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Environ Microbiol. 2019 Jul 12. doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.14738. [Epub ahead of print]

Global distribution of Trebouxiophyceae diversity explored by high-throughput sequencing and phylogenetic approaches.

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Instituto Tecnológico de Chascomús (INTECH), UNSAM-CONICET, Chascomús, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Laboratory of Soil Biodiversity, Institute of Biology, University of Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel, Switzerland.
Department of Zoology, Institute of Biosciences, University of São Paulo, Butantã, São Paulo, Brazil.
CARRTEL, INRA, Université Savoie Mont Blanc, Thonon, France.
Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid, CSIC, Madrid, Spain.


Trebouxiophyceae are a ubiquitous class of Chlorophyta encountered in aquatic and terrestrial environments. Most taxa are photosynthetic, and many acts as photobionts in symbiotic relationships, while others are free-living. Trebouxiophyceae have also been widely investigated for their use for biotechnological applications. In this work, we aimed at obtaining a comprehensive image of their diversity by compiling the information of 435 freshwater, soil and marine environmental DNA samples surveyed with Illumina sequencing technology in order to search for the most relevant environments for bioprospecting. Freshwater and soil were most diverse and shared more than half of all operational taxonomic units (OTUs), however, their communities were significantly distinct. Oceans hosted the highest genetic novelty, and did not share any OTUs with the other environments; also, marine samples host more diversity in warm waters. Symbiotic genera usually found in lichens such as Trebouxia, Myrmecia and Symbiochloris were also abundantly detected in the ocean, suggesting either free-living lifestyles or unknown symbiotic relationships with marine planktonic organisms. Altogether, our study opens the way to new prospection for trebouxiophycean strains, especially in understudied environments like the ocean.


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