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Environ Microbiol. 2018 Feb;20(2):878-889. doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.14034.

Neobodonids are dominant kinetoplastids in the global ocean.

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Institute of Parasitology, Biology Centre, Czech Academy of Sciences, České Budějovice, Czech Republic.
Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, České Budějovice, Czech Republic.
Life Science Research Centre, Faculty of Science, University of Ostrava, Ostrava, Czech Republic.
Simons Centre for the Study of Living Machines, National Centre for Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bangalore, India.
Ecole Normale Supérieure, PSL Research University, Institut de Biologie de l'Ecole Normale Supérieure (IBENS), CNRS UMR 8197, INSERM U1024, 46 rue d'Ulm, Paris F-75005, France.
CEA - GENOSCOPE - Institut François Jacob, 2 rue Gaston Crémieux, 91057 Evry, France.
CNRS, UMR 8030, CP5706, Evry, France.
Université d'Evry, UMR 8030, CP5706, Evry, France.
Station Biologique de Roscoff, Roscoff, France.
Sorbonne Universités, Paris, France.


Kinetoplastid flagellates comprise basal mostly free-living bodonids and derived obligatory parasitic trypanosomatids, which belong to the best-studied protists. Due to their omnipresence in aquatic environments and soil, the bodonids are of ecological significance. Here, we present the first global survey of marine kinetoplastids and compare it with the strikingly different patterns of abundance and diversity in their sister clade, the diplonemids. Based on analysis of 18S rDNA V9 ribotypes obtained from 124 sites sampled during the Tara Oceans expedition, our results show generally low to moderate abundance and diversity of planktonic kinetoplastids. Although we have identified all major kinetoplastid lineages, 98% of kinetoplastid reads are represented by neobodonids, namely specimens of the Neobodo and Rhynchomonas genera, which make up 59% and 18% of all reads, respectively. Most kinetoplastids have small cell size (0.8-5 µm) and tend to be more abundant in the mesopelagic as compared to the euphotic zone. Some of the most abundant operational taxonomic units have distinct geographical distributions, and three novel putatively parasitic neobodonids were identified, along with their potential hosts.

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