Original Research ARTICLE

Front. Microbiol., 13 May 2013 | doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2013.00115

Characterization of eukaryotic microbial diversity in hypersaline Lake Tyrrell, Australia

  • 1Department of Biology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • 2Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA
  • 3Department of Earth and Planetary Science, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA

This study describes the community structure of the microbial eukaryotic community from hypersaline Lake Tyrrell, Australia, using near full length 18S rRNA sequences. Water samples were taken in both summer and winter over a 4-year period. The extent of eukaryotic diversity detected was low, with only 35 unique phylotypes using a 97% sequence similarity threshold. The water samples were dominated (91%) by a novel cluster of the Alveolate, Apicomplexa Colpodella spp., most closely related to C. edax. The Chlorophyte, Dunaliella spp. accounted for less than 35% of water column samples. However, the eukaryotic community entrained in a salt crust sample was vastly different and was dominated (83%) by the Dunaliella spp. The patterns described here represent the first observation of microbial eukaryotic dynamics in this system and provide a multiyear comparison of community composition by season. The lack of expected seasonal distribution in eukaryotic communities paired with abundant nanoflagellates suggests that grazing may significantly structure microbial eukaryotic communities in this system.

Keywords: microbial eukaryotes, diversity, hypersaline, saltern, Dunaliella, Colpodella, 18S rRNA

Citation: Heidelberg KB, Nelson WC, Holm JB, Eisenkolb N, Andrade K and Emerson JB (2013) Characterization of eukaryotic microbial diversity in hypersaline Lake Tyrrell, Australia. Front. Microbiol. 4:115. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2013.00115

Received: 31 July 2012; Accepted: 24 April 2013;
Published online: 13 May 2013.

Edited by:

Stefan Bertilsson, Uppsala University, Sweden

Reviewed by:

Karen G. Lloyd, Aarhus University, Denmark
Ramiro Logares, Spanish National Research Council, Spain
Kamran Shalchian-Tabrizi, University of Oslo, Norway

Copyright © 2013 Heidelberg, Nelson, Holm, Eisenkolb, Andrade and Emerson. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and subject to any copyright notices concerning any third-party graphics etc.

*Correspondence: Karla B. Heidelberg, Department of Biology, University of Southern California, 3616 Trousdale Parkway, AHF 231, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA. e-mail: kheidelb@usc.edu

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