Elysia chlorotica

Credit: Patrick Krug*


Description: A vivid green species, studied extensively in the context of kleptoplasty, horizontal transfer of genes, and development.  Tolerates a wide range of salinity.  Has been reared in captivity.  The only species whose neurons have been studied electrophysiologically.

Distribution: Western Atlantic, reported as far south as Chesapeake Bay [cite]

Food Plant: Vaucheria litorea

Kleptoplasty: Long-term

Development: Planktotrophic (Pelletreau et al., 2012)

Scientific Literature:

Pierce, S.K., Curtis, N.E., Middlebrooks, M.L. (2015) Sacoglossan sea slugs make routine use of photosynthesis by a variety of species-specific adaptations. Invert. Biol. 134:103-115 [HT] [Ch] [Cl] [Ti] [Vi]

Pelletreau, K.N., Weber, A.P.M., Weber, K.L., Rumpho, M.E. (2014) Lipid accumulation during the establishment of kleptoplasty in Elysia chlorotica. PLoS ONE, 9 (5), art. no. e97477. [K] [Ch]

Schwartz, J.A., Curtis, N.E., Pierce, S.K. (2014) FISH labeling reveals a horizontally transferred algal (vaucheria litorea) nuclear gene on a sea slug (Elysia chlorotica) chromosome. Biological Bulletin, 227 (3), pp. 300-312. [HT] [K] [Ch]

Fan, X., Qiao, H., Xu, D., Cao, S., Zhang, X., Wang, Y., Mou, S., Ye, N. (2013) Complete mitochondrial genome of the sea slug, Placida sp., contains unusual noncoding regions Mitochondrial DNA, 24 (3), pp. 219-221. Abstract [Ch]

Bhattacharya, D., Pelletreau, K.N., Price, D.C., Sarver, K.E., Rumpho, M.E.(2013) Genome analysis of Elysia chlorotica egg DNA provides no evidence for horizontal gene transfer into the germ line of this kleptoplastic mollusc Molecular Biology and Evolution, 30 (8), pp. 1843-1852. PDF [HT] [K] [Ch]

Pelletreau, K.N., Worful, J.M., Sarver, K.E., Rumpho, M.E. (2012) Laboratory culturing of Elysia chlorotica reveals a shift from transient to permanent kleptoplasty Symbiosis, 58 (1-3), pp. 221-232. Page1 [AQ] [F] [K] [Ch]

Pierce, S.K., Fang, X., Schwartz, J.A., Jiang, X., Zhao, W., Curtis, N.E., Kocot, K.M., Yang, B., Wang, J. (2012) Transcriptomic evidence for the expression of horizontally transferred algal nuclear genes in the photosynthetic sea slug, Elysia chlorotica. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 29 (6), pp. 1545-1556. PDF [HT] [K] [Ch]

Soule, K.M., Rumpho, M.E. (2012) Light-regulated photosynthetic gene expression and phosphoribulokinase enzyme activity in the heterokont alga Vaucheria litorea (xanthophyceae) and its symbiotic molluskan partner Elysia chlorotica (gastropoda). Journal of Phycology, 48 (2), pp. 373-383. Abstract [HT] [K] [Ch]

Rumpho, M.E., Pelletreau, K.N., Moustafa, A., Bhattacharya, D. (2011) The making of a photosynthetic animal. Journal of Experimental Biology, 214 (2), pp. 303-311. PDF [HT] [K] [NH] [Ch]

Skulachev, V.P. (2010) Discovery of a photosynthesizing animal that can survive for months in a light-dependent manner. Biochemistry (Moscow), 75 (12), pp. 1498-1499. PDF [HT] [K] [R] [Ch]

Schwartz, J.A., Curtis, N.E., Pierce, S.K. (2010) Using algal transcriptome sequences to identify transferred genes in the sea slug, Elysia chlorotica. Evolutionary Biology, 37 (1), pp. 29-37. PDF [HT] [K] [Ch]

Kiss, T. (2010) Apoptosis and its functional significance in molluscs. Apoptosis, 15 (3), pp. 313-321. PDF [R] [Ch]

Pierce, S.K., Curtis, N.E., Schwartz, J.A. (2009) Chlorophyll a synthesis by an animal using transferred algal nuclear genes. Symbiosis, 49 (2), pp. 121-131.PDF [HT] [K] [Ch]

Rumpho, M.E., Pochareddy, S., Worful, J.M., Summer, E.J., Bhattacharya, D., Pelletreau, K.N., Tyler, M.S., Lee, J., Manhart, J.R., Soule, K.M. (2009) Molecular characterization of the calvin cycle enzyme phosphoribulokinase in the stramenopile alga Vaucheria litorea and the plastid hosting mollusc Elysia chlorotica. Molecular Plant, 2 (6), pp. 1384-1396. PDF [HT] [K] [Ch]

Rumpho, M.E., Worful, J.M., Lee, J., Kannan, K., Tyler, M.S., Bhattacharya, D., Moustafa, A., Manhart, J.R. (2008) Horizontal gene transfer of the algal nuclear gene psbO to the photosynthetic sea slug Elysia chlorotica. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105 (46), pp. 17867-17871. PDF [HT] [K] [Ch]

Pierce, S.K., Curtis, N.E., Hanten, J.J., Boerner, S.L., Schwartz, J.A. (2007) Transfer, integration and expression of functional nuclear genes between multicellular species. Symbiosis, 43 (2), pp. 57-64. [HT] [K] [Ch]

Green, B.J., Fox, T.C., Rumpho, M.E. (2005) Stability of isolated algal chloroplasts that participate in a unique mollusc/kleptoplast association. Symbiosis, 40 (1), pp. 31-40. Abstract [K] [Ch]

Mondy, W.L., Pierce, S.K. (2003) Apoptotic-like morphology is associated with annual synchronized death in kleptoplastic sea slugs (Elysia chlorotica). Invertebrate Biology, 122 (2), pp. 126-137. Abstract [K] [NH] [Ch]

Hanten, J.J., Pierce, S.K. (2001) Synthesis of several light-harvesting complex I polypeptides is blocked by cycloheximide in symbiotic chloroplasts in the sea slug, Elysia chlorotica (Gould): A case for horizontal gene transfer between alga and animal? Biological Bulletin, 201 (1), pp. 34-44.  PDF [K] [HT] [Ch]

Rumpho, M.E., Summer, E.J., Green, B.J., Fox, T.C., Manhart, J.R. (2001) Mollusc/algal chloroplast symbiosis: How can isolated chloroplasts continue to function for months in the cytosol of a sea slug in the absence of an algal nucleus? Zoology, 104 (3-4), pp. 303-312. Abstract [HT] [K] [Ch]

Green, B.J., Li, W.-Y., Manhart, J.R., Fox, T.C., Summer, E.J., Kennedy, R.A., Pierce, S.K., Rumpho, M.E. (2000) Mollusc-algal chloroplast endosymbiosis. Photosynthesis, thylakoid protein maintenance, and chloroplast gene expression continue for many months in the absence of the algal nucleus. Plant Physiology, 124 (1), pp. 331-342. Abstract PubMedCentral PDF [HT] [K] [Ch]

Pierce, S.K., Maugel, T.K., Rumpho, M.E., Hanten, J.J., Mondy, W.L. (1999) Annual viral expression in a sea slug population: Life cycle control and symbiotic chloroplast maintenance. Biological Bulletin, 197 (1), pp. 1-6. PDF [K] [NH] [Ch]

Williams, S.I., Walker D.I. (1999) Mesoherbivore-macroalgal interactions: feeding ecology of sacoglossan sea slugs (Mollusca, Opisthobranchia) and their effects on food algae.  Oceanogr Mar Biol Annu Rev 37: 87-128 [At] [Au] [Ca] [Ch] [Cr] [Di] [Ev] [Ex] [Fi] [Fu] [He] [Ma] [Or] [Pa] [Pu] [Se] [Su] [Ti] [Tu] [Vi] Excellent review of food sources

Mujer, C.V., Andrews, D.L., Manhart, J.R., Pierce, S.K., Rumpho, M.E. (1996) Chloroplast genes are expressed during intracellular symbiotic association of Vaucheria litorea plastids with the sea slug Elysia chlorotica. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 93 (22), pp. 12333-12338. PubMedCentral PDF [HT] [K] [Ch]

Pierce, S.K., Biron, R.W., Rumpho, M.E. (1996) Endosymbiotic chloroplasts in molluscan cells contain proteins synthesized after plastid capture. Journal of Experimental Biology, 199 (10), pp. 2323-2330.  PDF [HT] [K] [Ch]

Rumpho, M.E., Mujer, C.V., Andrews, D.L., Manhart, J.R., Pierce, S.K. (1994) Extraction of DNA from mucilaginous tissues of a sea slug (Elysia chlorotica). BioTechniques, 17 (6), pp. 1097-1101. Abstract [K] [Ch]

Quinn, R.H., Pierce, S.K. (1992) The ionic basis of the hypo-osmotic depolarization in neurons from the opisthobranch mollusc Elysia chlorotica. Journal of Experimental Biology, 163, pp. 169-186.  PDF [BN] [Ch]

Parker, H.T., Pierce, S.K. (1985) Comparative electrical properties of identified neurons in Elysia chlorotica before and after low salinity acclimation. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology — Part A: Physiology, 82 (2), pp. 367-372.  Abstract [BN] [Ch]

Graves, D.A., Gibson, M.A., Bleakney, J.S. (1979) Digestive diverticula of Alderia modesta and Elysia chlorotica. Veliger 21: 415-422 [Ch]

du Bois-Reymond Marcus, E. (1972) Notes on some Opisthobranch gastropods from the Chesapeake Bay.  Chesapeake Science 13 (4), pp 300-317. JStor PDF [NH] [Ch] [Ca]

Pfitzenmeyer, H.T. (1960) Notes on the nudibranch, Elysia chlorotica, from Chesapeake Bay, Maryland.  Chesapeake Science 1, pp 114-115.  PDF [NH] [Ch]

*”Elysia chlorotica (1)” by EOL Learning and Education Group – Elysia chlorotica,Credit: Patrick Krug Cataloging Diversity in the Sacoglossa LifeDeskUploaded by Dominikmatus. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons –

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