Review of sacoglossan - plastid symbiosis

May 17, 2000
From: Liz Summer

Hi Bill,

I would like to advertise a review on photosynthetic sea slugs that Mary, Jim, and I just had published in the journal Plant Physiology titled-

Mary E. Rumpho, Elizabeth J. Summer, and James R. Manhart (2000) Solar-Powered Sea Slugs. Mollusc/Algal Chloroplast Symbiosis. Plant Physiology, 123: 29-38.

We even got the cover picture (which demonstrates the broad thinking of the American Society of Plant Physiologists) which can be seen at - click on the image to enlarge. Unfortunately, you have to have a password to access the paper on-line. Most university libraries carry the journal. The paper is written from a chloroplast's point of view and discusses why these associations defy our normal understanding of chloroplast biology as well as some wild speculations on mechanisms and evolutionary significance.

Liz Summer

Summer, E., 2000 (May 17) Review of sacoglossan - plastid symbiosis. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Liz,
Congratulations to you and your colleagues on this publication. It is nice to have a Sea Slug as the 'covergirl' on any journal and it is certainly a bonus to have it on a plant journal!

This is a very useful review of our knowledge of the physiology and evolution of the slug - chloroplast symbiosis. Although, as you say, it is from the chloroplast's point of view, it will definitely be required reading for anyone wishing to understand the significance of the symbiosis.

It also has a very interesting summary of the life history of Elysia chlorotica, and also has some useful recent references which I will need to add to my list of references on the topic.

Bill Rudman.

Rudman, W.B., 2000 (May 17). Comment on Review of sacoglossan - plastid symbiosis by Liz Summer. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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