Characterization of 17 new microsatellite markers for the dinoflagellate Alexandrium fundyense (Dinophyceae), a harmful algal bloom species
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Alexandrium fundyense is a toxic marine dinoflagellate responsible for “red tide” events in temperate and sub-arctic waters worldwide. In the Gulf of Maine (GOM) and Bay of Fundy in the Northwest Atlantic, blooms of A. fundyense recur annually and are associated with major health and ecosystem impacts. In this region, microsatellite markers have been used to investigate genetic structure and gene flow; however, the loci currently available for this species were isolated from populations from Japan and the North Sea, and only a subset is suitable for the analysis of A. fundyense populations in the Northwest Atlantic. To facilitate future studies of A. fundyense blooms, both in this region and globally, we isolated and characterized 17 polymorphic microsatellite loci from 31 isolates collected from the GOM and from the Nauset Marsh System, an estuary on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA. These loci yielded between two and 15 alleles per locus, with an average of 7.1. Gene diversities ranged from 0.297 to 0.952. We then analyzed these same 31 isolates using previously published markers for comparison. We determined the new markers are sufficiently variable and better suited for the investigation of genetic structure, bloom dynamics, and diversity in the Northwest Atlantic.
KeywordsAlexandrium fundyense Dinoflagellate Harmful algal bloom Microsatellite Paralytic shellfish poisoning
The authors would like to thank David Kulis and Alexis Fischer for isolating some of the cysts and strains used in this study. Support for this study was provided by the Woods Hole Center for Oceans and Human Health through National Science Foundation (NSF) Grant OCE-1314642, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Grant 1-P01-ES021923-01, and the international collaboration research grant for the Fisheries Research Agency of Japan in 2014.
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