Gene prediction of phago-mixotrophy

No evidence of phago-mixotropy in Micromonas polaris, the dominant picophytoplankton species in the Arctic


In the Arctic Ocean, the small green alga Micromonas polaris dominates pico-phytoplankton during the summer months. It has been previously hypothesized to be phago-mixotrophic (capable of bacteria ingestion) based on laboratory and field experiments. Prey uptake was analysed in several M. polaris strains isolated from different regions and depths of the Arctic Ocean. Using both fluorescent beads and fluorescently labelled bacteria as prey, we found no evidence of phago-mixotrophy in any M. polaris strain by flow cytometric measurement of prey ingestion. In addition, in silico predictions reveal that members of the genus Micromonas lack a genetic signature of phagocytotic capacity.

Journal of Phycology 57, 435-446