A Novel Phytomyxean Parasite Associated with Galls on the Bull-Kelp Durvillaea antarctica (Chamisso) Hariot

Goecke, Franz Ronald, Wiese, Jutta, Nunez, Alejandra, Labes, Antje, Imhoff, Johannes F. and Neuhauser, Sigrid (2012) A Novel Phytomyxean Parasite Associated with Galls on the Bull-Kelp Durvillaea antarctica (Chamisso) Hariot PLoS ONE, 7 (9). e45358. DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0045358.

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Durvillaea antarctica (Fucales, Phaeophyceae) is a large kelp of high ecological and economic significance in the Southern Hemisphere. In natural beds along the central coast of Chile (Pacific Ocean), abnormal growth characterized by evident gall development and discolorations of the fronds/thallus was observed. Analysing these galls by light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy revealed the presence of endophytic eukaryotes showing typical characteristics for phytomyxean parasites. The parasite developed within enlarged cells of the subcortical tissue of the host. Multinucleate plasmodia developed into many, single resting spores. The affiliation of this parasite to the Phytomyxea (Rhizaria) was supported by 18S rDNA data, placing it within the Phagomyxida. Similar microorganisms were already reported once 23 years ago, indicating that these parasites are persistent and widespread in D. antarctica beds for long times. The symptoms caused by this parasite are discussed along with the ecological and economic consequences. Phytomyxean parasites may play an important role in the marine ecosystem, but they remain understudied in this environment. Our results demonstrate for the first time the presence of resting spores in Phagomyxida, an order in which resting spores were thought to be absent making this the first record of a phagomyxean parasite with a complete life cycle so far, challenging the existing taxonomic concepts within the Phytomyxea. The importance of the here described resting spores for the survival and ecology of the phagomyxid parasite will be discussed together with the impact this parasite may have on 'the strongest seaweed of the world', which is an important habitat forming and economic resource from the Southern Hemisphere.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000309742800057
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-MI Marine Microbiology
OceanRep > GEOMAR > Applied R&D > Centre for Marine Substances (KiWiZ)
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1371/journal.pone.0045358
ISSN: 1932-6203
Related URLs:
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2012 08:33
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2018 14:19
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/19148

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