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Phylogenetic analysis of Dunaliella (Chlorophyta) emphasizing new benthic and supralittoral isolates from Great Salt Lake

Henley, William J., Cobbs, Michael, Novoveská, Lucie, Buchheim, Mark A.
Journal of phycology 2018 v.54 no.4 pp. 483-493
Dunaliella salina, branches, calcium, genetic variation, habitats, light microscopy, magnesium, monophyly, monosaccharides, new species, soil, water solubility, Great Salt Lake, Utah
Dunaliella, a commercially important chlorophyte, is globally distributed in saline habitats. Morphological species have not been definitively reconciled with phylogenetic analyses. Considerable genetic diversity continues to be discovered in new isolates, especially from soil and benthic habitats. Twenty‐nine new isolates from Great Salt Lake, Utah, many from benthic or supralittoral habitats, were phylogenetically analyzed using ITS1+5.8S+ITS2 in comparison to a broad sampling of available sequences. A few new isolates align in one branch of a bifurcated monophyletic Dunaliella salina clade and several cluster within monophyletic D. viridis. Several others align with relatively few unnamed strains from other locations, comprising a diverse clade that may represent two or more new species. The overall Dunaliella clade is relatively robust, but the nearest outgroups are ambiguously placed with extremely long branches. About half of the isolates, all from benthic or supralittoral habitats, have been persistently sarcinoid in liquid media since isolation. This trait is spread across the Dunaliella phylogeny. The morphology of two sarcinoid strains was documented with light microscopy, revealing an extensive glycocalyx. Clumping behavior of unicellular and sarcinoid strains was unaffected by presence or absence of Mg²⁺ or Ca²⁺, addition of lectin‐inhibiting monosaccharides, or water‐soluble factors from morphologically opposite strains. Results from this investigation have significantly expanded our current understanding of Dunaliella diversity, but it seems likely that much remains to be discovered with additional sampling.