1887

Abstract

With the advent of molecular phylogenetic methods, it has become possible to assess the bioversity of snow algae more accurately. In this study, we focused on a morphological, ultrastructural and taxonomic description of a new -like alga isolated from snow in the High Arctic (Svalbard). Light and transmission electron microscopy revealed broad ellipsoidal or ellipsoidal–cylindrical, occasionally spherical cells with a chloroplast without a pyrenoid, an inconspicuous eyespot and a papilla. The size difference and the aforementioned morphological traits clearly distinguished the alga from its closest counterparts within the genus . Moreover, we were able to cultivate the alga at both 5 and 20 °C, revealing the psychrotolerant nature of the strain. Phylogenetic analyses of the plastid L and nuclear 18S rRNA gene showed that the alga is nested within a clade containing a number of psychrotolerant strains within the phylogroup (Chlorophyceae). In the L phylogeny, the alga formed an independent lineage, sister to the freshwater species . Comparisons of secondary structure models of a highly variable ITS2 rDNA marker showed support for a distinct species identity for the new strain. The ITS2 secondary structure of the new isolate differed from the closest matches ‘ and by three and five compensatory base changes, respectively. Considering the morphological and molecular differences from its closest relatives, a new psychrotolerant species from the Arctic, sp. nov., is proposed.

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2018-03-01
2019-12-15
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