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Phylogenetic diversity in freshwater‐dwelling Isochrysidales haptophytes with implications for alkenone production
Richter, N.; Longo, W.M.; George, S.; Shipunova, A.; Huang, Y.; Amaral-Zettler, L. (2019). Phylogenetic diversity in freshwater‐dwelling Isochrysidales haptophytes with implications for alkenone production. Geobiol. 17(3): 272-280.
In: Geobiology. Blackwell: Oxford. ISSN 1472-4677; e-ISSN 1472-4669, meer
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    alkenones; freshwater lakes; Group I; haptophyte; Isochrysidales; phylogenetics

Auteurs  Top 
  • Richter, N.
  • Longo, W.M.
  • George, S.
  • Shipunova, A.
  • Huang, Y.
  • Amaral-Zettler, L., meer

    Members of the order Isochrysidales are unique among haptophyte lineages in being the exclusive producers of alkenones, long‐chain ketones that are commonly used for paleotemperature reconstructions. Alkenone‐producing haptophytes are divided into three major groups based largely on molecular ecological data: Group I is found in freshwater lakes, Group II commonly occurs in brackish and coastal marine environments, and Group III consists of open ocean species. Each group has distinct alkenone distributions; however, only Groups II and III Isochrysidales currently have cultured representatives. The uncultured Group I Isochrysidales are distinguished geochemically by the presence of tri‐unsaturated alkenone isomers (C37:3b Me, C38:3b Et, C38:3b Me, C39:3b Et) present in water column and sediment samples, yet their genetic diversity, morphology, and environmental controls are largely unknown. Using small‐subunit (SSU) ribosomal RNA (rRNA) marker gene amplicon high‐throughput sequencing of environmental water column and sediment samples, we show that Group I is monophyletic with high phylogenetic diversity and contains a well‐supported clade separating the previously described “EV” clade from the “Greenland” clade. We infer the first partial large‐subunit (LSU) rRNA gene Group I sequence phylogeny, which uncovered additional well‐supported clades embedded within Group I. Relative to Group II, Group I revealed higher levels of genetic diversity despite conservation of alkenone signatures and a closer evolutionary relationship with Group III. In Group I, the presence of the tri‐unsaturated alkenone isomers appears to be conserved, which is not the case for Group II. This suggests differing environmental influences on Group I and II and perhaps uncovers evolutionary constraints on alkenone biosynthesis.

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