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Extremophiles. 2005 Jun;9(3):185-96. Epub 2005 Mar 3.

Genetic diversity of microbial eukaryotes in anoxic sediment around fumaroles on a submarine caldera floor based on the small-subunit rDNA phylogeny.

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  • 1Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), 2-15 Natsushima, Yokosuka, Kanagawa 237-0061, Japan.


Recent culture-independent molecular analyses have shown the diversity and ecological importance of microbial eukaryotes (protists) in various marine environments. In the present study we directly extracted DNA from anoxic sediment near active fumaroles on a submarine caldera floor at a depth of 200 m and constructed genetic libraries of PCR-amplified eukaryotic small-subunit (SSU) rDNA. By sequencing cloned SSU rDNA of the libraries and their phylogenetic analyses, it was shown that most sequences have affiliations with known major lineages of eukaryotes (Cercozoa, Alveolata, stramenopiles and Opisthokonta). In particular, some sequences were closely related to those of representatives of eukaryotic parasites, such as Phagomyxa and Cryothecomonas of Cercozoa, Pirsonia of stramenopiles and Ichthyosporea of Opisthokonta, although it is not clear whether the organisms occur in free-living or parasitic forms. In addition, other sequences did not seem to be related to any described eukaryotic lineages suggesting the existence of novel eukaryotes at a high-taxonomic level in the sediment. The community composition of microbial eukaryotes in the sediment we surveyed was different overall from those of other anoxic marine environments previously investigated.

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