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Characterization of a new species in the genus Didymosphenia and of Cymbella janischii (Bacillariophyta) from Connecticut, USA

Khan-Bureau, Diba A., Morales, Eduardo A., Ector, Luc, Beauchene, Michael S., Lewis, Louise A.
European journal of phycology 2016 v.51 no.2 pp. 203-216
Cymbella, barcoding, genes, new species, phylogeny, polymerase chain reaction, ribosomal DNA, rivers, scanning electron microscopy, summer, Connecticut, Connecticut River, Idaho, Italy, New Zealand, Russia, Texas
Two non-native stalk-forming diatoms that were recently observed in the West Branch of the Farmington River, a tributary of the Connecticut River in Connecticut (USA), are characterized morphologically and barcode marker sequences were obtained for each of them. Cymbella janischii , the dominant stalk-forming species during the summer of 2012, previously had not been found in the northeastern USA. Samples of C. janischii were examined microscopically and used to obtain four sequences of the barcode marker, the V4 region of the 18S rDNA gene. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the four independent sequences of C. janischii were distinct from, but most closely related to, published sequences of C. janischii from Idaho and C. mexicana from Texas, USA. A second non-native stalk-producing diatom, resembling Didymosphenia geminata , was found in November 2012 – June 2013 and first reported as Didymosphenia sp. Over this period, the observed cells had a compressed morphology and were consistently small compared with D. geminata . Sequences of the V4 region, obtained from three independent direct polymerase chain reactions (PCR) of single cells isolated from the Connecticut samples, indicated a close relationship to three published sequences of D. geminata from Italy, New Zealand and the USA, and to D. siberica and D. dentata from Russia. Frustules of the cells used in the PCR reactions were recovered and examined using scanning electron microscopy, providing a direct link between the observed morphology and sequence data. The morphology of the novel Connecticut Didymosphenia taxon was compared with that of other Didymosphenia taxa, being most similar to D. pumila , D. laticollis , D. grunowii and smaller cells of D. geminata. Didymosphenia sp. had a triundulate morphology with a consistent length of 40–60 µm. Given the unique morphological features of this diatom, it is proposed as a new species, Didymosphenia hullii Khan-Bureau, sp. nov.