Caught in the act: Anatomy of an ongoing benthic-planktonic transition in a marine protist

Kucera, Michal, Silye, Lorand, Weiner, Agnes K. M., Darling, Kate, Lübben, Birgit, Holzmann, Maria, Pawlowski, Jan, Schönfeld, Joachim and Morard, Raphael (2017) Caught in the act: Anatomy of an ongoing benthic-planktonic transition in a marine protist Journal of Plankton Research, 39 (3). pp. 436-449. DOI 10.1093/plankt/fbx018.

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The transition from benthos to plankton requires multiple adaptations, yet so far it remains unclear how these are acquired in the course of the transition. To investigate this process, we analyzed the genetic diversity and distribution patterns of a group of foraminifera of the genus Bolivina with a tychopelagic mode of life (same species occurring both in benthos and plankton). We assembled a global sequence data set for this group from single-cell DNA extractions and occurrences in metabarcodes from pelagic environmental samples. The pelagic sequences all cluster within a single monophyletic clade within Bolivina. This clade harbors three distinct genetic lineages, which are associated with incipient morphological differentiation. All lineages occur in the plankton and benthos, but only one lineage exhibits no limit to offshore dispersal and has been shown to grow in the plankton. These observations indicate that the emergence of buoyancy regulation within the clade preceded the evolution of pelagic feeding and that the evolution of both traits was not channeled into a full transition into the plankton. We infer that in foraminifera, colonization of the planktonic niche may occur by sequential cooptation of independently acquired traits, with holoplanktonic species being recruited from tychopelagic ancestors

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: Sanger sequencing data generated for this study are available at NCBI under the accession numbers KY697149–KY697186. The supplementary materials are accessible at the PANGEA database: https://doi.
Keywords: foraminifera, tychopelagic, bentho-pelagic transition, RV Charles Darwin (148), RV Pelagia (65PE304), FS Sonne (SO 221), FS Meteor (M69/1)
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-P-OZ Paleo-Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1093/plankt/fbx018
ISSN: 0142-7873
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2017 07:51
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2017 12:09

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