Get access

MORPHOLOGICAL AND ULTRASTRUCTURAL FEATURES OF A STRAIN OF BOTRYOCOCCUS TERRIBILIS (TREBOUXIOPHYCEAE) FROM BRAZIL

Authors

  • Maria Cristina de Queiroz Mendes,

    1. Laboratory of Marine Biology and Biomonitoring (LABIOMAR), Institute of Biology (IB), Federal University of Bahia (UFBA), Rua Barão de Jeremoabo, 147 – Campus Ondina, CEP 40170-115, Salvador – Bahia, Brazil
      Post-Graduate Program in Plant Biodiversity (PPGBV), State University of Bahia (UNEB), Campus VIII, Rua Gangorra, 503, CHESF, CEP 48608-240, Paulo Afonso – Bahia, Brazil
    Search for more papers by this author
    • Present address: Laboratory of Marine Algae (LAMAR), Institute of Biology (IB), Federal University of Bahia (UFBA), Rua Barão de Jeremoabo, 147 – Ondina, CEP 40170-115, Salvador – Bahia, Brazil.

    • Author for correspondence: e-mail: mcqm@uol.com.br.

  • Augusto Abilio Comas González,

    1. Centro de Estudios Ambientales de Cienfuegos, CITMA, Apartado Postal 5, Código Postal 59350, Ciudad Nuclear, Cienfuegos, Cuba
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Maria Lucia Vieira Moreno,

    1. Gonçalo Moniz Research Center, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ), Electron Microscopy Facility (SME) – Rua Waldemar Falcão, 121 Candeal, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Claudio Pereira Figueira,

    1. Gonçalo Moniz Research Center, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ), Electron Microscopy Facility (SME) – Rua Waldemar Falcão, 121 Candeal, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Jose Marcos de Castro Nunes

    1. Post-Graduate Program in Plant Biodiversity (PPGBV), State University of Bahia (UNEB), Campus VIII, Rua Gangorra, 503, CHESF, CEP 48608-240, Paulo Afonso – Bahia, Brazil
    Search for more papers by this author

  • Received 5 August 2011. Accepted 12 April 2012.

Abstract

The genus Botryococcus comprises a group of cosmopolitan species of freshwater colonial green algae, some of which synthesize and accumulate an unusually high level (15–76%) of liquid hydrocarbons. This characteristic suggests the possibility of exploiting species from this group as renewable sources for jet fuel. An oil-rich strain of Botryococcus (Trebouxiophyceae) was isolated from a freshwater pond in the state of Bahia, Brazil, and is presently maintained under standard conditions at the Culture Collection of the Institute of Biology, Federal University of Bahia. The taxonomic classification of the species was based on light microscopy (LM); and TEM and SEM were used to better characterize its features, which have never before been described at this level. The LM characterization included the size of the colonies (35.7–157 μm) and cells (8–10 × 5–9 μm) and their connection in sub-colonies by mucilaginous strands, as well as the presence of mucilaginous processes on the periphery of some of the colonies, with most of the cells included inside the colony. Reproduction occurred through divisions into two to four autospores. These features characterized the species as Botryococcus terribilis Komárek and Marvan. The TEM study showed, in addition to the presence of starch grains, pyrenoids that are penetrated by thick thylakoids. The pyrenoid bodies appear as electron-dense protein inclusions located in the chloroplast and surrounded by a starch sheath. These structures, which contain most if not all of the Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase oxygenase in several algal species that have been studied closely, are newly discovered for this species.

Ancillary