Seasonal diversity and dynamics of haptophytes in the Skagerrak, Norway, explored by high-throughput sequencing

Elianne Sirnæs Egge*, Torill Vik Johannessen, Tom Andersen, Wenche Eikrem, Lucie Bittner, Aud Larsen, Ruth-Anne Sandaa, Bente Edvardsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Microalgae in the division Haptophyta play key roles in the marine ecosystem and in global biogeochemical processes. Despite their ecological importance, knowledge on seasonal dynamics, community composition and abundance at the species level is limited due to their small cell size and few morphological features visible under the light microscope. Here, we present unique data on haptophyte seasonal diversity and dynamics from two annual cycles, with the taxonomic resolution and sampling depth obtained with high-throughput sequencing. From outer Oslofjorden, S Norway, nano- and picoplanktonic samples were collected monthly for 2 years, and the haptophytes targeted by amplification of RNA/cDNA with Haptophyta-specific 18S rDNA V4 primers. We obtained 156 operational taxonomic units (OTUs), from c. 400.000 454 pyrosequencing reads, after rigorous bioinformatic filtering and clustering at 99.5%. Most OTUs represented uncultured and/or not yet 18S rDNA-sequenced species. Haptophyte OTU richness and community composition exhibited high temporal variation and significant yearly periodicity. Richness was highest in September-October (autumn) and lowest in April-May (spring). Some taxa were detected all year, such as Chrysochromulina simplex, Emiliania huxleyi and Phaeocystis cordata, whereas most calcifying coccolithophores only appeared from summer to early winter. We also revealed the seasonal dynamics of OTUs representing putative novel classes (clades HAP-3-5) or orders (clades D, E, F). Season, light and temperature accounted for 29% of the variation in OTU composition. Residual variation may be related to biotic factors, such as competition and viral infection. This study provides new, in-depth knowledge on seasonal diversity and dynamics of haptophytes in North Atlantic coastal waters. See also the Perspective by Massana

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3026-3042
Number of pages17
JournalMolecular Ecology
Volume24
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2015. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • diversity
  • Haptophyta
  • high-throughput sequencing
  • multivariate analysis
  • phytoplankton
  • seasonality

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