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Abstract Detail

Phycological Section

Bellairs, Emily F. [1], Monfils, Anna K. [2].

Morphological Diversity of Paramylon in Photosynthetic Euglenoids.

Paramylon grains are highly crystalline, β-1, 3 glucan storage bodies found in the single celled eukaryotic euglenoid algae. Research initiated on a single species, Euglena gracilis, has indicated an immuno-enhancing medicinal application for paramylon. Within the photosynthetic euglenoids, paramylon grain morphology is highly variable. These varying morphological forms may indicate different underlying chemical structures and forms of β-1,3 glucans, which may affect their overall bioactivity. The preliminary step in determining variable bioactivity of paramylon is to examine their morphological diversity among euglenoid species. A scanning electron microscope was used to examine six species of the order Euglenales (Euglena gracilis, Phacus orbicularis, P. pleuronectes, Lepocinclis acus, L. ovum, and Monomorphina pyrum). While many grain shapes can be observed within a single species, each of the studied species has a distinct paramylon morphology relative to the study group. Euglena gracilis has grains with a cap shape (<3 µm). Lepocinclis acus has large rod-shaped grains (3-12+ µm). Phacus orbicularis has large plate-shaped grains (documented up to 29 µm). Phacus pleuronectes has bobbin-shaped paramylon ranging from 7-16 µm in length. Monomorphina pyrum paramylon are shield-shaped lateral plates (approximately 8-10 µm at their widest point). Lepocinclis ovum has large curved ring-shaped grains (greater than 5 µm in diameter). This study was able to determine a high level of distinction among differing paramylon grain morphologies both within a species and among species. Investigation into grain morphology of divergent photosynthetic euglenoid species is currently directing research into chemical structure, bioactivity, and medicinal properties of paramylon.

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1 - Central Michigan University, Biology, Brooks Hall, Mount Pleasant, MI, 48858, USA
2 - Central Michigan University, Biology, 125 Brooks Hall, Mount Pleasant, Michigan, 48859, USA

β-1,3 glucans

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Exhibit Hall (Northeast, Southwest & Southeast)/Hilton
Date: Sunday, July 8th, 2007
Time: 8:00 AM
Number: P55003
Abstract ID:1647

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