Marine Biology

, Volume 151, Issue 6, pp 2159–2166 | Cite as

Retention of functional chloroplasts in some sacoglossans from the Indo-Pacific and Mediterranean

  • Jussi EvertsenEmail author
  • Ingo Burghardt
  • Geir Johnsen
  • Heike Wägele
Research Article


Previous studies on kleptoplasty in sacoglossans have used different methodology to investigate how long the sacoglossans are able to keep photosynthetically active (functional) chloroplasts. In this study we have used Pulse Amplitude Modulated Fluorometry to measure the quantum yield of charge separation in photosystem II in dark acclimated cells (ΦIIe) to detect the status of photosynthetic activity. Seven species of sacoglossa, Plakobranchus ocellatus, Elysia timida, Elysia sp, Elysia tomentosa, Thuridilla carlsoni, T. lineolata and Elysiella pusilla, were investigated regarding their ability to retain functional chloroplasts (RFC). The results show three different levels of RFC’s where P. ocellatus has the longest RFC for more than 11 months, E. timida with a RFC 1/4 than P. ocellatus (almost 3 months) and the rest with RFC’s down to 1/22 of P. ocellatus (up to 15 days). Based on these results, and compared to previous studies, eight different levels of retention abilities of non-functional and functional chloroplasts in sacoglossans are proposed. As far as we know, this is a novel method studying chloroplast functionality in sacoglossans.


Trench Photosynthetic Activity Great Barrier Reef Digestive Cell Food Alga 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We would like to thank colleagues and staff at Lizard Island Research Station (Australia), and at the Faculty of Fisheries & Marine Science at the Sam Ratulangi University Manado (Sulawesi, Indonesia). This study was supported by the German Science Foundation to I. Burghardt and H. Wägele (SSP 1127: Wa 618/8) and by “The Improving Human Potential – Transnational Access to Research Infrastructures Programme of the European Commission” in Trondheim, Norway, and by the Norwegian Research Council to J. Evertsen (NFR 153790/120). Experiments comply with the current laws of the countries in which the experiments were performed.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jussi Evertsen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ingo Burghardt
    • 2
  • Geir Johnsen
    • 1
  • Heike Wägele
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of BiologyNorwegian University of Technology and ScienceTrondheimNorway
  2. 2.Spezielle ZoologieRuhr-Universität BochumBochumGermany
  3. 3.Institut für Evolutionsbiologie und Ökologie and Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum KönigUniversity of BonnBonnGermany

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