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Protistan assemblages across the Indian Ocean, with a specific emphasis on the picoeukaryotes

AuthorsNot, Fabrice CSIC ORCID; Latasa, Mikel CSIC ORCID; Scharek, Renate CSIC ORCID; Viprey, Manon; Karleskind, Pierre; Balagué, Vanessa CSIC ORCID ; Ontoria-Oviedo, Imelda ORCID; Cumino, Andrea; Goetze, Erica; Vaulot, Daniel; Massana, Ramon CSIC ORCID
Indian Ocean
Issue DateNov-2008
CitationDeep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers 55(11): 1456-1473 (2008)
AbstractProtists, and among them the picoeukaryotes (cells<3 μm), have been described as significant contributors to both carbon biomass and production in oligotrophic regions of the oceans. However, protist assemblages remain largely undescribed in pelagic ecosystems and in particular in the Indian Ocean. In the present work, we investigated protists along an eastward transect across the sub-tropical gyre of the Indian Ocean (from South Africa to Australia), with a particular focus on picoeukaryotes. We combined inverted and epifluorescence microscopy, flow cytometry, pigment analysis, denaturing gel gradient electrophoresis (DGGE), 18S rDNA clone libraries, and fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). Overall the picophytoplankton fraction contributed 88% and 90% of total Chl a at the surface and DCM, respectively, with picoeukaryotes accounting for 38% and 50% of total Chl a at the surface and DCM. Considering only the Indian South Subtropical Gyre (ISSG) province, we observed greater shifts in the picoeukaryotic assemblage throughout the upper 200 m of the water column than along the ca. 10,000 km cruise track. In terms of taxonomic diversity and contribution of each taxon to the picoeukaryotic community, prasinophytes were well represented at more coastal stations with the genus Micromonas reaching densities up to 750 cell mL−1 in coastal waters and less than 100 cell mL−1 at open ocean stations. Haptophytes (56% and 45% of picoeukaryotic pigments at surface and DCM, respectively) and possibly pelagophytes (28% and 40% of picoeukaryotic pigments at surface and DCM, respectively) appeared to be dominant at open ocean stations. Other groups and in particular organisms affiliated to chrysophytes, and to a lesser extent to cryptophytes, appear as clear targets for future qualitative and quantitative studies. Moreover, the occurrence of many sequences related to radiolarians (5% and 27% at surface and DCM, respectively) will require further investigation
Description18 pages, 9 figures, 3 tables.-- Supporting information (Suppl. tables S1-S7, 20 pages) available at:
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