Isolation, purification, and characterization of flagellar scales from the green flagellate Tetraselmis striata (Prasinophyceae)

D. Becker, B. Becker, P. Satir, M. Melkonian

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23 Scopus citations


Flagellar scales from the green flagellate Tetraselmis striata (Prasinophyceae) were isolated, purified by isopycnic cesium chloride-gradient and zonal sucrose gradient centrifugation and their structure and biochemical composition investigated. Three types of flagellar scales were purified to more than 90% purity, a fourth type up to 75% purity. In addition to the previously known types of flagellar scales (pentagonal scales, rod-shaped scales, hair-scales), a novel scale type (i.e., the knotted scales) was discovered. New information about the asymmetric structure of the rod-shaped scales is presented and consequently they are renamed "man scales". Flagellar scales consist mainly of carbohydrate (50-70%), significant amounts of protein (11% of dry weight) were found only in pentagonal scales. The main sugars (90%) of the pentagonal and man scales are the unusual 2-keto-sugar acids 3-deoxy-5-O-methyl-2-octulosonic acid (5 OMeKDO), 3-deoxy-2-heptulosaric acid (DHA), and 3-deoxy-2-octulosonic acid (KDO), the knotted scales contain as major sugars galactose and arabinose in addition to KDO and 5 OMeKDO but lack DHA. 13 major polypeptides were identified in flagellar scales by one-dimensional SDS-PAGE, 11 of these are of high molecular mass (>116 kDa). While the majority of polypeptides was found associated with pentagonal scales, at least 4 polypeptides were tentatively assigned to the hair-scales and knotted scales.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-112
Number of pages10
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Feb 1990


  • 2-keto-sugar acids
  • Biochemical composition
  • Flagellar scales
  • Isolation
  • Polypeptide composition
  • Prasinophyceae
  • Purification
  • Tetraselmis striata
  • Ultrastructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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