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J Microbiol. 2008 Jun;46(3):244-9. doi: 10.1007/s12275-007-0237-x. Epub 2008 Jul 5.

Microeukaryotic diversity in marine environments, an analysis of surface layer sediments from the East Sea.

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Department of Microbiology, Chungbuk National University, Chungbuk, Republic of Korea.


Molecular techniques, based on clone library of 18S rRNA gene, were employed to ascertain the diversity of microeukaryotic organisms in sediments from the East Sea. A total of 261 clones were recovered from surface sediments. Most of the clone sequences (90%) were affiliated with protists, dominated by Ciliates (18%) and Dinoflagellates (19%) of Alveolates, phototrophic Stramenopiles (11%), and Cercozoa (20%). Many of the clones were related to uncultivated eukaryotes clones retrieved from anoxic environments with several highly divergent 18S rRNA gene sequences. However, no clones were related to cultivated obligate anaerobic protists. Protistan communities between subsurface layers of 1 and 9 cm shared 23% of total phylotypes which comprised 64% of total clones retrieved. Analysis of diversity indices and rarefaction curve showed that the protistan community within the 1 cm layer exhibited higher diversity than the 9 cm layer. Our results imply that diverse protists remain to be uncovered within marine benthic environments.

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