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Description of Schizochytrium

Schizochytrium is a genus of unicellular protists, one of several that make up the thraustochytrids. . These organisms were once thought of as a kind of fungus, but are now assigned to the stramenopiles, a group that also contains kelp and an array of micro-algae. Several different forms occur in the life cycle. The feeding form typically has a stiff rounded body producing cellular extensions with which they feed and occasionally transforming into a mobile flagellated organism (flagella have stiff tripartite hairs typical of stramenopiles). They may encyst. Excysting cells grow and divide to form a cluster of cells each of which may become a sorus that produce biflagellate flagellates stages (zoospores). Not very speciose Schizochytrium was described by Goldstein & Belsky in 1964 from coastal marine habitats. Members of the genus produce significant amounts of docosahexaenoic acid, are now grown commercially as a source of this oil for biofeeds, biomass and as the basis of biofuels.

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Source: BioPedia

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