JENUFA GEN. NOV.: A NEW GENUS OF COCCOID GREEN ALGAE (CHLOROPHYCEAE, INCERTAE SEDIS) PREVIOUSLY RECORDED BY ENVIRONMENTAL SEQUENCING

Authors

  • Yvonne Němcová,

    1. Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague, Benátská 2, 128 01 Prague 2, Czech Republic
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  • Marek Eliáš,

    1. Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague, Benátská 2, 128 01 Prague 2, Czech Republic
      Department of Biology and Ecology, Faculty of Science, University of Ostrava, Chittussiho 10, 710 00 Slezská Ostrava, Czech Republic
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  • Pavel Škaloud,

    1. Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague, Benátská 2, 128 01 Prague 2, Czech Republic
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  • Ladislav Hodač,

    1. Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague, Benátská 2, 128 01 Prague 2, Czech Republic
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    • Present address: Experimental Phycology and Culture Collection of Algae, Department of the Albrecht-von-Haller-Institute for Plant Sciences at the University of, Göttingen, Untere Karspüle 2, D-37073 Göttingen, Germany.

  • Jiří Neustupa

    1. Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague, Benátská 2, 128 01 Prague 2, Czech Republic
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  • Received 18 October 2010. Accepted 16 February 2011.

Abstract

The diversity of eukaryotic microorganisms is far from fully described, as indicated by the vast number of unassigned genotypes retrieved by environmental sequencing or metagenomics. We isolated several strains of unicellular green algae from algal biofilms growing on tree bark in a Southeast Asian tropical rainforest and determined them to be relatives of an unidentified lineage of environmental 18S rDNA sequences, thus uncovering its cellular identity. Light, confocal, and electron microscope observations and sequencing the 18S rRNA gene revealed that the strains represent two different species within an apparently new genus, described here as Jenufa gen. nov. Both species formed minute coccoid cells with an irregular globular outline, a smooth cell wall, and a single parietal chloroplast without a pyrenoid. The two species, described herein as J. perforata and J. minuta, differed in chloroplast morphology and cell wall structure. Phylogenetic analyses of 18S rRNA gene sequences showed a firm relationship between the two species and placed the Jenufa lineage in an unresolved position within the CS clade (Chlamydomonadales + Sphaeropleales) of the class Chlorophyceae, although possible affinities to the genus Golenkinia were suggested both by maximum-likelihood (ML) and Bayesian methods. Furthermore, two almost identical environmental 18S rDNA sequences from an endolithic microbial community occurring in dolomite rock in the central Alps turned out to be specifically related to, yet apparently distinct from, the sequence of J. minuta, indicating the existence of an undescribed Jenufa species occurring in the temperate zone.

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