Vernalophrys algivore gen. nov., sp. nov. (Rhizaria: Cercozoa: Vampyrellida), a new algal predator isolated from outdoor mass culture of Scenedesmus dimorphus

Yingchun Gong, David J. Patterson, Yunguang Li, Zixuan Hu, Milton Sommerfeld, Yongsheng Chen, Qiang Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Microbial contamination is the main cause of loss of biomass yield in microalgal cultures, especially under outdoor environmental conditions. Little is known about the identities of microbial contaminants in outdoor mass algal cultures. In this study, a new genus and species of vampyrellid amoeba, Vernalophrys algivore, is described from cultures of Scenedesmus dimorphus in open raceway ponds and outdoor flat-panel photobioreactors. This vampyrellid amoeba was a significant grazer of Scenedesmus andwas frequently associated with a very rapid decline in algal numbers. We report on the morphology, subcellular structure, feeding behavior, molecular phylogeny, and life cycle. The new amoeba resembles Leptophrys in the shape of trophozoites and pseudopodia and in the mechanism of feeding (mainly by engulfment). It possesses two distinctive regions in helix E10_1 (nucleotides 117 to 119, CAA) and E23_1 (nucleotides 522 and 523, AG) of the 18S rRNA gene. It did not form a monophyletic group with Leptophrys in molecular phylogenetic trees. We establish a new genus, Vernalophrys, with the type species Vernalophrys algivore. The occurrence, impact of the amoeba on mass culture of S. dimorphus, and means to reduce vampyrellid amoeba contamination in Scenedesmus cultures are addressed. The information obtained from this study will be useful for developing an early warning system and control measures for preventing or treating this contaminant in microalgal mass cultures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3900-3913
Number of pages14
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Volume81
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Ecology

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