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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS - Vol. 486 - Feature article
Thraustochytrid protists (here: a single cell is shown here stained with acriflavine) are an often overlooked part of the marine microbial food chain. Photo: Takeshi Naganuma

Nakai R, Nakamura K, Jadoon WA, Kashihara K, Naganuma T


Genus-specific quantitative PCR of thraustochytrid protists


Thraustochytrid protists are often an overlooked part of the estuarine/marine microbial food chain. However, their important ability to recycle refractory organic matter receives increasing attention from researchers. Thraustochytrids also produce polyunsaturated fatty acids (FAs), such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are essential FAs for many animals, including fish and shrimp larvae. As thraustochytrid ecological function and abundance may vary among species, taxon-specific quantification using molecular probes is needed. Nakai and co-workers have developed and evaluated a new qPCR system for thraustochytrids with genus-specific DNA markers. This method offers a powerful and easy-to-use tool for rapid, genus-specific enumeration of 7 thraustochytrid genera and will increase our understanding of thraustochytrid diversity in the marine ecosystem.


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