You are here: Home Associate Professor Todd C. LaJeunesse and colleagues from Seoul Korea were recently presented the William Trager Award 2014 by the International Society of Protistologists

Associate Professor Todd C. LaJeunesse and colleagues from Seoul Korea were recently presented the William Trager Award 2014 by the International Society of Protistologists

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Associate Professor Todd C. LaJeunesse and colleagues from Seoul Korea were recently presented the William Trager Award 2014 by the International Society of Protistologists for producing the highest impact article published in that year entitled, “Genetics and Morphology Characterize the Dinoflagellate Symbiodinium voratum, n. sp., (Dinophyceae) as the sole representative of Symbiodinium Clade E,” in the Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology (Vol 61. Pp. 75-94).

Announced here: http://protistologists.org/william-trager-award-2014/

 This work incorporated many traditional and advanced approaches to thoroughly describe the morphology, ecology, and genetics of an unusual species of micro-algae. Symbiodinium voratum belongs to an important group of dinoflagellates defined generally as the mutualistic endosymbionts of stony corals and many other reef-dwelling invertebrates. Notably, this was the first non-symbiotic species discovered and, like many planktonic dinoflagellates, relies on both autotrophy (photosynthesis) and heterotrophy (eating bacteria and other eukaryotic microbes) to provision its survival and proliferation. At some point during its complex evolutionary history, this species appears to have undergone a niche shift to becoming exclusively free-living, and possibly bloom forming, in coastal regions from the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. This discovery furthered our appreciation of the diversity of these widespread eukaryotic microbes, as well as their capacity to evolve new ecological habits.