Growth Performance of a Newly Isolated and Culturable Thraustochytrid Strain from Sea Squirt Colonies

Andy Qarri, Yuval Rinkevich, Jacob Douek, Aydan Sardogan, Baruch Rinkevich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The world’s oceans and seas host >100 known strains of thraustochytrids, a common group of marine eukaryotic unicellular protists, residing in diverse marine habitats, with many others to be isolated and cultivated. The thraustochytrids have become of considerable industrial interest due to health benefits gained from their high percentages of valuable bioactive compounds, revealing the needs for the isolation of new potential strains. Employing a recently developed isolation methodology (use of cell culture medium), we assess initial culture conditions and growth paces of newly isolated thraustochytrid cells (thraustochytrid sp. BSH), originated from the colonial tunicate Botryllus schlosseri, residing on Helgoland Island, Germany. Cells were cultivated under static versus agitated conditions, along with two inoculation sizes (0.5 × 106 and 1 × 106 cells/dish) and in three vessel types (35 mm Petri dishes and T25 and T75 flasks; containing 3, 5 and 15 mL medium, respectively). Cultures were observed under regular microscopy, confocal microscopy and H&E staining. While cells in all conditions grew fast, results revealed the superiority of agitated cultivation in T75 flasks inoculated with 0.5 × 106 cells/dish (6.41 ± 1.91-fold increase/week). Further, 18S rDNA revealed high similarities (99.5–99.8) of strain BSH to two thraustochytrid strains from Monterey, California (USA), B. schlosseri colonies, elucidating a new understanding of these animals-protists associations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number22
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 by the authors.


  • Botryllus schlosseri
  • cell culture medium
  • cultivation
  • inoculation
  • isolation
  • marine invertebrates
  • thraustochytrid strains

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology


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