Combined heat shock protein 90 and ribosomal RNA sequence phylogeny supports multiple replacements of dinoflagellate plastids

Kamran Shalchian-Tabrizi, Marianne A Minge, Tom Cavalier-Smith, Joachim M Nedreklepp, Dag Klaveness, Kjetill S Jakobsen
Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology 2006, 53 (3): 217-24
Dinoflagellates harbour diverse plastids obtained from several algal groups, including haptophytes, diatoms, cryptophytes, and prasinophytes. Their major plastid type with the accessory pigment peridinin is found in the vast majority of photosynthetic species. Some species of dinoflagellates have other aberrantly pigmented plastids. We sequenced the nuclear small subunit (SSU) ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene of the "green" dinoflagellate Gymnodinium chlorophorum and show that it is sister to Lepidodinium viride, indicating that their common ancestor obtained the prasinophyte (or other green alga) plastid in one event. As the placement of dinoflagellate species that acquired green algal or haptophyte plastids is unclear from small and large subunit (LSU) rRNA trees, we tested the usefulness of the heat shock protein (Hsp) 90 gene for dinoflagellate phylogeny by sequencing it from four species with aberrant plastids (G. chlorophorum, Karlodinium micrum, Karenia brevis, and Karenia mikimotoi) plus Alexandrium tamarense, and constructing phylogenetic trees for Hsp90 and rRNAs, separately and together. Analyses of the Hsp90 and concatenated data suggest an ancestral origin of the peridinin-containing plastid, and two independent replacements of the peridinin plastid soon after the early radiation of the dinoflagellates. Thus, the Hsp90 gene seems to be a promising phylogenetic marker for dinoflagellate phylogeny.

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