Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 635–639 | Cite as

Phylogenetic position of Dunaliella acidophila (Chlorophyceae) based on ITS and rbcL sequences

  • Patrícia Assunção
  • Ruth Jaén-Molina
  • Juli Caujapé-Castells
  • Adelina de la Jara
  • Laura Carmona
  • Karen Freijanes
  • Héctor Mendoza


Dunaliella acidophila is one of the most extreme acidophiles on earth and is able to survive in highly acidic habitats. This characteristic has made this organism the universal model for the study of abiotic stress. Although D. acidophila is currently circumscribed to the subgenus Pascheria within Dunaliella Teodoresco (Chlorophyceae), its taxonomic position has stirred controversy. The comparison of D. acidophila CCAP19/35 internal transcribed spacers (including ITS2 secondary structure analysis) and RuBisCo large subunit (rbcL) sequences with other Dunaliella species confirms that D. acidophila should maintain its phylogenetic position within the genus Dunaliella, suggesting its inclusion within the subgenus Dunaliella. Furthermore, the ITS1 and ITS2 data revealed that D. acidophila was highly divergent from the other freshwater species assessed, D. lateralis, with which it barely shares a 56.8% similarity.


Chlorophyta Dunaliella acidophila Internal transcribed spacer Freshwater rbcL Taxonomy 



This research was supported by BANGEN-Banco Genético de la Macaronesia (INTERREG-IIIB, MAC/1/C070). We thank the Cabildo de Gran Canaria for allowing the collaboration of the Departamento de Biodiversidad Molecular y Banco de ADN at the Jardín Botánico Canario “Viera y Clavijo”–Unidad Asociada CSIC, and for continuous support to all its research lines. We also thank Dr. Hisayoshi Nozaki (University of Tokyo, Japan) and Dr. Mark A. Buchheim (The University of Tulsa, OK, USA) for their recommendations regarding rbcL primers. Finally, we would like to thank Dr. Matthias Wolf (University of Wuerzburg, Germany) for his help with the software for the ITS2 secondary structure analysis.

Supplementary material

10811_2011_9676_MOESM1_ESM.doc (95 kb)
Table 1 Species, culture collections, origin, ITS and rbcL Genbank accession numbers of the strains included in this study. (DOC 95 kb)
10811_2011_9676_Fig2_ESM.jpg (223 kb)
Fig. 1

Distance tree obtained with the ITS2 secondary structure analysis of Dunaliella species (see material & methods). (JPEG 223 kb)

10811_2011_9676_MOESM2_ESM.tif (2.8 mb)
High Resolution Image File (TIFF 2888 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrícia Assunção
    • 1
  • Ruth Jaén-Molina
    • 2
  • Juli Caujapé-Castells
    • 2
  • Adelina de la Jara
    • 1
  • Laura Carmona
    • 1
  • Karen Freijanes
    • 1
  • Héctor Mendoza
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Biotecnología, División de Investigación y Desarrollo TecnológicoInstituto Tecnológico de Canarias (ITC)Sta. LucíaSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Biodiversidad Molecular y Banco de ADN de la Flora CanariaJardín Botánico Canario “Viera y Clavijo”–Unidad Asociada CSICLas Palmas de Gran CanariaSpain

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