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See detailDIVERSITY AND HOST SPECIFICITY OF AZOLLA CYANOBIONTS
Papaefthimiou, Dimitra; Van Hove, Charles; Lejeune, André et al

in Journal of Phycology (2008), 44

A unique, hereditary symbiosis exists between the water fern Azolla and cyanobacteria that reside within a cavity in the dorsal leaf-lobe of the plant. This association has been studied extensively, and ... [more ▼]

A unique, hereditary symbiosis exists between the water fern Azolla and cyanobacteria that reside within a cavity in the dorsal leaf-lobe of the plant. This association has been studied extensively, and questions have frequently been raised regarding the number and diversity of cyanobionts (cyanobacterial symbionts) among the different Azolla strains and species. In this work, denaturating gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and a clone library based on the 16S rRNA gene were used to study the genetic diversity and host specificity of the cyanobionts in 35 Azolla strains covering a wide taxonomic and geographic range. DNA was extracted directly from the cyanobacterial packets, isolated after enzymatic digestion of the Azolla leaves. Our results indicated the existence of different cyanobiont strains among Azolla species, and diversity within a single Azolla species, independent of the geographic origin of the host. Furthermore, the cyanobiont exhibited host-species specificity and showed most divergence between the two sections of genus Azolla, Azolla and Rhizosperma. These findings are in agreement with the recent redefinition of the taxon Azolla cristata within the section Azolla. With regard to the taxonomic status of the cyanobiont, the genus Anabaena of the Nostocaceae family was identified as the closest relative by this work. [less ▲]

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See detailField measurements of inorganic nitrogen uptake by epiflora components of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica (Monocotyledons, Posidoniaceae)
Lepoint, Gilles ULg; Jacquemart, Julien; Bouquegneau, Jean-Marie ULg et al

in Journal of Phycology (2007), 43(2), 208-218

Crustose corallines, crustose and erect brown algae, and sessile animals are major components of the epiphytic community of the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile. Production, biomass ... [more ▼]

Crustose corallines, crustose and erect brown algae, and sessile animals are major components of the epiphytic community of the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile. Production, biomass, and specific composition of this epiphyte-seagrass association are impacted by anthropogenic increase of nutrient load in this oligotrophic area. In this context, nitrogen uptake by P. oceanica and its epiflora was measured using the isotope N-15 at a 10 m depth in the Revellata Bay (Corsica, Mediterranean Sea). Epiflora components showed various seasonal patterns of biomass and abundance. The epiphytic brown algae appeared at the end of spring, later than the crustose corallines, and after the nitrate peak in the bay. Because of their later development in the season, epiphytic brown algae mostly rely on ammonium for their N needs. We hypothesize that the temporal succession of epiphytic organisms plays a crucial role in the N dynamics of this community under natural conditions. The epiphytic brown algae, which have a growth rate one order of magnitude greater than that of crustose corallines, showed lower N-uptake rates. The greater N-uptake rates of crustose corallines probably reflect the greater N requirements (i.e., lower C/N ratios) of red algae. We determined that the epiflora incorporated ammonium and nitrate more rapidly than their host. Nevertheless, when biomass was taken into account, P. oceanica was the most important contributor to N uptake from the water column by benthic macrophytes in this seagrass bed. [less ▲]

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See detailPolyphasic study of Antarctic cyanobacterial strains
Taton, A.; Grubisic, Stana ULg; Ertz, D. et al

in Journal of Phycology (2006), 42(6), 1257-1270

We isolated 59 strains of cyanobacteria from the benthic microbial mats of 23 Antarctic lakes, from five locations in two regions, in order to characterize their morphological and genotypic diversity. On ... [more ▼]

We isolated 59 strains of cyanobacteria from the benthic microbial mats of 23 Antarctic lakes, from five locations in two regions, in order to characterize their morphological and genotypic diversity. On the basis of their morphology, the cyanobacteria were assigned to 12 species that included four Antarctic endemic taxa. Sequences of the ribosomal RNA gene were determined for 56 strains. In general, the strains closely related at the 16S rRNA gene level belonged to the same morphospecies. Nevertheless, divergences were observed concerning the diversity in terms of species richness, novelty, and geographical distribution. For the 56 strains, 21 operational taxonomic units (OTUs, defined as groups of partial 16S rRNA gene sequences with more than 97.5% similarity) were found, including nine novel and three exclusively Antarctic OTUs. Sequences of Petalonema cf. involvens and Chondrocystis sp. were determined for the first time. The internally transcribed spacer (ITS) between the 16S and the 23S rRNA genes was sequenced for 33 strains, and similar groupings were observed with the 16S rRNA gene and the ITS, even when the strains were derived from different lakes and regions. In addition, 48 strains were screened for antimicrobial and cytotoxic activities, and 17 strains were bioactive against the gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus, or the fungi Aspergillus fumigatus and Cryptococcus neoformans. The bioactivities were not in coincidence with the phylogenetic relationships, but rather were specific to certain strains. [less ▲]

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See detailMorphological and molecular characterization of planktonic cyanobacteria from Belgium and Luxembourg
Willame, R.; Boutte, C.; Grubisic, Stana ULg et al

in Journal of Phycology (2006), 42(6), 1312-1332

For the first time in Belgium and Luxembourg, the diversity and taxonomy of 95 cyanobacterial strains isolated from freshwater blooms were assessed by the comparison of phenotypes and partial 16S rRNA ... [more ▼]

For the first time in Belgium and Luxembourg, the diversity and taxonomy of 95 cyanobacterial strains isolated from freshwater blooms were assessed by the comparison of phenotypes and partial 16S rRNA gene sequences. The results showed the high diversity of nanoplanktonic, picoplanktonic, and benthic-periphytic cyanobacteria accompanying the main bloom-forming taxa. Indeed, besides 15 morphotypes of bloom-forming taxa, seven non-bloom-forming planktonic morphotypes and 11 morphotypes from benthic-periphytic taxa were isolated in culture from the plankton samples of 35 water bodies. The bloom-forming strains belonged to the genera Microcystis, Woronichinia, Planktothrix, Anabaena, and Aphanizomenon, whereas the other strains isolated from the same samples were assigned to the nanoplanktonic Aphanocapsa, Aphanothece, Snowella, and Pseudanabaena; to the picoplanktonic Cyanobium; and to the benthic periphytic Geitlerinema, Komvophoron, Leptolyngbya, Lyngbya, Phormidium, Calothrix, Nostoc, and Trichormus. The results supported both the polyphyletism of genera such as Aphanocapsa, Aphanothece, Leptolyngbya, Geitlerinema, Anabaena, and Aphanizomenon as well as the validity of genera such as Microcystis, Planktothrix, and Pseudanabaena with gas vesicles and cells constricted at the cross wall. The results obtained showed the close relationship between Snowella and Woronichinia for which very few sequences exist. The first sequence of Komvophoron appeared poorly related to other available cyanobacterial sequences. Although in a few cases a good agreement existed between phenotypic and genotypic features, there was generally a discrepancy. Strains with identical morphotypes show small differences in the 16S rRNA sequences, which might be related to the different chemical properties of their habitats. The results showed the importance of the polyphasic approach in order to improve the taxonomy of cyanobacteria. [less ▲]

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See detailRemarkable conservation of internally transcribed spacer sequences of Arthrospira ("Spirulina") (Cyanophyceae, Cyanobacteria) strains from four continents and of recent and 30-year-old dried samples from Africa
Baurain, Denis ULg; Renquin, Laurent; Grubisic, Stana ULg et al

in Journal of Phycology (2002), 38(2), 384-393

The internally transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences of 21 Arthrospira clonal strains from four continents and assigned to four different species (A. platensis, A. maxima, A. fusiformis, A. indica) in the ... [more ▼]

The internally transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences of 21 Arthrospira clonal strains from four continents and assigned to four different species (A. platensis, A. maxima, A. fusiformis, A. indica) in the culture collections were determined. Two main clusters, I and H, were differentiated by 49 positions out of 475 nt or 477 nt, respectively. Each cluster was further subdivided into two subclusters. Subclusters LA and I.B were separated by two substitutions, whereas subclusters II.A, and II.B were distinguished by four substitutions. After direct sequencing of the PCR products, three dried samples from Chad aged between 3 months and 35 years yielded a sequence belonging to subcluster I.A, as did a recent commercial product. The strains grown in production plants belonged to the same (sub)clusters as strains from culture collections, mainly LA and II. PCR primers specific for each cluster and subcluster were designed and tested with crude cell lysates of Arthrospira strains. One dried sample ("dihe' 1) and a herbarium sample from Lake Sonachi (Kenya) only contained I.A sequences, whereas the commercial product was a mixture of the four genotypes and the other two dried samples contained minor polymorphisms characteristic of different clusters. Five clonal Arthrospira strains, thought to be duplicates, showed the simultaneous presence of the two :Forms of the four diagnostic positions that distinguish subclusters genotype H.A and genotype II.B. This is likely to be caused by multiple copies of the rDNA operon, in a intermediate stage of homogenization between subcluster II.A and subcluster II.B. The high conservation of ITS sequences is in contrast with the assignment to four different species, the great morphological variability of the strains, and their wide geographic distribution. [less ▲]

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See detailTAXONOMIC STUDY OF MARINE OSCILLATORIACEAN STRAINS (CYANOBACTERIA) WITH NARROW TRICHOMES. II. NUCLEOTIDE SEQUENCE ANALYSIS OF THE 16S RIBOSOMAL RNA
Wilmotte, Annick ULg; Turner, Sean; Van De Peer, Yves et al

in Journal of Phycology (1992), 28

Partial 16S ribosomal RNA sequences from five marine oscillatoriacean strains with narrow trichomes were determined by a dideoxynucleotide-termination method. A phenogram was constructed by a distance ... [more ▼]

Partial 16S ribosomal RNA sequences from five marine oscillatoriacean strains with narrow trichomes were determined by a dideoxynucleotide-termination method. A phenogram was constructed by a distance matrix method including a bootstrap analysis. In addition, a consensus tree was built using cladistic analysis. The results were largely congruent and indicate that the five strains belong to two different lineages. The first lineage groups four phycoerythrin-producing strains with the strain PCC7375 (“Phormidium ectocarpi Gomont”). The second cluster groups strain PCC7105 (“Oscillatoria williamsii Drouet”) with the previously studied strain Microcoleus 10mfx. Comparisons to morphological data are made and the taxonomic level of the separations is estimated. [less ▲]

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