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Molecular investigation of the ciliate Spirostomum semivirescens, with first transcriptome and new geographical records.

Hines, H. N., Onsbring, H., Ettema, T. J. G. and Esteban, G., 2018. Molecular investigation of the ciliate Spirostomum semivirescens, with first transcriptome and new geographical records. Protist, 169 (6), 875-886.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.protis.2018.08.001


Hunter N. Hines1,3*, Henning Onsbring2*, Thijs J. G. Ettema2 The ciliate Spirostomum semivirescens is a large freshwater protist densely packed with endosymbiotic algae and capable of building a protective coating from surrounding particles. The species has been rarely recorded and it lacks any molecular investigations. We obtained such data from S. semivirescens isolated in the UK and Sweden. Using single-cell RNA sequencing of isolates from both countries, the transcriptome of S. semivirescens was generated. Phylogenetic analysis of the rRNA gene cluster revealed both isolates to be identical. Additionally, rRNA sequence analysis of the green algal endosymbiont revealed that it is closely related to Chlorella vulgaris. Along with the molecular species identification, an analysis of the ciliates’ stop codons was carried out, which revealed a relationship where TGA stop codon frequency decreased with increasing gene expression levels. The observed codon bias suggests that S. semivirescens could be in an early stage of reassigning the TGA stop codon. Analysis of the transcriptome indicates that S. semivirescens potentially uses rhodoquinol-dependent fumarate reduction to respire in the oxygen-depleted habitats where it lives. The data also shows that despite large geographical distances (over 1,600 km) between the sampling sites investigated, a morphologically-identical species can share an exact molecular signature, suggesting that some ciliate species, even those over 1mm in size, could have a global biogeographical distribution.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Protist; stop codon; RNA-seq; anaerobic respiration; symbiotic algae; Heterotrich; biogeography
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:31148
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:22 Aug 2018 15:10
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:12


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