A paper on a new taxonomic group of micro-organisms has been published in Nature (22 Feb 2008). The organism is an alveolate called Chromera velia and is maintained in the Culture Collection of Algae and Protozoa at SAMS as strain number CCAP 1602/1. It was isolated in 2002 from a coral in Sydney Harbour, Australia. Another culture of the same species is CCAP 1602/2 which was isolated from coral on an atoll of the Great Barrier Reef. These organisms are structurally and phylogenetically related to animal pathogens such as Plasmodium, the causative organism of malaria.
Dr David Green, who has been working in the Microbial and Molecular Department of SAMS for around 7 years, contributed to this work by maintaining the cultures and sequencing part of the genome.
Moore RB, Obornik M, Janouskovec J, Chrudimsky T, Vancova M, Green DH, Wright SW, Davies NW, Bolch CJS, Heimann K, Slapeta J, Hoegh-Guldberg O, Logsdon JM, Carter DA (2008) A photosynthetic alveolate closely related to apicomplexan parasites. Nature 451:959-963