Molecular analyses of protists in long-term observation programmes—current status and future perspectives

Type Article
Date 2018-09
Language English
Author(s) Stern Rowena1, Kraberg Alexandra2, Bresnan Eileen3, Kooistra Wiebe H. C. F.4, Lovejoy Connie5, Montresor Marina4, Moran Xose Anxelu G.6, Not Fabrice7, 8, Salas Rafael9, Siano Raffaele10, Vaulot Daniel7, 8, Amaral-Zettler Linda11, Zingone Adriana4, Metfies Katja12, 13
Affiliation(s) 1 : Marine Biol Assoc UK, Citadel Hill, Plymouth PL1 2PB, Devon, England.
2 : Helmholtz Ctr Polar & Marine Res, Alfred Wegener Inst, Biol Anstalt Helgoland, Kurpromenade 201, D-27498 Helgoland, Germany.
3 : Marine Scotland Marine Lab, 375 Victoria Rd, Aberdeen AB11 9DB, Scotland.
4 : Stn Zool Anton Dohrn, Dept Integrat Marine Ecol, I-80121 Naples, Italy.
5 : Univ Laval, Quebec Ocean, Dept Biol, IBIS, Quebec City, PQ G1V 0A6, Canada.
6 : King Abdullah Univ Sci & Technol, Biol & Environm Sci & Engn Div, Red Sea Res Ctr, Thuwal 239556900, Saudi Arabia.
7 : UPMC Univ Paris 06, Sorbonne univ, CNRS, UMR 7144, Paris, France.
8 : Stn Biol, Pl Georges Teissier, F-29680 Roscoff, France.
9 : Marine Inst, Marine Environm & Food Safety Serv, Rinville H9I R673, Oranmore, Ireland.
10 : IFREMER, Ctr Brest, Dept DYNECO, BP70, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
11 : NIOZ, Dept Microbiol & Biogeochem, POB 59, NL-1790 AB Den Burg, Texel, Netherlands.
12 : Helmholtz Ctr Polar & Marine Res, Alfred Wegener Inst, D-27515 Bremerhaven, Germany.
13 : Carl von Ossietzky Univ Oldenburg, Helmholtz Inst Funct Marine Biodivers, D-26129 Oldenburg, Germany.
Source Journal Of Plankton Research (0142-7873) (Oxford Univ Press), 2018-09 , Vol. 40 , N. 5 , P. 519-536
DOI 10.1093/plankt/fby035
WOS© Times Cited 34
Keyword(s) protists, Long-term Ecological Research Station, molecular, time-series, questionnaire, literature survey

Protists (microbial eukaryotes) are diverse, major components of marine ecosystems, and are fundamental to ecosystem services. In the last 10 years, molecular studies have highlighted substantial novel diversity in marine systems including sequences with no taxonomic context. At the same time, many known protists remain without a DNA identity. Since the majority of pelagic protists are too small to identify by light microscopy, most are neither comprehensively or regularly taken into account, particularly in Long-term Ecological Research Sites. This potentially undermines the quality of research and the accuracy of predictions about biological species shifts in a changing environment. The ICES Working Group for Phytoplankton and Microbial Ecology conducted a questionnaire survey in 2013–2014 on methods and identification of protists using molecular methods plus a literature review of protist molecular diversity studies. The results revealed an increased use of high-throughput sequencing methods and a recognition that sequence data enhance the overall datasets on protist species composition. However, we found only a few long-term molecular studies and noticed a lack of integration between microscopic and molecular methods. Here, we discuss and put forward recommendations to improve and make molecular methods more accessible to Long-term Ecological Research Site investigators.

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Stern Rowena, Kraberg Alexandra, Bresnan Eileen, Kooistra Wiebe H. C. F., Lovejoy Connie, Montresor Marina, Moran Xose Anxelu G., Not Fabrice, Salas Rafael, Siano Raffaele, Vaulot Daniel, Amaral-Zettler Linda, Zingone Adriana, Metfies Katja (2018). Molecular analyses of protists in long-term observation programmes—current status and future perspectives. Journal Of Plankton Research, 40(5), 519-536. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :