Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Eunsoo Kim, Ph.D.

Center for Comparative Genomics and Evolutionary Biology
Dalhousie University

Exploring the Diversity of Novel, Uncultured Eukaryotic Microbes

Wednesday - July 22, 2009
Pacific Forum – 3:00 p.m.

Environmental DNA sequence surveys have revealed the existence of many new lineages of microorganisms previously undetected by traditional microscopy and culture-based methods. In this presentation I will discuss two such examples, the first being a novel marine phytoplankton. 16S rDNA sequence analysis suggests that this alga contains a red algal-derived plastid with no particular affinity to existing algal groups, and TSA-FISH experiments show that the organism is ~5 µm in size and possesses a single bi-lobed plastid. Interestingly, a dinoflagellate appears to “steal” the plastids of this alga and arranges them in a spiral pattern. The second part of my talk will be about the poorly studied heterotrophic euglenid Petalomonas sphagnophila, which harbors a pigmented endosymbiont 3–6 µm in size. My TEM, molecular and spectral analyses suggest that this endosymbiont is a novel firmicute bacterium.


Next: Christopher Cogan