Three new species of Gromia (Protista, Rhizaria) from western Greenland fjords

  • publication
  • 19-04-2021

Gooday, A.J., Holzmann, M., Goetz, E. et al.. Polar Biol 44, 1037–1053 (2021).

Species of large, testate, rhizarian protists in the genus Gromia are often common in high-latitude coastal environments, including fjords, but are frequently overlooked and almost all are undescribed. Here, we describe three new gromiid species from the Nuuk fjord system on the west coast of southern Greenland. Morphologically, the new species differ in the size and shape of the test. Gromia cucumiformis sp. nov. is elongate, up to 5.5 mm long, with a length:width (L/W) ratio of 4.3–5.5; Gromia botelliformis sp. nov. is up to 2.1 mm long, with a L/W ratio of 3.0–4.8; Gromia brevis is typically less than 1.0 mm long, with a L/W ratio around 2.0. Genetically, they are well-characterised and split between two clades. Gromia cucumiformis and G. brevis branch with several species of deep-water gromiids from the Arabian Sea and the Weddell Sea, while G. botelliformis branches with deep Weddell Sea species and several unnamed and morphologically uncharacterised gromiids from different parts of the world. Gromia botelliformis and G. brevis are currently known only from the Nuuk fjords, but sequences of G. cucumiformis from Greenland group together with sequences from Svalbard and the White Sea. Our genetic data reveal four additional clades of undescribed Gromia species. One contains sequences from Greenland, Svalbard and the White Sea, two comprises sequence from Greenland and the White Sea and one is limited to sequences from Greenland. These results demonstrate the high genetic diversity of gromiids and their widespread distribution in Arctic as well as in deep-sea environments.

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