New algal cultures from the Arctic

New algal cultures from the Arctic

At UiO, post doc. Luka Ĺ upraha has isolated 100 monoalgal strains from the Nansen Legacy cruise to the Northern Barents sea in August 2018. The strains are now being characterized genetically and morphologically in the electron microscope and will be placed taxonomically by phylogenetic analyses, as part of the TaxMArc project. Sixty-six strains are diatoms, 18 are dinoflagellates, 5 are chlorophytes, 5 are cryptophytes, one is a haptophyte and six are picoalgal strains which are not yet taxonomically assigned. Seventy of the strains were isolated from ice stations in the Arctic Ocean and 30 from the open water stations in the Barents Sea. Their DNA sequences will be used to connect genotypes to morphotypes and to improve the reference databases used during metabarcoding analyses to reveal the protist community composition. New species for science will be described and their biogeographical distribution examined, to assess if any taxa are endemic to the Arctic. Strains are available upon request for AeN participants, and will eventually be available for everyone through the Norwegian Culture Collection of Algae (NORCCA), after they have been properly characterized.