Project description:BACKGROUND:Prasinophytes are widespread marine green algae that are related to plants. Cellular abundance of the prasinophyte Micromonas has reportedly increased in the Arctic due to climate-induced changes. Thus, studies of these unicellular eukaryotes are important for marine ecology and for understanding Viridiplantae evolution and diversification. RESULTS:We generated evidence-based Micromonas gene models using proteomics and RNA-Seq to improve prasinophyte genomic resources. First, sequences of four chromosomes in the 22 Mb Micromonas pusilla (CCMP1545) genome were finished. Comparison with the finished 21 Mb genome of Micromonas commoda (RCC299; named herein) shows they share ?8,141 of ~10,000 protein-encoding genes, depending on the analysis method. Unlike RCC299 and other sequenced eukaryotes, CCMP1545 has two abundant repetitive intron types and a high percent (26 %) GC splice donors. Micromonas has more genus-specific protein families (19 %) than other genome sequenced prasinophytes (11 %). Comparative analyses using predicted proteomes from other prasinophytes reveal proteins likely related to scale formation and ancestral photosynthesis. Our studies also indicate that peptidoglycan (PG) biosynthesis enzymes have been lost in multiple independent events in select prasinophytes and plants. However, CCMP1545, polar Micromonas CCMP2099 and prasinophytes from other classes retain the entire PG pathway, like moss and glaucophyte algae. Surprisingly, multiple vascular plants also have the PG pathway, except the Penicillin-Binding Protein, and share a unique bi-domain protein potentially associated with the pathway. Alongside Micromonas experiments using antibiotics that halt bacterial PG biosynthesis, the findings highlight unrecognized phylogenetic complexity in PG-pathway retention and implicate a role in chloroplast structure or division in several extant Viridiplantae lineages. CONCLUSIONS:Extensive differences in gene loss and architecture between related prasinophytes underscore their divergence. PG biosynthesis genes from the cyanobacterial endosymbiont that became the plastid, have been selectively retained in multiple plants and algae, implying a biological function. Our studies provide robust genomic resources for emerging model algae, advancing knowledge of marine phytoplankton and plant evolution.
Project description:Distributions of species body sizes within a taxonomic group, for example, mammals, are widely studied and important because they help illuminate the evolutionary processes that produced these distributions. Distributions of the sizes of species within an assemblage delineated by geography instead of taxonomy (all the species in a region regardless of clade) are much less studied but are equally important and will illuminate a different set of ecological and evolutionary processes. We develop and test a mechanistic model of how diversity varies with body mass in marine ecosystems. The model predicts the form of the 'diversity spectrum', which quantifies the distribution of species' asymptotic body masses, is a species analogue of the classic size spectrum of individuals, and which we have found to be a new and widely applicable description of diversity patterns. The marine diversity spectrum is predicted to be approximately linear across an asymptotic mass range spanning seven orders of magnitude. Slope -0.5 is predicted for the global marine diversity spectrum for all combined pelagic zones of continental shelf seas, and slopes for large regions are predicted to lie between -0.5 and -0.1. Slopes of -0.5 and -0.1 represent markedly different communities: a slope of -0.5 depicts a 10-fold reduction in diversity for every 100-fold increase in asymptotic mass; a slope of -0.1 depicts a 1.6-fold reduction. Steeper slopes are predicted for larger or colder regions, meaning fewer large species per small species for such regions. Predictions were largely validated by a global empirical analysis. Results explain for the first time a new and widespread phenomenon of biodiversity. Results have implications for estimating numbers of species of small asymptotic mass, where taxonomic inventories are far from complete. Results show that the relationship between diversity and body mass can be explained from the dependence of predation behaviour, dispersal, and life history on body mass, and a neutral assumption about speciation and extinction.
Project description:Over the last decade, culture-independent surveys of marine picoeukaryotic diversity based on 18S ribosomal DNA clone libraries have unveiled numerous sequences of novel high-rank taxa. This newfound diversity has significantly altered our understanding of marine microbial food webs and the evolution of eukaryotes. However, the current picture of marine eukaryotic biodiversity may be significantly skewed by PCR amplification biases, occurrence of rDNA genes in multiple copies within a single cell, and the capacity of DNA to persist as extracellular material. In this study we performed an analysis of the metagenomic dataset from the Global Ocean Survey (GOS) expedition, seeking eukaryotic ribosomal signatures. This PCR-free approach revealed similar phylogenetic patterns to clone library surveys, suggesting that PCR steps do not impose major biases in the exploration of environmental DNA. The different cell size fractions within the GOS dataset, however, displayed a distinct picture. High protistan diversity in the <0.8 microm size fraction, in particular sequences from radiolarians and ciliates (and their absence in the 0.8-3 microm fraction), suggest that most of the DNA in this fraction comes from extracellular material from larger cells. In addition, we compared the phylogenetic patterns from rDNA and reverse transcribed rRNA 18S clone libraries from the same sample harvested in the Mediterranean Sea. The libraries revealed major differences, with taxa such as pelagophytes or picobiliphytes only detected in the 18S rRNA library. MAST (Marine Stramenopiles) appeared as potentially prominent grazers and we observed a significant decrease in the contribution of alveolate and radiolarian sequences, which overwhelmingly dominated rDNA libraries. The rRNA approach appears to be less affected by taxon-specific rDNA copy number and likely better depicts the biogeochemical significance of marine protists.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Beta-glucosidase inhibitors are being extensively studied for use as anti-diabetics, anti-obesity and anti-tumour compounds. So far, these compounds have been reported in large numbers from plants, mushrooms, algae and fungi. There are very few reports of such inhibitors from bacteria in the open literature, particularly marine bacteria; although the best known inhibitor deoxynojirimycin was isolated from bacilli and actinomycete. Through this study, we tried to discover the diversity of microbial associates of marine sponge and sediment producing ?-glucosidase inhibitors. RESULTS:We found 41 (22.7%) out of 181 bacteria, produced such inhibitors. The inhibitors are abundant in bacterial associates of marine sponge Aka coralliphaga. When these bacteria were phylogenetically analyzed, it was found that marine bacteria producing glucosidase inhibitors belong to the phylum Firmicutes (23), Actinobacteria (9), Proteobacteria (7) and Bacteroidetes (1). CONCLUSION:A significant number of marine bacteria belonging to a wide range of bacterial taxa were found to produce ?-glucosidase inhibitors. These compounds are abundantly present in bacteria of the phylum Firmicutes followed by the phylum Actinobacteria. The results nurture a hope of finding new compounds, which can inhibit glucosidases, in the bacterial domain of marine organisms. Thus, marine microbial cells can be utilized as producers of pharmacologically essential enzyme inhibitors.
Project description:Marine bacterioplanktons are thought to play a vital role in Southern Ocean ecology and ecosystem function, as they do in other ocean systems. However, our understanding of phylogenetic diversity, genome-enabled capabilities and specific adaptations to this persistently cold environment is limited. Bacterioplankton community composition shifts significantly over the annual cycle as sea ice melts and phytoplankton bloom. Microbial diversity in sea ice is better known than that of the plankton, where culture collections do not appear to represent organisms detected with molecular surveys. Broad phylogenetic groupings of Antarctic bacterioplankton such as the marine group I Crenarchaeota, alpha-Proteobacteria (Roseobacter-related and SAR-11 clusters), gamma-Proteobacteria (both cultivated and uncultivated groups) and Bacteriodetes-affiliated organisms in Southern Ocean waters are in common with other ocean systems. Antarctic SSU rRNA gene phylotypes are typically affiliated with other polar sequences. Some species such as Polaribacter irgensii and currently uncultivated gamma-Proteobacteria (Ant4D3 and Ant10A4) may flourish in Antarctic waters, though further studies are needed to address diversity on a larger scale. Insights from initial genomics studies on both cultivated organisms and genomes accessed through shotgun cloning of environmental samples suggest that there are many unique features of these organisms that facilitate survival in high-latitude, persistently cold environments.
Project description:Marine sponges and their associated symbionts produce a structurally diverse and complex set of natural products including alkaloids, terpenoids, peptides, lipids, and steroids. A single sponge with its symbionts can produce all of the above-mentioned classes of molecules and their analogs. Most approaches to evaluating sponge chemical diversity have focused on major metabolites that can be isolated and characterized; therefore, a comprehensive evaluation of intra- (within a molecular family; analogs) and inter-chemical diversity within a single sponge remains incomplete. We use a combination of metabolomics tools, including a supervised approach via manual library search and literature search, and an unsupervised approach via molecular networking and MS2LDA analysis to describe the intra and inter-chemical diversity present in Smenospongia aurea. Furthermore, we use imaging mass spectrometry to link this chemical diversity to either the sponge or the associated cyanobacteria. Using these approaches, we identify seven more molecular features that represent analogs of four previously known peptide/polyketide smenamides and assign the biosynthesis of these molecules to the symbiotic cyanobacteria by imaging mass spectrometry. We extend this analysis to a wide diversity of molecular classes including indole alkaloids and meroterpenes.
Project description:Human impact on marine benthic communities has traditionally been assessed using visible morphological traits and has focused on the macrobenthos, whereas the ecologically important organisms of the meio- and microbenthos have received less attention. DNA metabarcoding offers an alternative to this approach and enables a larger fraction of the biodiversity in marine sediments to be monitored in a cost-efficient manner. Although this methodology remains poorly standardised and challenged by biases inherent to rRNA copy number variation, DNA extraction, PCR, and limitations related to taxonomic identification, it has been shown to be semi-quantitative and useful for comparing taxon abundances between samples. Here, we evaluate the effect of replicating genomic DNA extraction in order to counteract small scale spatial heterogeneity and improve diversity and community structure estimates in metabarcoding-based monitoring. For this purpose, we used ten technical replicates from three different marine sediment samples. The effect of sequence depth was also assessed, and in silico pooling of DNA extraction replicates carried out in order to maintain the number of reads constant. Our analyses demonstrated that both sequencing depth and DNA extraction replicates could improve diversity estimates as well as the ability to separate samples with different characteristics. We could not identify a "sufficient" replicate number or sequence depth, where further improvements had a less significant effect. Based on these results, we consider replication an attractive alternative to directly increasing the amount of sample used for DNA extraction and strongly recommend it for future metabarcoding studies and routine assessments of sediment biodiversity.
Project description:Dinoflagellates are an ecologically important group of protists with important functions as primary producers, coral symbionts and in toxic red tides. Although widely studied, the natural diversity of dinoflagellates is not well known. DNA barcoding has been utilized successfully for many protist groups. We used this approach to systematically sample known "species", as a reference to measure the natural diversity in three marine environments.In this study, we assembled a large cytochrome c oxidase 1 (COI) barcode database from 8 public algal culture collections plus 3 private collections worldwide resulting in 336 individual barcodes linked to specific cultures. We demonstrate that COI can identify to the species level in 15 dinoflagellate genera, generally in agreement with existing species names. Exceptions were found in species belonging to genera that were generally already known to be taxonomically challenging, such as Alexandrium or Symbiodinium. Using this barcode database as a baseline for cultured dinoflagellate diversity, we investigated the natural diversity in three diverse marine environments (Northeast Pacific, Northwest Atlantic, and Caribbean), including an evaluation of single-cell barcoding to identify uncultivated groups. From all three environments, the great majority of barcodes were not represented by any known cultured dinoflagellate, and we also observed an explosion in the diversity of genera that previously contained a modest number of known species, belonging to Kareniaceae. In total, 91.5% of non-identical environmental barcodes represent distinct species, but only 51 out of 603 unique environmental barcodes could be linked to cultured species using a conservative cut-off based on distances between cultured species.COI barcoding was successful in identifying species from 70% of cultured genera. When applied to environmental samples, it revealed a massive amount of natural diversity in dinoflagellates. This highlights the extent to which we underestimate microbial diversity in the environment.
Project description:Fish living around the coral reefs in the Philippines provide livelihoods for more than a million local fishers and are an important source of protein for coastal communities. However, this rich resource is at risk from myriad threats, which consequently threaten human livelihoods, nutrition, and health. In this paper, we examine the degree to which marine protected areas (MPAs), which aim to conserve marine biodiversity, are associated with improved nutritional outcomes in children under age 5. This analysis, which uses data from the 2008 Philippines Demographic and Health Survey and MPA data from the Coastal Conservation and Education Fund, found a positive association between MPAs and children's dietary diversity when the MPAs were located closer than 2 km to a child's community. MPA characteristics such as age or type of management were not consistently associated with dietary diversity. These results suggest a positive association of proximity to MPAs with certain aspects of children's diet.
Project description:Genetic diversity is estimated to be declining faster than species diversity under escalating threats, but its spatial distribution remains poorly documented at the global scale. Theory predicts that similar processes should foster congruent spatial patterns of genetic and species diversity, but empirical studies are scarce. Using a mined database of 50,588 georeferenced mitochondrial DNA barcode sequences (COI) for 3,815 marine and 1,611 freshwater fish species respectively, we examined the correlation between genetic diversity and species diversity and their global distributions in relation to climate and geography. Genetic diversity showed a clear spatial organisation, but a weak association with species diversity for both marine and freshwater species. We found a predominantly positive relationship between genetic diversity and sea surface temperature for marine species. Genetic diversity of freshwater species varied primarily across the regional basins and was negatively correlated with average river slope. The detection of genetic diversity patterns suggests that conservation measures should consider mismatching spatial signals across multiple facets of biodiversity.