Ulvophyceaen photophysiology and research opportunities
Handrich, Maria; de Vries, Jan; Gould, Sven B.; Serôdio, João; Christa, Gregor
Abstract The Ulvophyceae are a diverse group of chlorophyte algae. They have been the subject of numerous studies focusing on their morphological diversity. Yet, they are rather under-studied regarding photophysiological and photoprotection mechanisms. Ulvophyceaen photophysiology is, however, noteworthy for several reasons; the foremost of which being that Ulvophyceae include naturally qE deficient species. Here, we review research on Ulvophyceaen photophysiology and highlight its implications for the evolution of distinct photoprotection mechanisms in algae and plants. We further stress that Ulvophyceae are relevant systems for understanding the mechanisms underpinning plastid theft (kleptoplasty) in certain sea slugs and for biotechnological biomass production. Thanks to recent progress in genomic characterization and development of genetic manipulation techniques, Ulvophyceae are promising model systems for algal (photo-)biology.