A method that uses marker fatty acids (FAs) is widely applied in investigations of trophic and symbiotic relationships. In a search for new lipid markers, we determined the total lipid FA composition, as well as the composition of molecular species of mono- and digalactosyl diacylglycerols (MGDGs and DGDGs), which are specific galactolipids of thylakoid membranes, in zooxanthellae (endosymbiotic dinoflagellates) of the tropical soft coral Capnella sp. Some FAs of zooxanthellae were suggested for use as marker polyunsaturated FAs (PUFAs). Thirteen molecular species of MGDGs and ten molecular species of DGDGs were detected using the method of high-resolution tandem mass spectrometry. All marker PUFAs of zooxanthellae were found in acyl groups of galactolipids. The major molecular species of DGDGs (18:4/18:4, 18:4/20:5, and 16:2/22:6) and the unique molecular species of MGDGs (16:4/18:5) were described. The identification of several polyunsaturated molecular species of galactolipids that contain marker FAs allowed us to propose that this lipid group be used as molecular lipid markers of zooxanthellae for the study of symbiont–host interactions in soft corals.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 5, 2016
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