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Obtaining genetic diatom diversity from arctic lake sediments

Kathleen STOOF-LEICHSENRING

Kathleen R. Stoof-Leichsenring1, 2, Ludmila Pestryakova3, Ulrike Herzschuh1, 4 & Ralph Tiedemann2

1Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Periglacial Research, Am Telegrafenberg 43A, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
2University of Potsdam, Institute of Biochemistry and Biology, Unit of Evolutionary Biology/Systematic Zoology, Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse 24-25, 14476 Potsdam, Germany
3North-Eastern Federal University of Yakutsk, Department for Geography and Biology, ul. Belinskogo 58, 677000 Yakutsk, Russia
4University of Potsdam, Institute of Earth and Environmental Science, Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse 24-25, Potsdam, Germany

Our studies on diatom diversity from arctic lake sediments have elucidated a very high genetic variation in diatoms from the genus Staurosira and related fragilaroid species. These taxa dominate many cold and shallow waters in the Arctic. They are minute and morphologically very similar and thus hardly to distinguish.
The genetic diversity in these taxa has been obtained by DNA analyses of bulk sediment samples, utilizing the ribuose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase large subunit (rbcL) gene. Our investigations were two-fold: 1.) A spatial approach was applied to analyze the genetic diversity along three transects (in total 25 lakes) spreading from typical tundra to northern taiga using a 191bp rbcL fragment and 2.) A temporal approach was used to discover the genetic diversity through a sediment core (covering approximately the last 7000 years of lake history) availing a shorter 67bp rbcL fragment.
Both fragments (191bp and 67bp) detected group specific genetic diversity in Staurosira and showed evolutionary distinct lineages in space and time. However, the discovered diversity is still underestimated, due to a limited number of observed clones.
Therefore, we are now planning to analyze the sediment short core in more detail using Illumina sequencing. With the enlarged data set and the increasing resolution we hope to confirm the cloning data and support our hypothesis about the correlation of haplotype distribution and environmental changes over time.

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Editorial board
  • BRANDNER Melissa
    • University of Nordland
    • Bodø (Norway)
  • BROCHMANN Christian
    • National Centre for Biosystematics
    • Oslo (Norway)
  • CHARITON Anthony
    • CSIRO Land and Water
    • Lucas Heights NA (Australia)
  • DEAGLE Bruce
    • University of Victoria
    • Victoria (Canada)
  • Eric Coissac
    • LECA
    • Grenoble (France)
  • KASAPIDIS Panagiotis
    • Hellenic Center for Marine Research
    • Irakleion, Crete (Greece)
  • PAWLOWSKI Jan
    • Université de Genève
    • Genève 4 (Switzerland)
  • TABERLET Pierre
    • LECA,
    • Grenoble (France)
  • WILLERSLEV Eske
    • Centre for GeoGenetics
    • Copenhagen (Denmark)
  • ZINGER Lucie
    • IBENS
    • Paris (France)
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