Sterols of the green-pigmented, aberrant plastid dinoflagellate, Lepidodinium chlorophorum (Dinophyceae)

Jeffrey D Leblond, Andrew D Lasiter
Protist 2012, 163 (1): 38-46
Lepidodinium chlorophorum is a green-pigmented dinoflagellate with an aberrant, tertiary plastid of chlorophyte ancestry rather than the typical red algal, secondary endosymbiont found in the vast majority of photosynthetic dinoflagellates. To date, only one published study exists on the galactolipids of L. chlorophorum, with nothing known about other lipid classes, including sterols. Our objectives were to examine the sterol composition of L. chlorophorum to determine if it produces any unique sterols with the potential to serve as biomarkers, and to compare it to members of the Chlorophyceae to determine if it has inherited any signature green algal sterols from its chlorophyte-derived endosymbiont. We have found that L. chlorophorum produces 6 sterols, all with a 4α-methyl substituent and none of which are known to occur in the Chlorophyceae. Rather, the sterols produced by L. chlorophorum place it within a group of dinoflagellates that have the common dinoflagellate sterols, dinosterol and dinostanol, as part of their sterol composition.

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