Articles | Volume 9, issue 11
Biogeosciences, 9, 4553–4571, 2012

Special issue: How changes in ice cover, permafrost and UV radiation impact...

Biogeosciences, 9, 4553–4571, 2012

Research article 16 Nov 2012

Research article | 16 Nov 2012

Diversity of cultured photosynthetic flagellates in the northeast Pacific and Arctic Oceans in summer

S. Balzano1,*, P. Gourvil1, R. Siano2, M. Chanoine1, D. Marie1, S. Lessard3, D. Sarno4, and D. Vaulot1 S. Balzano et al.
  • 1CNRS et Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris-06), UMR7144, Station Biologique de Roscoff, 29680 Roscoff, France
  • 2IFREMER, centre de Brest, DYNECO, Pelagos, BP 70 29280, Plouzané, France
  • 3Institut des Sciences de la Mer, Rimouski, Québec, Canada
  • 4Taxonomy and Identification of Marine Phytoplankton, Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Villa Comunale, 80121 Napoli, Italy
  • *present address: School of Biological Sciences, Flinders University, P.O. Box 2100, Adelaide, South Australia 5001, Australia

Abstract. During the MALINA cruise (summer 2009), an extensive effort was undertaken to isolate phytoplankton strains from the northeast (NE) Pacific Ocean, the Bering Strait, the Chukchi Sea, and the Beaufort Sea. In order to characterise the main photosynthetic microorganisms occurring in the Arctic during the summer season, strains were isolated by flow cytometry sorting (FCS) and single cell pipetting before or after phytoplankton enrichment of seawater samples. Strains were isolated both onboard and back in the laboratory and cultured at 4 °C under light/dark conditions. Overall, we isolated and characterised by light microscopy and 18 S rRNA gene sequencing 104 strains of photosynthetic flagellates which grouped into 21 genotypes (defined by 99.5% 18 S rRNA gene sequence similarity), mainly affiliated to Chlorophyta and Heterokontophyta. The taxon most frequently isolated was an Arctic ecotype of the green algal genus Micromonas (Arctic Micromonas), which was nearly the only phytoplankter recovered within the picoplankton (< 2 μm) size range. Strains of Arctic Micromonas as well as other strains from the same class (Mamiellophyceae) were identified in further detail by sequencing the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of the rRNA operon. The MALINA Micromonas strains share identical 18 S rRNA and ITS sequences suggesting high genetic homogeneity within Arctic Micromonas. Three other Mamiellophyceae strains likely belong to a new genus. Other green algae from the genera Nephroselmis, Chlamydomonas, and Pyramimonas were also isolated, whereas Heterokontophyta included some unidentified Pelagophyceae, Dictyochophyceae (Pedinellales), and Chrysophyceae (Dinobryon faculiferum). Moreover, we isolated some Cryptophyceae (Rhodomonas sp.) as well as a few Prymnesiophyceae and dinoflagellates. We identified the dinoflagellate Woloszynskia cincta by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and 28 S rRNA gene sequencing. Our morphological analyses show that this species possess the diagnostic features of the genus Biecheleria, and the 28 S rRNA gene topology corroborates this affiliation. We thus propose the transfer of W. cincta to the genus Biecheleria and its recombination as Biecheleria cincta.

Final-revised paper