Partner 5 - Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn - Achievements

Partner 5 - Drs. Adriana Zingone, Wiebe Kooistra, and team; Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Naples, Italy.

Despite the withdrawal of Italy from BiodivErsA after the project had been approved, P5 actively participated to BioMarKs by (i) organizing two sampling campaigns in Naples; (ii) participating in all the meetings and contributing to discussions on the project development; (iii) contributing to the handbook of BioMarKs protocols and PR2 database; and (iv) performing morphological analysis of samples from Naples. Data from the starting Italian project MIUR-FIRB-Biodiversitalia (2013-2016) will also be shared within the BioMarks project. P5 focused on diatoms and dinoflagellates and its main scientific outcomes are:

  • Identification and isolation of a new dinoflagellate species during the first and second napolitan BioMarKs sampling sessions. The species, described as Azadinium dexteroporum, was proven to produce novel azaspiracids, which are potentially toxic compounds (Fig. 4).

Figure 4. Azadinium dexteroporum, a new toxic dinoflagellates discovered during BioMarKs sampling in Naples

  • Use of the BioMarKs dataset to analyse the biogeographic patterning of the ancient diatom family Leptocylindracea along the EU coast. Tenuicylindrus belgicus and several species of Leptocylindrus are widely distributed, although some are missing from southern or northern sites (Fig. 5). A possible new species was detected in sequence data from the Oslo Fjord (BioMarKs) and Baffin Bay (Genbank).
  • Examination of overall diatom biodiversity and community structuring. We used the ±2 million BioMarKs 454-V4 rDNA/RNA reads to show that: (i) Leptocylindrus, Chaetoceros, Thalassiosira and Skeletonema are the dominant genera in EU coastal waters, followed by Pseudo-nitzschia; (ii) Chaetoceros is the most diversified lineage according to Phylogenetic Diversity (PD) calculation; (iii) diatom communities cluster according to geographical location, suggesting different patterns of genetic similarity amongst sites.
  • Generation of ±300 pictures of marine protists based on the samples collected and/or cultivated from the two BioMarKs sampling sessions in Naples. Most of the pictures were identified to species or genus level and are available on the BioMarKs website.

Figure 5. Distribution of Leptocylindraceae across the BioMarKs sampling sites