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Kleptoplasty in Dinophysis spp: Ecological role and evolutionary implications
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Natural Sciences. (Marine Ecology)
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis deals with the question of whether planktonic protits of the genus Dinophysis have permanent plastids (=chloroplasts) or practice kleptoplasty, i.e. acquire plastids via predation on other microorganisms. Sequencing the plastid 16S rDNA of Dinophysis spp. collected from 4 different geographical regions unveiled two different plastid genotypes within this genera: one that was found at all locations investigated, identical to that of the free-living cryptophyte Teleaulax amphioxeia, and another found only in the Greenland Sea, closely related to that of the cryptophyte Geminigera cryophila. Both types were found within the species D. acuminata. These findings imply that the plastids in Dinophysis spp. were not inherited from a common ancestor, but acquired from feeding. By using flow cytometry in combination with an acidotrophic probe, it was shown that 71 % of the cells in a D. norvegica population in the aphotic zone of the Baltic Sea had food-vacuoles. Dinophysis used to be regarded as a primarily phototrophic organism, and this was a higher proportion of cells with food-vacuoles than reported earlier. To further study if Dinophysis needs constant refill of new plastids from the environment, a new method combining flow-cytometry and quantitative real-time PCR was developed to compare the levels of nuclear and plastid DNA in different phases of the cell-cycle. Results showed that plastid acquisition in Dinophysis was uncoupled with the cell-cycle, which is different than the pattern seen in microalgal species with permanent plastids. Furthermore, when quantitative real-time PCR combined with flow-cytometry was used to follow D. caudata cultures during a 65 days starvation/feeding experiment, the cells first went through a steady decrease in plastid DNA during starvation. In contrast, after feeding on the ciliate Myrionecta rubra, plastid DNA in starved cells increased 7-fold, thereby directly revealing the kleptoplastic behavior. The main conclusion from this thesis is that Dinophysis cells are actively taking up kleptoplastids from the ciliates on which they feed, and that kleptoplasty is an important key to understand Dinophysis ecology. Part of this thesis work has also been dedicated to the application and optimization of new methods, and it shows how quantitative real-time PCR, flow cytometry and molecular methods in different combinations can be used as powerful tools for the study of plankton ecology.

 

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Växjö, Kalmar: Linnaeus University Press , 2010.
Series
Linnaeus University Dissertations ; 19/2010
Keywords [en]
Dinophysis, kleptoplastid, real-time PCR, 16S rRNA, plastid evolution, Baltic Sea, Flow cytometry
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Natural Science, Aquatic Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-144ISBN: 978-91-86491-24-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-144DiVA, id: diva2:304911
Public defence
2010-05-21, A137, Landgången 4, campus Kalmar, 00:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2010-04-21 Created: 2010-03-21 Last updated: 2014-03-26Bibliographically approved

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