Next generation sequencing to identify lacustrine haptophytes in the Canadian Prairies: significance for temperature proxy applications

Plancq, J. , Couto, J., Ijaz, U. Z. , Leavitt, P. R. and Toney, J. (2019) Next generation sequencing to identify lacustrine haptophytes in the Canadian Prairies: significance for temperature proxy applications. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 124(7), pp. 2144-2158. (doi: 10.1029/2018JG004954)

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The Great Plains of North America often experience prolonged droughts that have major economic and environmental impacts. Temperature reconstructions are thus crucial to help decipher the mechanisms responsible for drought occurrences. Long-chain alkenones (LCAs), lipids produced by three major phylogenetic groups (Group I, II and III) of haptophyte algae within the order Isochrysidales, are increasingly used for temperature reconstructions in lacustrine settings. However, to select the most appropriate calibration of the LCA-based temperature proxy, it is first essential to identify the LCA-producing haptophyte species present. Here we used next generation sequencing to target the 18S rRNA haptophyte gene from sediments with distinct LCA profiles to identify the LCA-producer(s) from five Canadian prairie lakes. In total, 374 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were identified across the studied samples, of which 234 fell within the Phylum Haptophyta. Among the most abundant OTUs, three were characterized as LCA-producers, one falling within the Group I haptophytes and two within the Group II haptophytes. The OTU from Group I haptophytes was associated with a single, highly-specific LCA profile, whereas Group II OTUs showed higher variability in LCA distributions. Our study revealed that most of the LCA-producing OTUs thriving in the Canadian lakes are included within the genus Isochrysis, which helps guide selection of the most appropriate calibration for down-core temperature reconstructions. Our findings also suggest that the temperature dependency is likely consistent within different taxa from Group I and Group II haptophytes, but that other environmental parameters may influence the accuracy of the calibration.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Toney, Professor Jaime and Plancq, Dr Julien and Couto, Dr Jillian and Ijaz, Dr Umer
Authors: Plancq, J., Couto, J., Ijaz, U. Z., Leavitt, P. R., and Toney, J.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Infrastructure and Environment
College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences
Publisher:American Geophysical Union
ISSN (Online):2169-8961
Published Online:18 July 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 American Geophysical Union
First Published:First published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences 124:2144-2158
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
664731AlkenoneJaime ToneyEuropean Research Council (ERC)N/AGES - GES ADMINISTRATION
652772Understanding microbial community through in situ environmental 'omic data synthesisUmer Zeeshan IjazNatural Environment Research Council (NERC)NE/L011956/1ENG - ENGINEERING INFRASTRUCTURE & ENVIR
621352Synthetic Biology applications to Water Supply and RemediationSteven BeaumontEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/K038885/1VPO VICE PRINCIPAL RESEARCH & ENTERPRISE