Surface ocean metabarcoding confirms limited diversity in planktonic foraminifera but reveals unknown hyper-abundant lineages

Abstract : Since the advent of DNA metabarcoding surveys, the planktonic realm is considered a treasure trove of diversity, inhabited by a small number of abundant taxa, and a hugely diverse and taxonomically uncharacterized consortium of rare species. Here we assess if the apparent underestimation of plankton diversity applies universally. We target planktonic foraminifera, a group of protists whose known morphological diversity is limited, taxonomically resolved and linked to ribosomal DNA barcodes. We generated a pyrosequencing dataset of ~100,000 partial 18S rRNA foraminiferal sequences from 32 size fractioned photic-zone plankton samples collected at 8 stations in the Indian and Atlantic Oceans during the Tara Oceans expedition (2009–2012). We identified 69 genetic types belonging to 41 morphotaxa in our metabarcoding dataset. The diversity saturated at local and regional scale as well as in the three size fractions and the two depths sampled indicating that the diversity of foraminifera is modest and finite. The large majority of the newly discovered lineages occur in the small size fraction, neglected by classical taxonomy. These unknown lineages dominate the bulk [>0.8 µm] size fraction, implying that a considerable part of the planktonic foraminifera community biomass has its origin in unknown lineages.
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Raphael Morard, Marie-José Garet-Delmas, Frédéric Mahé, Sarah Romac, Julie Poulain, et al.. Surface ocean metabarcoding confirms limited diversity in planktonic foraminifera but reveals unknown hyper-abundant lineages. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2018, 8, pp.2539. ⟨10.1038/s41598-018-20833-z⟩. ⟨hal-01718031⟩

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