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Title: Crawling leaves: photosynthesis in sacoglossan sea slugs
Author: Cruz, Sónia
Calado, Ricardo
Serôdio, João
Cartaxana, Paulo
Keywords: Endosymbiosis
PAM fluorometry
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Abstract: Some species of sacoglossan sea slugs can maintain functional chloroplasts from specific algal food sources in the cells of their digestive diverticula. These 'stolen' chloroplasts (kleptoplasts) can survive in the absence of the plant cell and continue to photosynthesize, in some cases for as long as one year. Within the Metazoa, this phenomenon (kleptoplasty) seems to have only evolved among sacoglossan sea slugs. Known for over a century, the mechanisms of interaction between the foreign organelle and its host animal cell are just now starting to be unravelled. In the study of sacoglossan sea slugs as photosynthetic systems, it is important to understand their relationship with light. This work reviews the state of knowledge on autotrophy as a nutritional source for sacoglossans and the strategies they have developed to avoid excessive light, with emphasis to the behavioural and physiological mechanisms suggested to be involved in the photoprotection of kleptoplasts. A special focus is given to the advantages and drawbacks of using pulse amplitude modulated fluorometry in photobiological studies addressing sacoglossan sea slugs. Finally, the classification of photosynthetic sacoglossan sea slugs according to their ability to retain functional kleptoplasts and the importance of laboratory culturing of these organisms are briefly discussed.
Peer review: yes
DOI: 10.1093/jxb/ert197
ISSN: 0022-0957
Appears in Collections:CESAM - Artigos
DBio - Artigos

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