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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Lipids and buoyancy in Southern ocean pteropods.

The lipids of Clione limacina, a Southern Ocean pteropod (order Gymnosomata), contain 28% diacylglyceryl ether (DAGE) (as percentage of total lipid) whereas the pteropod Limacina helicina (order Thecosomata) lacks DAGE. The alkyl glyceryl ether diols (1-O-alkyl glycerols, GE) of Clione DAGE are dominated by 16:0 (60%) and 15:0 (21%), in contrast with deep-sea shark liver DAGE, which is dominated by 18:1 GE. The fatty acid profiles of Clione and Limacina are similar (28-32% polyunsaturated, 26-34% monounsaturated) as are the sterols, which include 24-methylenecholesterol, transdehydrocholesterol, cholesterol, and desmosterol. This finding probably reflects the fact that Limacina is the major food source for Clione. Spongiobranchaea australis, another Southern Ocean pteropod (order Gymnosomata), has 0.9-1.7% DAGE, but has less lipid (3.3-4.8 mg/g lipid, wet weight) than Clione (50.8 mg/g lipid, wet weight). We propose a buoyancy role for DAGE in Clione since Limacina has bubbles for flotation which Clione lack; DAGE provides 23% more uplift than triacylglycerol at a concentration of 1.025 g/mL seawater.[1]


  1. Lipids and buoyancy in Southern ocean pteropods. Phleger, C.F., Nichols, P.D., Virtue, P. Lipids (1997) [Pubmed]
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