Stromatolites

The earliest microfossils and living 'fossils'.

Lipophilic pigments from cyanobacterial (blue-green algal) and diatom mats in Hamelin Pool, Shark Bay, Western Australia.

Entrez PubMed: "Lipophilic pigments were examined in microbial mat communities dominated by cyanobacteria in the intertidal zone and by diatoms in the subtidal and sublittoral zones of Hamelin Pool, Shark Bay, Western Australia. These microbial mats have evolutionary significance because of their similarity to lithfied stromatolites from the Proterozoic and Early Paleozoic eras. Fucoxanthin, diatoxanthin, diadinoxanthin, beta-carotene, and chlorophylls a and c characterized the diatom mats, whereas cyanobacterial mats contained myxoxanthophyll, zeaxanthin, echinenone, beta-carotene, chlorophyll a and, in some cases, sheath pigment. The presence of bacteriochlorophyll a within the mats suggest a close association of photosynthetic bacteria with diatoms and cyanobacteria. The high carotenoids : chlorophyll a ratios (0.84-2.44 wt/wt) in the diatom mats suggest that carotenoids served a photoprotective function in this high light environment. By contrast, cyanobacterial sheath pigment may have largely supplanted the photoprotective role of carotenoids in the intertidal mats."

Palmisano AC, Summons RE, Cronin SE, Des Marais DJ. Lipophilic pigments from cyanobacterial (blue-green algal) and diatom mats in Hamelin Pool, Shark Bay, Western Australia. J Phycol. 1989;25:655-61.

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