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Photosynthetic algae found inside cells of a vertebrate for the first time. Ryan Kerney, from Dalhousie University in Halifax, noticed the bright green color that came from within the common salamander embryos Ambystoma maculatum), as well as the gelatinous capsule that surrounds them. This iridescence is caused by the unicellular alga Oophila amblystomatis . This has been understood to be a symbiotic relationship with the common salamander, which lays its eggs in bodies of water. However, it was thought that the symbiosis that was produced between the salamander embryo and the algae living outside it, is useful for embryo algae by the production rich in nitrogen, and algae increase the oxygen content in the water in the immediate space where the embryos breathe.

In the Congress of Vertebrate Morphology in Punta del Este, Uruguay, Kerney reported that these algae are, in fact, commonly found within cells throughout the body of the common salamander. On the other hand, there are indications that intracellular algae can directly provide the products of photosynthesis (oxygen and carbohydrates) to salamander cells that encapsulate them.

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