 3: chl c1 and chl c2-monogalactosyl diacylglyceride ester (chl c2-MGDG [18:4/14:0]); Type 4: chl c1, chl c3 and non-polar chl c1-like; Type 5: chl c1, chl c3, chl c2-MGDG [18:4/14:0] and 4-keto-fucoxanthin; Type 6: chl c3, monovinyl chl c3 (MV-chl c3), chl c2-MGDG [18:4/14:0], 19¹-hexanoyloxyfucoxanthin and its 4-keto derivative, and traces of 19¹-butanoyloxyfucoxanthin; Type 7: similar to Type 6, minus MV-chl c3 but with chl c2-MGDG [14:0/14:0] added; Type 8: similar to Type 6, minus MV-chl c3 but with significant 19¹-butanoyloxyfucoxanthin. Taxonomic associations ranged from single genera to multiple families - Type 1: Pavlovaceae, Isochrysidaceae and Pleurochrysidaceae; Type 2: Pavlovaceae; Type 3: Isochrysidaceae; Type 4: Prymnesium spp.; Type 5: Ochrosphaera spp.; Type 6: Nöelaerhabdaceae, notably Emiliania spp.; Type 7: Chrysochromulina spp.; Type 8: Phaeocystaceae, Prymnesiaceae and Isochrysidaceae. These pigment types showed a strong correlation with available phylogenetic trees, supporting a genetic basis for the pigment associations. The additional marker pigments offer oceanographers greater power for detecting haptophytes in mixed populations, while also distinguishing a greater proportion of them from diatoms.


KEY WORDS: Haptophyta · HPLC · Chlorophylls c · Fucoxanthins · Pigment types · Phylogeny · Oceanography


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