culture collection consists of a diverse assortment of protists
representing many of the groups found in marine microbial communities
and several novel psychrophilic protists (1,2). The cultures were
originally collected as enrichment samples during a Joint Global
Ocean Flux Study (JGOFS) cruise
and a Life in extreme Environments (LExEn) cruise on board the Nathaniel
B. Palmer (NBP). The protists were collected from water, ice, slush
and sediment environments in the Ross Sea, Antarctica. The collection
now consists of approximately 80 clonal and uniprotistan cultures
in addition to 150 mixed enrichments. Dr. David Caron from the University
of Southern California and Dr. Rebecca Gast from the Woods Hole
Oceanographic Institution are working together to investigate Antarctic
microbial ecology. The protist collection serves as a tool for assessing
Antarctic microbial community structure and function (3). The cultures
are used in physiological experiments such as growth and grazing
experiments (4). The cultures also support molecular field work
by connecting phenotypes with genotypes (5).
1. 2006 Gast, R.J., D.M. Moran, D.J. Beaudoin, J.N.
Blythe, M.R. Dennett and D.A. Caron. High abundance of a novel dinoflagellate
phylotype in the Ross Sea, Antarctica, Journal of Phycology 42:233-242.
2. 2007 Moran, D.M., O.R. Anderson, M.R. Dennett,
D.A. Caron and R.J. Gast. A description of seven Antarctic marine
Gymnamoebae including a new subspecies, two new species and a new
genus: Neoparamoeba aestuarina antarctica n subsp., Platyamoeba
oblongata n. sp., Platyamoeba contorta n. sp. and Vermistella antarctica
n. gen. n. sp., Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology 54(2):169-183.
3. 2007 Gast, R.J., D.M. Moran, M.R.
Dennett and D.A. Caron. Kleptoplasty in an Antarctic dinoflagellate;
caught in evolutionary transition?, Environmental Microbiology 9(1):39-45.
colony cover image.
4. 2007 Rose, JM and DA Caron. Does low temperature
constrain the growth rates of heterotrophic protists? Evidence and
implications for algal blooms in cold waters, Limnology and Oceanography,
2004 Gast, R.J., M.R. Dennett and D.A. Caron. Characterization of
protistan assemblages in the Ross Sea, Antarctica by denaturing
gradient gel electrophoresis, Applied and Environmental Microbiology