Bridging the gap between morphological species and molecular barcodes - Exemplified by loricate choanoflagellates

Nitsche Frank, Helge Abildhauge Thomsen, Richter Daniel J

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

276 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Translating the vast amounts of molecular barcodes from global surveys of microbial eukaryotes into ecological insight depends critically on a well-curated reference database with adequate taxonomic coverage. In this respect, the choanoflagellates resemble other eukaryotic lineages: reasonable coverage at higher taxonomic levels, but missing diversity at the species level. The acanthoecid (loricate) choanoflagellates are well-characterized morphologically, with over 115 species described, but less than 10% with any sequence data. Because lorica shape is species-specific, the acanthoecids represent an opportunity to link morphological with molecular data within a lineage of eukaryotes. To match morphospecies to sequences, we sampled the Kattegat and the Isefjord in Denmark in September 2014 and February 2015. We identified 45 morphospecies and sequenced ribosomal DNA of nine previously unsequenced species, roughly doubling the number of acanthoecid species with sequence data, including the first data representing five genera: Bicosta, Calliacantha, Cosmoeca, Crinolina and Pleurasiga. Our phylogenetic analysis is mainly congruent with morphology-based systematics. Five of the newly sequenced species match a previously unidentified barcode from Tara Oceans, providing access to the global distribution of species isolated from Danish waters. One species, Calliacantha natans, is the second most globally abundant choanoflagellate present in Tara Oceans. Our project translating new ribosomal DNA sequences to distributions of described species on a global scale supports the approach linking morphology to molecular barcodes for microbial eukaryote ecology.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Protistology
Volume57
Pages (from-to)26-37
ISSN0932-4739
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Acanthoecids
  • Bicostata
  • Calliacantha
  • Crinolina
  • Diaphanoeca
  • rDNA

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Bridging the gap between morphological species and molecular barcodes - Exemplified by loricate choanoflagellates'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this