Current interest in utilization of coccoliths for paleoclimate reconstruction necessitates background information on environmental limits for growth and coccolith production as well as examination of cell ultrastructure in specimens collected in the field and in cultured representatives. Successful isolation of the two geologically important species Gephyrocapsa oceanica (strain A674) and Cyclococcolithina leptopora (strain A650) allows investigation of ultrastructure in cultured forms. Fine structure of cells and coccoliths was observed in the SEM using critical point dried preparations and ultrastructure was examined with the transmission electron microscope. Coccoliths are formed intracellularly and appear to form within Golgi-derived vesicles located near the nuclear membrane. Formation and development of coccoliths in the two species resemble these processes in Emiliania huxleyi but differ from those of Cricosphaera carterae, notably in the absence of coccolithosomes and scales and in the fact that coccoliths are produced intracellularly one at a time.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Control and Systems Engineering