[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The applied exploitation of microalgae cultures has to date almost exclusively involved the use of wild type strains, deposited over decades in dedicated culture collections. Concomitantly, the concept of improving algae with selection programs for particular specific purposes is slowly emerging. Studying since a decade an economically and ecologically important haptophyte Tisochrysis lutea (Tiso), we took advantage of the availability of wild type (Tiso-Wt) and selected (Tiso-S2M2) strains to conduct a molecular variations study. This endeavour presented substantial challenges: the genome assembly was not yet available, the life cycle unknown and genetic diversity of Tiso-Wt poorly documented. This study brings the first molecular data in order to set up a selection strategy for that microalgae. Following high-throughput Illumina sequencing, transcriptomes of Tiso-Wt and Tiso-S2M2 were de novo assembled and annotated. Genetic diversity between both strains was analyzed and revealed a clear conservation, while a comparison of transcriptomes allowed identification of polymorphisms resulting from the selection program. Of 34,374 transcripts, 291 were differentially expressed and 165 contained positional polymorphisms (SNP, Indel). We focused on lipid over-accumulation of the Tiso-S2M2 strain and 8 candidate genes were identified by combining analysis of positional polymorphism, differential expression levels, selection signature and by study of putative gene function. Moreover, genetic analysis also suggests the existence of a sexual cycle and genetic recombination in Tisochrysis lutea.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(1):e86889. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Symbiotic interactions between pelagic hosts and microalgae have received little attention, despite the fact that they are widespread in the photic layer of the world ocean where they play a fundamental role in the ecology of the planktonic ecosystem. Polycystine radiolarians (including the orders Spumellaria, Collodaria and Nassellaria) are planktonic heterotrophic protists that are widely distributed and often abundant in the ocean. Many polycystines host symbiotic microalgae within their cytoplasm, mostly thought to be the dinoflagellate Scrippsiella nutricula, a species originally described by Karl Brandt in the late nineteenth century as Zooxanthella nutricula. The free-living stage of this dinoflagellate has never been characterized in terms of morphology and thecal plate tabulation. We examined morphological characters and sequenced conservative ribosomal markers of clonal cultures of the free-living stage of symbiotic dinoflagellates isolated from radiolarian hosts from the three polycystine orders. In addition, we sequenced symbiont genes directly from several polycystine-symbiont holobiont specimens from different oceanic regions. Thecal plate arrangement of the free-living stage does not match that of Scrippsiella or related genera, and LSU and SSU rDNA-based molecular phylogenies place these symbionts in a distinct clade within the Peridiniales. Both phylogenetic analyses and the comparison of morphological features of culture strains with those reported for other closely related species support the erection of a new genus that we name Brandtodinium gen. nov. and the recombination of S. nutricula as B. nutriculum comb. nov..
Journal of Phycology 01/2014; · 2.24 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Emiliania huxleyi and Gephyrocapsa oceanica are abundant coccolithophore morpho-species that play key roles in ocean carbon cycling due to their importance as both primary producers and calcifiers. Global change processes such as ocean acidification impact these key calcifying species. The physiology of E. huxleyi, a developing model species, has been widely studied, but its genetic delineation from G. oceanica remains unclear due to a lack of resolution in classical genetic markers. Using nuclear (18S rDNA and 28S rDNA), mitochondrial (cox1, cox2, cox3, rpl16 and dam) and plastidial (16S rDNA, rbcL, tufA and petA) DNA markers from 99 E. huxleyi and 44 G. oceanica strains, we conducted a multi-gene/multi-strain survey in order to compare the suitability of different markers for resolving phylogenetic patterns within and between these two morpho-species. The nuclear genes tested did not provide sufficient resolution to discriminate between the two morpho-species that diverged only 291Kya. Typical patterns of incomplete lineage sorting were generated in phylogenetic analyses using plastidial genes. In contrast, full morpho-species delineation was achieved with mitochondrial markers and common intra-morpho-species phylogenetic patterns were observed despite differing rates of DNA substitution. Mitochondrial genes are thus promising barcodes for distinguishing these coccolithophore morpho-species, in particular in the context of environmental monitoring. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Journal of Phycology 11/2013; · 2.24 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Coccolithophores have influenced the global climate for over 200 million years. These marine phytoplankton can account for 20 per cent of total carbon fixation in some systems. They form blooms that can occupy hundreds of thousands of square kilometres and are distinguished by their elegantly sculpted calcium carbonate exoskeletons (coccoliths), rendering them visible from space. Although coccolithophores export carbon in the form of organic matter and calcite to the sea floor, they also release CO2 in the calcification process. Hence, they have a complex influence on the carbon cycle, driving either CO2 production or uptake, sequestration and export to the deep ocean. Here we report the first haptophyte reference genome, from the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi strain CCMP1516, and sequences from 13 additional isolates. Our analyses reveal a pan genome (core genes plus genes distributed variably between strains) probably supported by an atypical complement of repetitive sequence in the genome. Comparisons across strains demonstrate that E. huxleyi, which has long been considered a single species, harbours extensive genome variability reflected in different metabolic repertoires. Genome variability within this species complex seems to underpin its capacity both to thrive in habitats ranging from the equator to the subarctic and to form large-scale episodic blooms under a wide variety of environmental conditions.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Isochrysidaceae is a family of non-calcifying organisms within the haptophyte order Isochrysidales. Isochrysis galbana, a species widely used as a food source in aquaculture, is the best-known representative of this family that contains three genera but only six described species. We se-quenced partial nuclear small subunit (SSU) and large subunit rDNA and mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase 1 genes of 34 isochrysidacean culture strains (including authentic strains when available) and compared molecular phylogenetic inferences with cytological and ultrastructural observations. The isochrysidaceaen culture strain Isochrysis affinis galbana (Tahiti isolate), widely used in aquaculture and commonly known as T-Iso, is clearly genetically distinct from Isochrysis galbana, despite seemingly being morphologically identical. A strain with a similar ultrastructure to that of Isochrysis galbana except for the lack of body scales had sequences that were more similar to but still distinct from those of Isochrysis galbana. Dicrateria inornata, a species that lacks body scales, is classi-fied within the Isochrysidaceae, but the SSU rDNA sequence of the authentic strain of this species matches that of Imantonia rotunda within another haptophye order, the Prymnesiales. D. inornata and Imantonia rotunda have similar ultrastructure except for the respective absence/presence of scales. These re-sults lead us to propose the erection of one new genus (Tisochrysis gen. nov.) and two new species (Tisochrysis lutea sp. nov. and Isochrysis nuda sp. nov.). D. inornata is reclassified within the Prymnesiales, and Imantonia rotunda is transferred to this genus (Dicrateria rotunda comb. nov.).
Journal of Applied Phycology 05/2013; · 2.33 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ocean dominates the surface of our planet and plays a major role in regulating the biosphere. For example, the microscopic photosynthetic organisms living within provide 50% of the oxygen we breathe, and much of our food and mineral resources are extracted from the ocean. In a time of ecological crisis and major changes in our society, it is essential to turn our attention towards the sea to find additional solutions for a sustainable future. Remarkably, while we are overexploiting many marine resources, particularly the fisheries, the planktonic compartment composed of zooplankton, phytoplankton, bacteria and viruses, represents 95% of marine biomass and yet the extent of its diversity remains largely unknown and underexploited. Consequently, the potential of plankton as a bioresource for humanity is largely untapped. Due to their diverse evolutionary backgrounds, planktonic organisms offer immense opportunities: new resources for medicine, cosmetics and food, renewable energy, and long-term solutions to mitigate climate change. Research programs aiming to exploit culture collections of marine micro-organisms as well as to prospect the huge resources of marine planktonic biodiversity in the oceans are now underway, and several bioactive extracts and purified compounds have already been identified. This review will survey and assess the current state-of-the-art and will propose methodologies to better exploit the potential of marine plankton for drug discovery and for dermocosmetics.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Reconstructions of seawater temperature based on measurement of oxygen isotopes in carbonates mostly derive from analyses of bulk sediment samples or manually picked foraminifera. The temperature dependence of 18O fractionation in biogenic calcite was first established in the 1950s and the objective of the present study is to re-evaluate this temperature dependence in coccolith calcite with a view to developing a robust proxy for reconstructing “vital effect”-free δ18O values. Coccoliths, the micron-sized calcite scales produced by haptophyte algae that inhabit surface mixed-layer waters, are a dominant component of pelagic sediments. Despite their small size, recent methodological developments allow species-specific separation (and thus isotopic analysis) of coccoliths from bulk sediments. This is especially the case for Calcidiscus spp. coccoliths that are relatively easy to separate out from other sedimentary carbonate grains including other coccolith taxa. Three strains of coccolithophores belonging to the genus Calcidiscus and characterised by distinct cell and coccolith diameters were grown in the laboratory under controlled temperature conditions over a range from 15 to 26 °C. The linear relationship that relates 18O fractionation to the temperature of calcification is here calibrated by the equation: T [°C] = –5.83 × (δ18OCalcidiscus – δ18Omedium) + 4.83 (r = 0.98). The slope of the regression is offset of ∼–1.1‰ from that of equilibrium calcite. This offset corresponds to the physiologically induced isotopic effect or “vital effect”. The direction of fractionation towards light isotopic values is coherent with previous reports, but the intensity of fractionation in our dilute batch cultures was significantly closer to equilibrium compared to previously reported offset values. No significant isotopic difference was found between the three Calcidiscus coccolithophores, ruling out a control of the cell geometry on oxygen isotope fractionation within species of this genus. This also indicates that our culture calibration may be applied to all Calcidiscus coccoliths found in the sediment. We compared the culture calibration to δ18O measured from near-monogeneric Calcidiscus fractions separated out from core top sediments. We found concordant 18O fractionation factors for the core top calibration with a good linear coefficient (r = 0.94). The near-monogeneric Calcidiscus assemblages seem, however, to record slightly heaviest δ18O values compared to the data of culture study. This discrepancy may be due to a possible seasonality effect on the production of Calcidiscus coccoliths. The uncertainty of the calibration is of similar magnitude to those of other proxies used for SST reconstruction, such as foraminiferal δ18O or the alkenone undersaturation index. This confirms that coccoliths can be used as a complementary or alternative substrate to foraminiferal shells for isotopic analyses. Comparing δ18O of coccoliths to these other SST proxies, or developing an interspecific comparison of coccolith geochemistry may give insights into the carbonate chemistry of seawater through key periods of the geological record.
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 01/2013; 100:264–281. · 3.88 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The interrogation of genetic markers in environmental meta-barcoding studies is currently seriously hindered by the lack of taxonomically curated reference data sets for the targeted genes. The Protist Ribosomal Reference database (PR(2), http://ssu-rrna.org/) provides a unique access to eukaryotic small sub-unit (SSU) ribosomal RNA and DNA sequences, with curated taxonomy. The database mainly consists of nuclear-encoded protistan sequences. However, metazoans, land plants, macrosporic fungi and eukaryotic organelles (mitochondrion, plastid and others) are also included because they are useful for the analysis of high-troughput sequencing data sets. Introns and putative chimeric sequences have been also carefully checked. Taxonomic assignation of sequences consists of eight unique taxonomic fields. In total, 136 866 sequences are nuclear encoded, 45 708 (36 501 mitochondrial and 9657 chloroplastic) are from organelles, the remaining being putative chimeric sequences. The website allows the users to download sequences from the entire and partial databases (including representative sequences after clustering at a given level of similarity). Different web tools also allow searches by sequence similarity. The presence of both rRNA and rDNA sequences, taking into account introns (crucial for eukaryotic sequences), a normalized eight terms ranked-taxonomy and updates of new GenBank releases were made possible by a long-term collaboration between experts in taxonomy and computer scientists.
Nucleic Acids Research 11/2012; · 8.28 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Haptophytes are a key phylum of marine protists, including ~300 described morphospecies and 80 morphogenera. We used 454 pyrosequencing on large subunit ribosomal DNA (LSU rDNA) fragments to assess the diversity from size-fractioned plankton samples collected in the Bay of Naples. One group-specific primer set targeting the LSU rDNA D1/D2 region was designed to amplify Haptophyte sequences from nucleic acid extracts (total DNA or RNA) of two size fractions (0.8-3 or 3-20 μm) and two sampling depths [subsurface, at 1 m, or deep chlorophyll maximum (DCM) at 23 m]. 454 reads were identified using a database covering the entire Haptophyta diversity currently sequenced. Our data set revealed several hundreds of Haptophyte clusters. However, most of these clusters could not be linked to taxonomically known sequences: considering OTUs(97%) (clusters build at a sequence identity level of 97%) on our global data set, less than 1% of the reads clustered with sequences from cultures, and less than 12% clustered with reference sequences obtained previously from cloning and Sanger sequencing of environmental samples. Thus, we highlighted a large uncharacterized environmental genetic diversity, which clearly shows that currently cultivated species poorly reflect the actual diversity present in the natural environment. Haptophyte community appeared to be significantly structured according to the depth. The highest diversity and evenness were obtained in samples from the DCM, and samples from the large size fraction (3-20 μm) taken at the DCM shared a lower proportion of common OTUs(97%) with the other samples. Reads from the species Chrysoculter romboideus were notably found at the DCM, while they could be detected at the subsurface. The highest proportion of totally unknown OTUs(97%) was collected at the DCM in the smallest size fraction (0.8-3 μm). Overall, this study emphasized several technical and theoretical barriers inherent to the exploration of the large and largely unknown diversity of unicellular eukaryotes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Symbiotic relationships are widespread in nature and are fundamental for ecosystem functioning and the evolution of biodiversity. In marine environments, photosymbiosis with microalgae is best known for sustaining benthic coral reef ecosystems. Despite the importance of oceanic microbiota in global ecology and biogeochemical cycles, symbioses are poorly characterized in open ocean plankton. Here, we describe a widespread symbiotic association between Acantharia biomineralizing microorganisms that are abundant grazers in plankton communities, and members of the haptophyte genus Phaeocystis that are cosmopolitan bloom-forming microalgae. Cophylogenetic analyses demonstrate that symbiont biogeography, rather than host taxonomy, is the main determinant of the association. Molecular dating places the origin of this photosymbiosis in the Jurassic (ca. 175 Mya), a period of accentuated marine oligotrophy. Measurements of intracellular dimethylated sulfur indicate that the host likely profits from antioxidant protection provided by the symbionts as an adaptation to life in transparent oligotrophic surface waters. In contrast to terrestrial and marine symbioses characterized to date, the symbiont reported in this association is extremely abundant and ecologically active in its free-living phase. In the vast and barren open ocean, partnership with photosymbionts that have extensive free-living populations is likely an advantageous strategy for hosts that rely on such interactions. Discovery of the Acantharia-Phaeocystis association contrasts with the widely held view that symbionts are specialized organisms that are rare and ecologically passive outside the host.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 10/2012; · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The cosmopolitan coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi is characterized by a strongly differentiated haplodiplontic life cycle consisting of a diploid phase, generally bearing coccoliths (calcified) but that can be also non-calcified, and a non-calcified biflagellated haploid phase. Given most studies have focused on the bloom-producing calcified phase, there is little-to-no information about non-calcified cells in nature. Using field mesocoms as experimental platforms, we quantitatively surveyed calcified and non-calcified cells using the combined calcareous detection fluorescent in situ hybridization (COD-FISH) method and qualitatively screened for haploid specific transcripts using reverse transcription-PCR during E. huxleyi bloom successions. Diploid, calcified cells formed dense blooms that were followed by the massive proliferation of E. huxleyi viruses (EhVs), which caused bloom demise. Non-calcified cells were also detected throughout the experiment, accounting for a minor fraction of the population but becoming progressively more abundant during mid-late bloom periods concomitant with EhV burst. Non-calcified cell growth also paralleled a distinct window of haploid-specific transcripts and the appearance of autotrophic flagellates morphologically similar to haploid cells, both of which are suggestive of meiosis and sexual life cycling during natural blooms of this prominent marine phytoplankton species.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The oxygen isotopic composition (delta O-18) of calcium carbonate of planktonic calcifying organisms is a key tool for reconstructing both past seawater temperature and salinity. The calibration of paloeceanographic proxies relies in general on empirical relationships derived from field experiments on extant species. Laboratory experiments have more often than not revealed that variables other than the target parameter influence the proxy signal, which makes proxy calibration a challenging task. Understanding these secondary or 'vital' effects is crucial for increasing proxy accuracy. We present data from laboratory experiments showing that oxygen isotope fractionation during calcification in the coccolithophore Calcidiscus leptoporus and the calcareous dinoflagellate Thoracosphaera heimii is dependent on carbonate chemistry of seawater in addition to its dependence on temperature. A similar result has previously been reported for planktonic foraminifera, supporting the idea that the [CO32-] effect on delta O-18 is universal for unicellular calcifying planktonic organisms. The slopes of the delta O-18/[CO32-] relationships range between -0.0243 parts per thousand (mu mol kg(-1))(-1) (calcareous dinoflagellate T. heimii) and the previously published -0.0022 parts per thousand (mu mol kg(-1))(-1) (non-symbiotic planktonic foramifera Orbulina universa), while C. leptoporus has a slope of -0.0048 parts per thousand (mu mol kg(-1))(-1). We present a simple conceptual model, based on the contribution of delta O-18-enriched HCO3- to the CO32- pool in the calcifying vesicle, which can explain the [CO32-] effect on delta O-18 for the different unicellular calcifiers. This approach provides a new insight into biological fractionation in calcifying organisms. The large range in delta O-18/[CO32-] slopes should possibly be explored as a means for paleoreconstruction of surface [CO32-], particularly through comparison of the response in ecologically similar planktonic organisms.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The structure, robustness, and dynamics of ocean plankton ecosystems remain poorly understood due to sampling, analysis, and computational limitations. The Tara Oceans consortium organizes expeditions to help fill this gap at the global level.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Emiliania huxleyi (Lohmann) W. W. Hay et H. Mohler is a cosmopolitan coccolithophore occurring from tropical to subpolar waters and exhibiting variations in morphology of coccoliths possibly related to environmental conditions. We examined morphological characters of coccoliths and partial mitochondrial sequences of the cytochrome oxidase 1b (cox1b) through adenosine triphosphate synthase 4 (atp4) genes of 39 clonal E. huxleyi strains from the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, Mediterranean Sea, and their adjacent seas. Based on the morphological study of culture strains by SEM, Type O, a new morphotype characterized by coccoliths with an open central area, was separated from existing morphotypes A, B, B/C, C, R, and var. corona, characterized by coccoliths with central area elements. Molecular phylogenetic studies revealed that E. huxleyi consists of at least two mitochondrial sequence groups with different temperature preferences/tolerances: a cool-water group occurring in subarctic North Atlantic and Pacific and a warm-water group occurring in the subtropical Atlantic and Pacific and in the Mediterranean Sea.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: About one-third of the carbon dioxide (CO(2)) released into the atmosphere as a result of human activity has been absorbed by the oceans, where it partitions into the constituent ions of carbonic acid. This leads to ocean acidification, one of the major threats to marine ecosystems and particularly to calcifying organisms such as corals, foraminifera and coccolithophores. Coccolithophores are abundant phytoplankton that are responsible for a large part of modern oceanic carbonate production. Culture experiments investigating the physiological response of coccolithophore calcification to increased CO(2) have yielded contradictory results between and even within species. Here we quantified the calcite mass of dominant coccolithophores in the present ocean and over the past forty thousand years, and found a marked pattern of decreasing calcification with increasing partial pressure of CO(2) and concomitant decreasing concentrations of CO(3)(2-). Our analyses revealed that differentially calcified species and morphotypes are distributed in the ocean according to carbonate chemistry. A substantial impact on the marine carbon cycle might be expected upon extrapolation of this correlation to predicted ocean acidification in the future. However, our discovery of a heavily calcified Emiliania huxleyi morphotype in modern waters with low pH highlights the complexity of assemblage-level responses to environmental forcing factors.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nucleotide sequences of the nuclear-encoded small subunit (18S rDNA) and partial large subunit (28S rDNA) ribosomal DNA were determined in 30 different species of the haptophyte genera Prymnesium, Chrysocampanula, Chrysochromulina, Imantonia and Platychrysis, all belonging to the order Prymnesiales. Phylogenies based on these and other available haptophyte 18S, 28S and plastid 16S rDNA sequences were reconstructed, and compared with available morphological and ultrastructural data. The rDNA phylogenies indicate that the genus Chrysochromulina is paraphyletic and is divided into two major clades. This is supported by ultrastructural and morphological data. There is a major split between Chrysochromulina species with a saddle-shaped cell form (clade B2) and the remaining species in the genus (clade B1). Clade B2 includes the type species C. parva and taxa belonging to this clade thus retain the name Chrysochromulina. The non-saddle-shaped Chrysochromulina species analysed are closely related to Hyalolithus, Prymnesium and Platychrysis species. Imantonia species are sister taxa to these species within clade B1. An amendment to the classification of the order Prymnesiales and the genera Prymnesium, Platychrysis and Chrysochromulina is proposed with one new and one emended family (Chrysochromulinaceae and Prymnesiaceae, respectively), two new genera (Haptolina and Pseudohaptolina), and one new species (Pseudohaptolina arctica). We suggest a revision of the taxonomy of the Prymnesiales that is in accordance with available molecular evidence and supported by morphological data.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Pavlovophyceae (Haptophyta) contains four genera (Pavlova, Diacronema, Exanthemachrysis and Rebecca) and only thirteen characterised species, several of which are important in ecological and economic contexts. We have constructed molecular phylogenies inferred from sequencing of ribosomal gene markers with comprehensive coverage of the described diversity, using type strains when available, together with additional cultured strains. The morphology and ultrastructure of 12 of the described species was also re-examined and the pigment signatures of many culture strains were determined. The molecular analysis revealed that sequences of all described species differed, although those of Pavlova gyrans and P. pinguis were nearly identical, these potentially forming a single cryptic species complex. Four well-delineated genetic clades were identified, one of which included species of both Pavlova and Diacronema. Unique combinations of morphological/ultrastructural characters were identified for each of these clades. The ancestral pigment signature of the Pavlovophyceae consisted of a basic set of pigments plus MV chl cPAV, the latter being entirely absent in the Pavlova + Diacronema clade and supplemented by DV chl cPAV in part of the Exanthemachrysis clade. Based on this combination of characters, we propose a taxonomic revision of the class, with transfer of several Pavlova species to an emended Diacronema genus. The evolution of the class is discussed in the context of the phylogenetic reconstruction presented.