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Heterocyte-forming cyanobacteria from Brazilian saline-alkaline lakes

Genuário, Diego Bonaldo, Andreote, Ana Paula Dini, Vaz, Marcelo Gomes Marçal Vieira, Fiore, Marli Fátima
Molecular phylogenetics and evolution 2017 v.109 pp. 105-112
Anabaenopsis, algae, bacteriology, biological nomenclature, ecosystems, fungi, genetic variation, lakes, microscopy, morphs, nitrogen fixation, nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria, nucleotide sequences, phylogeny, plants (botany), ribosomal RNA, Pantanal
Studies investigating the diversity of cyanobacteria from tropical environments are scarce, especially those devoted to the isolation and molecular characterization of the isolated strains. Among the Brazilian biomes, Pantanal has mainly been examined through microscopic observation of environmental samples, resulting in lists of morphotypes without any genetic information. Recently, two studies were conducted evaluating the morphologic and genetic diversity of cultured non-heterocytous cyanobacteria in this biome, which resulted in the separation and description of two novel genera. In order to complement the diversity of cultured cyanobacteria from saline-alkaline lakes in Pantanal, the present study is dedicated to the examination of cultured nitrogen-fixing heterocytous cyanobacteria from this extreme and underexplored environment. A total of fourteen cyanobacterial strains were isolated. According to morphological examination they belong to the order Nostocales and to the subsections IV.I and IV.II, according to the International Code of Nomenclature for Algae, Fungi and Plants and the Bergey’s Manual of Systematic Bacteriology, respectively. Phylogenetic evaluation of their 16S rRNA gene sequences resulted in the formation of five clusters. Among them, one is clearly related to the genus Anabaenopsis whilst the remaining clusters may represent new genetic lineages. These novel sequences aid in the delimitation of problematic groups, especially those containing sequences belonging to mixed genera. The application of both morphologic and phylogenetic studies has proven to be an important tool in resolving problematic groups in cyanobacteria systematics. This strategy is essential in order to detect novel cyanobacteria genera from other tropical environments.