Pelagophyceae sp. CCMP2097 v1.0
Pelagophyceae sp. CCMP2097
Photo credit: Niels Daugbjerg

CCMP2097 has been sequenced as part of the Arctic Chromist project which includes 5 nanoflagellates from divergent lineages. All of these algae were isolated from the same region of the Arctic and a goal of the project is to investigate the potential for genetic signatures of algae living under perennially cold conditions. The samples for isolation were collected in the Arctic summer with 24h daylengths. The surface waters of Northern Baffin Bay where the algae were isolated are typically from  -1.7 – 2 °C. All algae were isolated using a dilution technique where subsamples of starting sample were placed initially in 6- or 12-well multiwell plates and transferred to different media when swimming cells were detected using an inverted microscope. Resulting unialgal cultures have been maintained in natural aged and filtered  seawater amended with standard media.

The pelagophyte (CCMP2097) was originally collected from a small (ca. 20 mm diameter) ice melt hole in June 1998 (77.0014° N  77.2383° W). The meltwater sample was collected aboard the Canadian Coast Icebreaker CCGS Pierre Radisson as part of the NorthWater Polynya Study (NOW) in Northern Baffin Bay, which is between Greenland and Ellesmere Island. Because of brine release the melt hole was saline but salinity was not measured at the time. The culture has been maintained in seawater but not tested for salinity tolerance to our knowledge.

Pelagophytes are classified as stramenopiles and are distantly related to diatoms. The most well known pelagophytes are Aureococcus anophagefferens and Aureoumbra lagunensis which cause ‘brown tides’ in subtropical and temperate waters. CCMP2097 is in a different clade that is provisionally Arctic specific. The culture itself is golden; notable accessory pigments include chl c2 and diadinoxanthin.

Additional transcriptomes of the culture where CCMP2097 was grown under different culture conditions (urea as a nitrogen source, nitrate as a nitrogen source, high light (HL), low light (LL)) are available as part of the Marine Microbial Eukaryote Transcription Project .

Currently the culture is being taxonomically described and a complete description will be available on publication.

(written by C. Lovejoy, who initially isolated the culture and has maintained it in culture)