Remote deep-ocean sediment (DOS) ecosystems are among the least explored biomes on Earth. Genomic assessments of their biodiversity have failed to separate indigenous benthic organisms from sinking plankton. Here, we compare global-scale eukaryotic DNA metabarcoding datasets (18S-V9) from abyssal and lower bathyal surficial sediments and euphotic and aphotic ocean pelagic layers to distinguish plankton from benthic diversity in sediment material.
Diatoms constitute a diverse lineage of unicellular organisms abundant and ecologically important in aquatic ecosystems. Compared to other protists, their biology and taxonomy are well-studied, offering the opportunity to combine traditional approaches and new technologies. We examined a dataset of diatom 18S rRNA- and rDNA- (V4 region) reads from different plankton size-fractions and sediments from six European coastal marine sites, with the aim of identifying peculiarities and commonalities with respect to the whole protistan community.
Marine protist diversity in European coastal waters and sediments as revealed by high-throughput sequencing
Although protists are critical components of marine ecosystems, they are still poorly characterized. Here we analysed the taxonomic diversity of planktonic and benthic protist communities collected in six distant European coastal sites. Environmental deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA) from three size fractions (pico-, nano- and micro/mesoplankton), as well as from dissolved DNA and surface sediments were used as templates for tag pyrosequencing of the V4 region of the 18S ribosomal DNA.