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J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2016, 4(1), 11; doi:10.3390/jmse4010011

Algal Community Membership of Estuarine Mudflats from the Savannah River, United States

1
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Georgia College and State University, Milledgeville, GA 31061, USA
2
Imerys Ceramics, Langley, SC 29834, USA
Those authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Angelika Brandt
Received: 16 October 2015 / Revised: 29 January 2016 / Accepted: 29 January 2016 / Published: 22 February 2016
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Abstract

Algae represent a large and diverse group of photosynthetic organisms inhabiting all aquatic habitats. Although the traditional assessment of algal diversity relies mainly on microscopy-based morphological identification, certain limitations exist. In this study, we present a combined molecular and morphological assessment of algal diversity in mudflats from the Savannah River Estuary, Georgia. High diversity of diatoms was documented, and less than 20% of the algal community was physiologically active at the time of collection. From the total genomic DNA extracted from the field samples and lab isolates, 18S rDNA sequences were PCR amplified, cloned, sequenced, identified, and then compared to the taxa identified via microscopy. Only a few of the DNA sequences matched documented taxa, and the abundance of particular algal species was limited to morphological analysis. Surprisingly, upon examination of the remaining lysis buffer from the mechanical lysis step of algal cells, diatom species were left intact even in the presence of a detergent indicating that the diatom species resistant to lysis could be easily underrepresented. Generation of additional algal sequences data, tied to accurate taxonomic identification, is essential to current environmental sequencing projects and potentially would allow faster acquisition of algal community structure within these unique environments. View Full-Text
Keywords: Savannah River; diatoms; mudflats; species identification Savannah River; diatoms; mudflats; species identification
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Manoylov, K.M.; France, Y.E.; Geletu, A.; Dominy, J.N. Algal Community Membership of Estuarine Mudflats from the Savannah River, United States. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2016, 4, 11.

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