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Lipid biomarkers of deep-sea hydrothermal vent polychaetes - Alvinella pompejana, A. caudata, Paralvinella grasslei and Hesiolyra bergii


Phleger, CF and Nelson, MM and Groce, AK and Cary, SC and Coyne, K and Gibson, JAE and Nichols, PD, Lipid biomarkers of deep-sea hydrothermal vent polychaetes - Alvinella pompejana, A. caudata, Paralvinella grasslei and Hesiolyra bergii, Deep-Sea Research. Part 1: Oceanographic Research Papers, 52, (12) pp. 2333-2352. ISSN 0967-0637 (2005) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.dsr.2005.08.001


The lipid composition was determined for 5 species of polychaete annelids collected by the Deep Submergence Vehicle ALVIN from high temperature chimneys at the 2500 m depth hydrothermal vent field of the East Pacific Rise. These are the first lipid biomarker analyses reported for these hydrothermal vent polychaetes. Lipid content was low in all samples (1.6-35.9 mg g -1 wet mass) and was dominated by polar lipid (78-90% of total lipid) with 8-19% sterol (ST), and very low storage lipid (triacylglycerol and wax ester). Total polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) were moderately high (22-31% of total fatty acids (FA)) with extremely low or no docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6(n-3)). Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5(n-3)) levels were 5-6% in Alvinella pompejana and A. caudata and 10.3-13.7% in an errantiate polychaete (likely Hesionidae) and Hesiolyra bergii. There were greater PUFA and a greater EPA/AA (AA is arachidonic acid, 20:4(n-6)) ratio in the anterior versus the posterior half of A. pompejana, which may correlate to the strong temperature gradient reported in its tube. Total nonmethylene interrupted diunsaturated fatty acids (NMID) were 4-9% of total FA for most polychaete species and included several 20:2 and 22:2 components. The principal monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) included 18:1(n-7)c (14-19%), 16:1(n-7)c (2.6-10%) and 20:1(n-11)c (3-7% of total FA). These polychaete species may desaturate and elongate the bacterial-derived 18:1(n-7)c to obtain the essential FA EPA and AA. The major ST in the polychaetes is cholesterol (89-98% of total ST) with less cholesterol in the gut contents of A. pompejana. Other ST included 24-ethylcholesterol (1.5-5% of total ST) with lesser amounts of 24-methylenecholesterol, desmosterol, lathosterol, 24-methylcholesterol, 24-ethylcholesterol, and the stanols dehydrocholestanol and cholestanol. The high ST levels could play a role in thermal adaptation of membranes at the hydrothermal vent environment. Differences in the FA profiles separated the closely related species A. pompejana and A. caudata from Paralvinella grasslei, H. bergii, and the errantiate polychaete (likely Hesionidae). © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Evolutionary biology
Research Field:Biogeography and phylogeography
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
Objective Field:Biodiversity in Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
UTAS Author:Phleger, CF (Dr Charles Phleger)
ID Code:38480
Year Published:2005
Web of Science® Times Cited:23
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2005-08-01
Last Modified:2011-09-30

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