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See detailThe BCCM/ULC culture collection to conserve, document and explore the polar cyanobacterial diversity
Wilmotte, Annick ULg; Renard, Marine ULg; Kleinteich, Julia et al

Poster (2015, September 07)

In Polar Regions, Cyanobacteria represent key primary producers and are the main drivers of the food webs in a wide range of aquatic to terrestrial habitats. For example, they form benthic microbial mats ... [more ▼]

In Polar Regions, Cyanobacteria represent key primary producers and are the main drivers of the food webs in a wide range of aquatic to terrestrial habitats. For example, they form benthic microbial mats in lakes and soil crusts in terrestrial biotopes. They have adapted to their environment, and may present interesting features to survive freeze/thaw cycles, seasonally contrasted light intensities, high UV radiations, dessication and other environmental stresses. The BCCM/ULC public collection funded by the Belgian Science Policy Office since 2011 aims to gather a representative portion of the polar cyanobacterial diversity with different ecological origins (limnetic microbial mats, soil crusts, cryoconites, endoliths, etc.). The collection is available for researchers to study the taxonomy, evolution, adaptations to extreme environmental conditions, and genomic make-up. It presently includes 200 cyanobacterial strains, with 123 being of polar origin (catalogue: http://bccm.belspo.be/catalogues/ulc-catalogue-search). The morphological identification shows that the strains belong to the orders Synechococcales, Oscillatoriales, Pleurocapsales, Chroococcidiopsidales and Nostocales. The large diversity is also supported by the phylogenetic analyses based on the 16S rRNA sequences. This broad distribution makes the BCCM/ULC collection particularly interesting for phylogenomic studies. To this end, the sequencing of the complete genome of 16 selected strains is currently under way. In addition, cyanobacteria produce a wide range of secondary metabolites (e.g. alkaloides, cyclic and linear peptides, polyketides) with different bioactive potential (e.g. antibiotic, antiviral, anticancer, cytotoxic, genotoxic). Bioassays have shown antifungal activities of the cell extracts from strains Plectolyngbya hodgsonii ULC009 and Phormidium priestleyi ULC026. The potential of the polar strains to produce cyanotoxins and other secondary metabolites is currently being studied by ELISA, LC-MS and the detection of genes involved in their production. Due to the geographic isolation and the strong environmental stressors of the habitat, the exploration of these metabolites in Antarctic cyanobacterial strains seems promising for biotechnology or biomedical applications (Biondi et al. 2008). In summary, the BCCM/ULC public collection could serve as a Biological Resource Centre (OECD 2001) to conserve and document the biodiversity of polar cyanobacteria, as well as a repository for discovery of novel bioactive compounds. REFERENCES Biondi, N., Tredici, M., Taton, A., Wilmotte, A., Hodgson, D., Losi, D., & Marinelli, F. (2008) : Cyanobacteria from benthic mats of Antarctic lakes as a source of new bioactivities. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 105(1) : 105- 115 OECD (2001) Biological Resource Centres : Underpinning the Future of Life Sciences and Biotechnology. http://www.oecd.org/science/biotech/2487422.pdf [less ▲]

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See detailGenome sequencing of an endemic filamentous Antarctic cyanobacterium
Lara, Yannick ULg; Verlaine, Olivier ULg; Kleinteich, Julia et al

Poster (2015, August 03)

The strain Phormidium priestleyi ULC007 was isolated from a benthic mat located in a shallow freshwater pond in the Larsemann Hills (69°S), Western Antarctica. This strain belongs to a cyanobacterial ... [more ▼]

The strain Phormidium priestleyi ULC007 was isolated from a benthic mat located in a shallow freshwater pond in the Larsemann Hills (69°S), Western Antarctica. This strain belongs to a cyanobacterial cluster that appeared as potentially endemic (Taton et al. 2006). After obtaining an axenic isolate, we sequenced the genome of this strain in the frame of the BELSPO CCAMBIO project, in order to better understand the functioning, metabolism and adaptative strategies of cyanobacteria to the extreme Antarctic environment. [less ▲]

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See detailThe BCCM/ULC collection : a Biological Ressource Center for polar cyanobacteria
Wilmotte, Annick ULg; Renard, Marine ULg; Lara, Yannick ULg et al

Poster (2015, August 03)

In this study, during the 2013 MicroFun expedition, we sampled 72 locations around Svalbard including diverse biotopes such as glacial forefields, tundra soils, hot springs, soil crusts, microbial mats ... [more ▼]

In this study, during the 2013 MicroFun expedition, we sampled 72 locations around Svalbard including diverse biotopes such as glacial forefields, tundra soils, hot springs, soil crusts, microbial mats, wet walls, cryoconites, plankton and periphyton, in order to (1) assess the biodiversity of cyanobacteria around Svalbard, (2) verify the existence of biogeographical trends around the archipelago, and (3) compare these data with other polar (cold) areas, especially Antarctica. We used a pyrosequencing approach targeting cyanobacteria-specific 16S rRNA gene sequences to deeply study the cyanobacterial communities. [less ▲]

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See detailA Phylogenomic analysis of the origin of plastids
Cornet, Luc ULg; Javaux, Emmanuelle ULg; Wilmotte, Annick ULg et al

Conference (2014, June 24)

Cyanobacteria are a morphologically diverse phylum, with their first occurrence dating from the Precambrian. Oxygenic photosynthesis appeared in this group during the same geological period. Several ... [more ▼]

Cyanobacteria are a morphologically diverse phylum, with their first occurrence dating from the Precambrian. Oxygenic photosynthesis appeared in this group during the same geological period. Several publications have established, without any doubt, that plastids (both primary and complex) form a monophyletic ensemble emerging from Cyanobacteria. However, the exact position of plastids within Cyanobacteria is still uncertain, with several recent papers leading to very different hypotheses. Here we present a phylogenomic analysis of the origin of plastids. Our study takes advantage of all the available genomes and thus represents the best taxonomic sampling seen so far: 140 genomes of Cyanobacteria, 101 genomes of plastids and 27 outgroups taken in Melainabacteria and Chloroflexi. It results in an analysis using state-of-the-art methods (e.g., orthology assessment using USEARCH and OrthoMCL, phylogenetic inference using CAT and CAT-GTR models) based on more than 160 protein alignments totalizing over 20,000 unambiguously aligned amino acids. To confirm our results, we performed gene jackknife inferences and gene reconciliation analyses on the same dataset. We expect that out approach accounts for potential phylogenetic artefacts due to changes in the evolutionary process having occurred when the guest cyanobacterium became an endosymbiont and eventually a plastid. Meanwhile, we improve the phylogeny of Cyanobacteria per se, notably because of the presence of Melainabacteria in our dataset. [less ▲]

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Peer Reviewed
See detailThe unusual Gasteromycetes Lycogalopsis solmsii belongs to the gomphoid-phalloid group
Demoulin, Vincent ULg; Cornet, Luc ULg; Delbruyère, Emilie et al

in Acta Mycologica (2013), 48(1), 13-20

The rare tropical Gasteromycetes Lycogalopsis solmsii has been found twice at thirty years interval in the Singapore Botanic Gardens. From the most recent find a culture could be isolated, which allowed ... [more ▼]

The rare tropical Gasteromycetes Lycogalopsis solmsii has been found twice at thirty years interval in the Singapore Botanic Gardens. From the most recent find a culture could be isolated, which allowed DNA extraction and sequencing of about 2000 bp from the nuclear ribosomal DNA. Comparison to a large sample of Basidiomycetes was only possible for a part of the large ribosomal subunit, but clearly indicated affiliation to the gomphoid-phalloid group, without any relationship to Lycoperdales or Agaricales, as stated in the Dictionary of the Fungi. [less ▲]

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See detailA Middle Devonian Callixylon (Archaeopteridales) from Ronquières, Belgium
Cornet, Luc ULg; Gerrienne, Philippe ULg; Meyer-Berthaud, Brigitte et al

in Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology (2012), 183

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See detailUn Callixylon (Archaeopteridales) du Dèvonien moyen de Belgique.
Cornet, Luc ULg; Gerrienne, Philippe ULg; Meyer-Berthaud, Brigitte et al

Conference (2012, June 21)

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See detailEtude de spécimens de progymnospermes «type Callixylon » de Ronquières (Dévonien moyen, Belgique).
Cornet, Luc ULg; Gerrienne, Philippe ULg; Meyer-Berthaud, Brigitte

in Miscellanea palaeontologica 2010 (2010, November 30)

Detailed reference viewed: 32 (0 ULg)