Abstract Detail



Phycology

Pietrasiak, Nicole [1], Granite, Anthony [1], Stovall, Megan [1], Shalygin, Sergei [2], Johansen, Jeffrey [3].

Revealing the cyanobacterial diversity of a wet rock wall at Vernal Falls, Yosemite National Park, CA.

Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae can be found in almost all aquatic and terrestrial habitats exposed to sunlight. They are especially diverse in biofilms on rock surfaces associated with permanent or ephemeral waterfalls. However, epilithic cyanobacterial floras from North America are sparse. Our objective was to explore the cyanobacterial diversity from wet rock walls at Vernal Falls, Yosemite National Park, CA. Dried herbarium rock specimens were rolled onto Z8 agar plates for inoculation. We isolated 108 cyanobacterial strains that were classified into 25 morphotypes. Genomic DNA was extracted from representative unialgal cultures of each morphotype and the 16S rRNA and 16S-23S ITS gene regions were amplified, cloned, and sequenced. Sequences were aligned with MAFFT and phylogenetic analysis was done with RAxML 8.2.9. We discovered 18 genus level clades within 11 families. The sequences represented genera previously difficult to culture or recognized as rare including morphotypes such as EucapsisAsterocapsaCapsosira, Chlorogloeopsis, and Dichothrix. Also, sequences of some strains fell into order and family level phylogenetic clades not consistent with current taxonomic classification. We also found taxa that do not fit current species descriptions which grouped into unique monophyletic clades in our 16S phylogeny, pointing to putative new taxa. Our results highlight the uniqueness of biodiversity in this poorly surveyed habitat and presents new insights into phylogenetic relationships between epilithic cyanobacteria. 


1 - New Mexico State University, Plant and Environmental Sciences, 945 College Dr, Las Cruces, NM, 88003, USA
2 - New Mexico State University, Plant and Environmental Sciences, 945 College Dr., Las Cruces, NM, 88003, USA
3 - Dept Of Biology, John Carroll Univ, University Heights, OH, 44118, United States

Keywords:
Cyanobacteria
algae
California
epilithic
Biodiversity
phylogeny.

Presentation Type: Poster Time and date to be determined
Number: PPY003
Abstract ID:764
Candidate for Awards:None


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