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Beatrice Lecroq

  • Ultra-deep sequencing of foraminiferal microbarcodes unveils hidden richness of early monothalamous lineages in deep-sea sediments. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2011 Aug;108(32):13177-82. 1018426108. 10.1073/pnas.1018426108. PMC3156150.

    abstract

    Deep-sea floors represent one of the largest and most complex ecosystems on Earth but remain essentially unexplored. The vastness and remoteness of this ecosystem make deep-sea sampling difficult, hampering traditional taxonomic observations and diversity assessment. This problem is particularly true in the case of the deep-sea meiofauna, which largely comprises small-sized, fragile, and difficult-to-identify metazoans and protists. Here, we introduce an ultra-deep sequencing-based metagenetic approach to examine the richness of benthic foraminifera, a principal component of deep-sea meiofauna. We used Illumina sequencing technology to assess foraminiferal richness in 31 unsieved deep-sea sediment samples from five distinct oceanic regions. We sequenced an extremely short fragment (36 bases) of the small subunit ribosomal DNA hypervariable region 37f, which has been shown to accurately distinguish foraminiferal species. In total, we obtained 495,978 unique sequences that were grouped into 1,643 operational taxonomic units, of which about half (841) could be reliably assigned to foraminifera. The vast majority of the operational taxonomic units (nearly 90%) were either assigned to early (ancient) lineages of soft-walled, single-chambered (monothalamous) foraminifera or remained undetermined and yet possibly belong to unknown early lineages. Contrasting with the classical view of multichambered taxa dominating foraminiferal assemblages, our work reflects an unexpected diversity of monothalamous lineages that are as yet unknown using conventional micropaleontological observations. Although we can only speculate about their morphology, the immense richness of deep-sea phylotypes revealed by this study suggests that ultra-deep sequencing can improve understanding of deep-sea benthic diversity considered until now as unknowable based on a traditional taxonomic approach.

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  • Short rDNA barcodes for species identification in foraminifera. J. Eukaryot. Microbiol. ;57(2):197-205. JEU468. 10.1111/j.1550-7408.2009.00468.x.

    abstract

    Ribosomal DNA (rDNA) sequences have been shown to be very useful for identification of microbial eukaryotes. Usually, complete or long partial sequences of the rDNA genes are analysed. However, the development of new massive sequencing technologies producing a large amount of relatively short sequences raises the question about the minimum length of rDNA fragments necessary for species distinction in environmental sampling. To answer this question, we compared six variable regions of the small subunit (SSU) rDNA of foraminifera, known to have rapidly evolving ribosomal genes. For each region, we analysed (1) the sequence divergence between and within foraminiferal morphospecies, (2) the intraspecific polymorphism, and (3) the ability of each region to recognize the phylotypes inferred from analysis of a longer fragment. Our results show that although the variable regions differ considerably between taxonomic groups, most of them perform very well as species identifiers. Taking into account different analyses, the expansion segment of Helix 37 appears to be the best candidate for barcoding foraminifera. We propose that this relatively short region, averaging 50-60 nt in length, could be an ideal barcode for identification of foraminifera in environmental samples using massive sequencing approach.

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  • Global genetic homogeneity in deep-sea foraminiferan Epistominella exigua (Rotaliida:Pseudoparrellidae)

    abstract

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  • A new genus of xenophyophores (Foraminifera) from Japan Trench: morphological description, molecular phylogeny and elemental analysis

    abstract

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  • Molecular analyses reveal high levels of eukaryotic richness associated with enigmatic deep-sea protists (Komokiacea)

    abstract

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