Life without a cell membrane: Challenging the specificity of bacterial endophytes within Bryopsis (Bryopsidales, Chlorophyta)

Life without a cell membrane: Challenging the specificity of bacterial endophytes within Bryopsis (Bryopsidales, Chlorophyta)

BMC Microbiology 2011 11:255

DOI: 10.1186/1471-2180-11-255

Once again a link about the pest algae Bryopsis.

This algae tends to plague many unstable reef aquariums.

After someone treating a fungal infection in fish coincidentally noticed Bryopsis die-off in their tank, folks have been using fluconazole to treat Bryopsis.  Thanks to its use of ergosterols in its cell membranes, it is obviously susceptible.

Nobody I asked could tell me where it started or how it worked, so I began doing research once I heard of the treatment.  This article is one that was still waiting in my browser for me to read.  Once I did, my jaw dropped upon reading this quote:

Bryopsis is a marine siphonous macroalga composed of a single, tubular shaped cell which contains multiple nuclei and chloroplasts in a thin cytoplasmic layer surrounding a large central vacuole [9]. While an organism composed of a giant, single cell would be prone to damage, siphonous macroalgae possess an intricate defense network that operates at various levels [710]. In Bryopsis, for example, the metabolite kahalalide F, which shows in vitro therapeutic activities, protects the alga from fish predation [11]. Even if damage does occur, a complex, multistep wound response is triggered [1012] to which Bryopsis algae add a surprisingly feature, i.e. the formation of protoplasts [13]. These protoplasts are membraneless structures that can survive in seawater for 10-20 minutes. Subsequently, membranes and a cell wall are synthesized de novo surrounding each protoplast, which then develop into new Bryopsis plants. “

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