||Eustigmatophyceae, NCBI Taxonomy
Length: 1-2 µm
Width: 1-2 µm
Nannochloropsis oculata belongs to the class Eustigmatophyceae. This class consists of about six genera that were separated from the Xanthophyceae; it seems likely that more genera will be transferred into the class from the Xanthophyceae in the future. The eustigmatophytes are small microalgae that are planktonic or grow attached to various substrates. They are unique in lacking chlorophyll pigments other than chl a (Fisher et al. 1998).
Nannochloropsis oculata is one of the five identified species of the genus. These species are characterized by small cells with a simple morphology and typically live in salt-water habitats. Nannochloropsis species are widely used as food in aquaculture and have been proposed as a commercial source for the dietary supplement a omega-3 fatty acid (Sukenik et al. 1989).
Fisher, T., T. Berner, D. Iluz and Z. Dubinsky (1998). The kinetics of photoacclimation response of Nannochloropsis sp (Eustigmatophyceae): A study of changes in ultrastructure and PSU density. J. Phycol. 34: 818-824.
Sukenik, A., Y. Carmeli and T. Berner (1989). Regulation of fatty acid composition by irradiance level in the eustigmatophyte Nannochloropsis sp. J. Phycol. 25: 686-692.