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AME 82:31-42 (2018)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/ame01881

Response of active picoeukaryotes to the deposition of Saharan dust and European aerosols in the eastern Mediterranean Sea

Wenxue Wu1,2, Cui Guo2,3, Paraskevi Pitta4, Hongbin Liu2,5,*

1School of Marine Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, 519082 Zhuhai, Guangdong, PR China
2Division of Life Science, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong SAR, PR China
3College of Marine Life Science, Ocean University of China, 266003 Qingdao, Shandong, PR China
4Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Institute of Oceanography, 71003 Heraklion, Crete, Greece
5Department of Ocean Science, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong SAR, PR China
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Atmospheric depositions are overwhelmingly recognized as being a driving force in marine ecosystems. However, little is known about the effect of atmospheric depositions on the active fraction of picoeukaryotic communities. Here, we reported the results of a mesocosm experiment which was designed to test the effects of Saharan dust (hereafter referred to as Dust) and European aerosols (hereafter called Aerosols) on planktonic communities in the eastern Mediterranean Sea (EMS). Pyrosequencing was performed (on Days 2 and 6 of a 9 d long incubation) for the V2-V3 region of 18S rRNA (from RNA that was reverse transcribed into cDNA) to determine community variations of active picoeukaryotes. Our results showed that Haptophyta represented the most active group on Days 2 and 6 (i.e. with relative abundances >78% in the Dust and Aerosols treatment groups as well as in the control), and they accounted for the major response of active picoeukaryotes to the addition of Dust and Aerosols (especially on Day 2). Our data also showed that the deposition of Dust and Aerosols differently influenced the composition of active picoeukaryotes, which included a number of unique taxa. In particular, the deposition of Dust led to a higher richness of active picoeukaryotes when compared with the deposition of Aerosols. In summary, our findings reveal the major influence of Dust and Aerosols on the community pattern of active picoeukaryotes in the EMS.


KEY WORDS: Mesocosm · Pyrosequencing · 18S rRNA · Atmospheric deposition · Haptophyta


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Cite this article as: Wu W, Guo C, Pitta P, Liu H (2018) Response of active picoeukaryotes to the deposition of Saharan dust and European aerosols in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Aquat Microb Ecol 82:31-42. https://doi.org/10.3354/ame01881

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