11. Massively Parallel Tag Sequencing Unveils the Complexity of Marine Protistan Communities in Oxygen-Depleted Habitats

  1. Dr. Matthias Harbers3,4 and
  2. Prof. Dr. Günter Kahl5,6,7
  1. Virginia Edgcomb1 and
  2. Thorsten Stoeck2

Published Online: 23 JAN 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9783527644582.ch11

Tag-Based Next Generation Sequencing

Tag-Based Next Generation Sequencing

How to Cite

Edgcomb, V. and Stoeck, T. (2011) Massively Parallel Tag Sequencing Unveils the Complexity of Marine Protistan Communities in Oxygen-Depleted Habitats, in Tag-Based Next Generation Sequencing (eds M. Harbers and G. Kahl), Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, Germany. doi: 10.1002/9783527644582.ch11

Editor Information

  1. 3

    4-2-6 Nishihara, Kashiwa-Shi, Chiba 277-0885, Japan

  2. 4

    DNAFORM Inc., Leading Venture Plaza 2, 75-1 Ono-cho, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 230-0046, Japan

  3. 5

    Mohrmühlgasse 3, 63500 Seligenstadt, Germany

  4. 6

    University of Frankfurt am Main Biocenter, Max-von-Lauestraße 9, 60439 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

  5. 7

    Frankfurt Biotechnology Innovation Center (FIZ), GenXPro Ltd, Altenhöferallee 3, 60438 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Author Information

  1. 1

    Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Department of Geology and Geophysics, 266 Woods Hole Road, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA

  2. 2

    University of Kaiserslautern, Faculty of Biology, Ecology Department, Erwin-Schrödinger Straße 14, 67663 Kaiserslautern, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 23 JAN 2012
  2. Published Print: 14 DEC 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9783527328192

Online ISBN: 9783527644582



  • parallel tag sequencing;
  • marine protistan communities;
  • oxygen-depleted habitats;
  • Cariaco Basin;
  • Framvaren Fjord;
  • microbial eukaryote


Polymerase chain reaction amplification of ribosomal DNA genes from environmental samples followed by sequencing of clone libraries revolutionized our understanding of the diversity and ecology of microbial eukaryotes by revealing that protist communities are far more genetically diverse than observations based on morphology indicated. Even the most extensive clone libraries have only recovered small fractions of much larger assemblages in environmental samples and those studies have revealed novel sequences at almost all levels of taxonomic hierarchy. Massively parallel 454 tag sequencing offers an approach for exploration of this extensive biodiversity that is much less labor-intensive, less methodologically biased, and less expensive than clone libraries, and provides unprecedented sequencing depth. Pyrosequencing studies of anoxic and micro-oxic marine environments have revealed that protistan communities are much more diverse than previously thought, and contain many sequences with unknown taxonomic affiliation. Sequences affiliating with known taxonomic groups are most commonly dinoflagellates, ciliates, and other members of the alveolates, members of which are known to be important in marine environments as primary producers, heterotrophic grazers, symbionts, and parasites.