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Genetic and phenotypic characterization of Phaeodactylum tricornutum (Bacillariophyceae) accessions
De Martino, A.; Meichenin, A.; Shi, J.; Pan, K.; Bowler, C. (2007). Genetic and phenotypic characterization of Phaeodactylum tricornutum (Bacillariophyceae) accessions. J. Phycol. 43(5): 992-1009.
In: Journal of Phycology. Blackwell Science: New York. ISSN 0022-3646, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Author keywords
    AFLP; ecophenotype; genotype; ITS probe; model diatom; pleiomorphism

Authors  Top 
  • De Martino, A.
  • Meichenin, A.
  • Shi, J.
  • Pan, K.
  • Bowler, C.

    In the last few years, genome-based studies in diatoms have received a major boost following the genome sequencing of the centric species Thalassiosira pseudonana Hasle et Heimdal and the pleiomorphic raphid pennate diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum Bohlin. In addition, molecular tools, such as genetic transformation, have been developed for both species. Despite these molecular advances, relatively little is known regarding the genetic diversity of the available strains of these diatoms. In this study, we have compiled a historical summary of the known P. tricornutum species resources and have provided a genetic and phenotypic overview of 10 different axenic strains. Examination of intraspecies genetic diversity based on internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) sequence and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analyses indicate four different genotypes. Seven strains are predominantly fusiform, whereas one strain is predominantly oval, and another is predominantly triradiate. Another is defined as a tropical strain because it appears better acclimated to growth at higher temperatures. Observations in the natural environment indicate that P. tricornutum is a coastal marine diatom that is able to adapt to unstable environments, such as estuaries and rock pools. Because it has rarely been noted in nature, we have developed specific primers to amplify ITS2 sequences and have successfully identified it in environmental samples. These resources should become useful tools for the diatom community when combined with the whole genome sequence and will open up a range of new possibilities for experimental investigations that can exploit the genotypic and phenotypic characteristics described.

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