Christian Morabito, Caroline Bournaud, Cécile Maës, Martin Schuler, Riccardo Aiese Cigliano, Younès Dellero, Eric Maréchal, Alberto Amato, Fabrice Rébeillé
Thraustochytrids are unicellular heterotrophic marine protists of the Stramenopile group, often considered as non-photosynthetic microalgae. They have been isolated from a wide range of habitats including deep sea, but are mostly present in waters rich in sediments and organic materials. They are abundant in mangrove forests where they are major colonizers, feeding on decaying leaves and initiating the mangrove food web. Discovered 80 years ago, they have recently attracted considerable attention due to their biotechnological potential. This interest arises from their fast growth, their specific lipid metabolism and the improvement of the genetic tools and transformation techniques.