University Of Tasmania
ISME_20181004_Parasitic Syndiniales DNA dominates Southern Ocean REVISED.docx (69.1 kB)

A globally distributed Syndiniales parasite dominates the Southern Ocean micro-eukaryote community near the sea-ice edge

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 00:10 authored by Laurence ClarkeLaurence Clarke, Sophie BestleySophie Bestley, Bissett, A, Deagle, BE
Syndiniales (Dinophyceae, Alveolata) are a diverse parasitic group common in all marine environments, but their ecological role remains poorly understood. Here we show an unprecedented dominance of a single Syndiniales group I operational taxonomic unit (OTU) across 3000 km of Southern Ocean transects near the sea-ice edge. This super-abundant OTU consistently represented >20%, and in some locations >50%, of eukaryote 18S rDNA sequences. Identical 18S V4 sequences have been isolated from seven Northern Hemisphere locations, and the OTU’s putative V9 rDNA sequence was detected at every station of the global Tara Oceans voyage. Although Syndiniales taxa display some host specificity, our identification of candidate Southern Ocean hosts suggests this OTU associates with distinct phyla in different parts of the world. Our results indicate Syndiniales are key players in surface waters near the vast and dynamic sea-ice edge in the world’s most biologically productive ocean.


Publication title

ISME Journal








Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Nature Publishing Group

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright 2018 International Society for Microbial Ecology

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Biodiversity in Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments; Marine biodiversity; Effects of climate change on Antarctic and sub-Antarctic environments (excl. social impacts)