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Phylogenetic analysis of ITS2 sequences suggests the taxonomic re-structuring of Dunaliella viridis (Chlorophyceae, Dunaliellales)

Authors

  • Patrícia Assunção,

    Corresponding author
    • Departamento de Biotecnología, División de Investigación y Desarrollo Tecnológico, Instituto Tecnológico de Canarias (ITC), Lucía
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  • Ruth Jaén-Molina,

    1. Departamento de Biodiversidad Molecular y Banco de ADN, Jardín Botánico Canario ‘Viera y Clavijo'- Unidad Asociada al CSIC, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
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  • Juli Caujapé-Castells,

    1. Departamento de Biodiversidad Molecular y Banco de ADN, Jardín Botánico Canario ‘Viera y Clavijo'- Unidad Asociada al CSIC, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
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  • Matthias Wolf,

    1. Department of Bioinformatics, Biocenter, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany
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  • Mark A. Buchheim,

    1. Department of Biological Science and the Mervin Bovaird Institute for Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, The University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA
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  • Adelina de la Jara,

    1. Departamento de Biotecnología, División de Investigación y Desarrollo Tecnológico, Instituto Tecnológico de Canarias (ITC), Lucía
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  • Karen Freijanes,

    1. Departamento de Biotecnología, División de Investigación y Desarrollo Tecnológico, Instituto Tecnológico de Canarias (ITC), Lucía
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  • Laura Carmona,

    1. Departamento de Biotecnología, División de Investigación y Desarrollo Tecnológico, Instituto Tecnológico de Canarias (ITC), Lucía
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  • Héctor Mendoza

    1. Departamento de Biotecnología, División de Investigación y Desarrollo Tecnológico, Instituto Tecnológico de Canarias (ITC), Lucía
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  • Communicating Editor: O. De Clerck.

To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Email: pclemente@itccanarias.org

Summary

We analyzed the ITS2 primary and secondary structure (including Compensatory Base Changes (CBCs)) of 17 new Dunaliella strains (11 D. viridis, two D. tertiolecta, and four Dunaliella sp.), and compared these with other Dunaliella sequences available from the ITS2 database to circumscribe their taxonomic position. The ITS2 primary and secondary structure analysis positioned the majority of D. viridis strains in four main clades, showing that D. viridis is polyphyletic. The detection of at least one CBC among these clades strongly suggests that they could correspond to different biological species. Unexpectedly, while D. viridis var. euchlora (CCAP19/21) was positioned within the subgenus Dunaliella, D. viridis var. palmelloides (CCAP11/34) was positioned clearly outside this subgenus, suggesting that this taxon may not be properly placed in Dunaliella. Furthermore, the detection of at least three compensatory base changes (CBCs) between D. viridis var. palmelloides (CCAP11/34) and the other strains analyzed, confirm that this strain is a different species. For these reasons we propose re-naming D. viridis var. palmelloides (CCAP11/34) to incertae sedis, and D. viridis var. euchlora (CCAP19/21) to Dunaliella sp. Therefore, the ITS2 primary and secondary structure data suggest a taxonomic re-structuring of D. viridis.

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