Department of Botany, University of British Columbia, 3529-6270 University Boulevard, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6T 1Z4
Journal of Phycology (Impact Factor: 2.53). 07/2010; 46(4):743 - 750. DOI: 10.1111/j.1529-8817.2010.00851.x

ABSTRACT Chlorarachniophytes are a small group of marine photosynthetic protists. They are best known as examples of an intermediate stage of secondary endosymbiosis: their plastids are derived from green algae and retain a highly reduced nucleus, called a nucleomorph, between the inner and outer pairs of membranes. Chlorarachniophytes can be challenging to identify to the species level, due to their small size, complex life cycles, and the fact that even genus-level diagnostic morphological characters are observable only by EM. Few species have been formally described, and many available culture collection strains remain unnamed. To alleviate this difficulty, we have developed a barcoding system for rapid and accurate identification of chlorarachniophyte species in culture, based on the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of the nucleomorph rRNA cistron. Although this is a multicopy locus, encoded in both subtelomeric regions of each chromosome, interlocus variability is low due to gene conversion by homologous recombination in this region. Here, we present barcode sequences for 39 cultured strains of chlorarachniophytes (>80% of currently available strains). Based on barcode data, other published molecular data, and information from culture records, we were able to recommend names for 21 out of the 24 unidentified, partially identified, or misidentified chlorarachniophyte strains in culture. Most strains could be assigned to previously described species, but at least two to as many as five new species may be present among cultured strains.

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    ABSTRACT: The widespread view of taxonomy as an essentially retrogressive and outmoded science unable to cope with the current biodiversity crisis stimulated us to analyze the current status of cataloguing global algal diversity. Contrary to this largely pessimistic belief, species description rates of algae through time and trends in the number of active taxonomists as revealed by the webresource AlgaeBase show a much more positive picture. More species than ever before are being described by a large community of algal taxonomists. The lack of any decline in the rate at which new species and genera are described, however, is indicative of the large proportion of undiscovered diversity and bears heavily on any prediction of global algal species diversity and the time needed to catalogue it. The saturation of accumulation curves of higher taxa (family, order and classes) on the other hand suggest that at these taxonomic levels most diversity has been discovered. This reasonably positive picture does not imply that algal taxonomy does not face serious challenges in the near future. The observed levels of cryptic diversity in algae, combined with the shift in methods used to characterize them, has resulted in a rampant uncertainty about the status of many older species. As a consequence there is a tendency in phycology to move gradually away from traditional names to a more informal system whereby clade-, specimen- or strain-based identifiers are used to communicate biological information. Whether these informal names for species-level clades represent a temporary situation stimulated by the lag between species discovery and formal description, or an incipient alternative or parallel taxonomy, will be largely determined by how well we manage to integrate historical collections into modern taxonomic research. Additionally, there is a pressing need for a consensus about the organizational framework to manage the information about algal species names. An eventual strategy should preferably come out of an international working group that includes the various databases as well as the various phycological societies. In this phycologists should link up to major international initiatives that are currently being developed, such as the compulsory registration of taxonomic and nomenclatural acts and the introduction of Life Science Identifiers. © 2012 Phycological Society of America
    Journal of Phycology 04/2013; 49(2):215-225. · 2.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: High intra-individual sequence variation in the nuclear rDNA LSU-5S intergenic spacer in the Sargassaceae (Fucales, Phaeophyceae)
    Journal of Applied Phycology 12/2012; 24(6):1373-1379. · 2.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: DNA barcoding has become a well-funded, global enterprise since its proposition as a technique for species identification, delimitation and discovery in 2003. However, the rapid development of next generation sequencing (NGS) has the potential to render DNA barcoding irrelevant because of the speed with which it generates large volumes of genomic data. To avoid obsolescence, the DNA barcoding movement must adapt to use this new technology. This review examines the DNA barcoding enterprise, its continued resistance to improvement and the implications of this on the future of the discipline. We present the consistent failure of DNA barcoding to recognize its limitations and evolve its methodologies, reducing the usefulness of the data produced by the movement and throwing into doubt its ability to embrace NGS.
    Molecular Ecology Resources 02/2012; 12(3):377-88. · 7.43 Impact Factor


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May 31, 2014