According to a recent report by the physicist organization network, scientists have discovered for the first time an organism that can produce chlorophyll but does not participate in photosynthesis-"corallicolid", which is present in 70% of the world's corals. This research, published in the latest issue of "Nature", is expected to provide new clues for humans to better protect coral reefs.
Patrick Keeling, a botanist and senior researcher at the University of British Columbia in Canada, said: "This is the second most abundant coral dweller on the planet, and it has not appeared until now. This organism has brought a whole new biochemical problem. It looks It looks like a parasite and does not photosynthesize, but it still produces chlorophyll."
Corallicolid Produces Chlorophyll Reflection
Chlorophyll is a green pigment found in plants and algae, which can absorb energy from sunlight during photosynthesis.
Killing explained: "Having chlorophyll without photosynthesis is actually very dangerous, because chlorophyll is very good at capturing energy, but if there is no photosynthesis used to slowly release energy, it is like a bomb living in a cell.
Acrocomplex of Corallicolids Organism
It is reported that corallicolids live in the stomach cavities of various corals and are responsible for the construction of coral reefs, black corals, fan corals, mushroom corals and sea anemones. They are an apicomplexan-part of a large number of parasites. These parasites have cell compartments called plastids (the photosynthetic part of plants and algae cells). The most famous acrocomplex is the parasite that causes malaria.
More than 10 years ago, scientists discovered photosynthetic algae associated with acroplexes in healthy corals, indicating that they may have evolved from photosynthetic organisms attached to corals and then became what we know today Parasites.
Ecological data show that coral reefs contain several apical complexes, but corallicolids have not been studied yet. This organism reveals a new problem: it contains not only plastids, but also all four plastid genes used in chlorophyll production.
The first author of the study and a postdoctoral researcher at the University of British Columbia Waldan Kwong said: "We don't know why these organisms insist on retaining these photosynthesis genes. There may be some biological mechanisms that we have never understood before."
Researchers hope to further study corallicolid to understand their living habits and habitats so as to better protect them.
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