Diversity of Heterotrophic Protists from Extremely Hypersaline Habitats.

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Diversity of Heterotrophic Protists from Extremely Hypersaline Habitats.

Protist. 2015 Jun 18;166(4):422-437

Authors: Park JS, Simpson AG

Heterotrophic protists (protozoa) are a diverse but understudied component of the biota of extremely hypersaline environments, with few data on molecular diversity within halophile 'species', and almost nothing known of their biogeographic distribution. We have garnered SSU rRNA gene sequences for several clades of halophilic protozoa from enrichments from waters of >12.5% salinity from Australia, North America, and Europe (6 geographic sites, 25 distinct samples). The small stramenopile Halocafeteria was found at all sites, but phylogenies did not show clear geographic clustering. The ciliate Trimyema was recorded from 6 non-European samples. Phylogenies confirmed a monophyletic halophilic Trimyema group that included possible south-eastern Australian, Western Australian and North American clusters. Several halophilic Heterolobosea were detected, demonstrating that Pleurostomum contains at least three relatively distinct clades, and increasing known continental ranges for Tulamoeba peronaphora and Euplaesiobystra hypersalinica. The unclassified flagellate Palustrimonas, found in one Australian sample, proves to be a novel deep-branching alveolate. These results are consistent with a global distribution of halophilic protozoa groups (∼morphospecies), but the Trimyema case suggests that is worth testing whether larger forms exhibit biogeographic phylogenetic substructure. The molecular detection/characterization of halophilic protozoa is still far from complete at the clade level, let alone the 'species level'.

PMID: 26202993 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]