Journal of Ocean University of China

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 219–226 | Cite as

Identification of Microplankton in South China Sea with Image-Matching Individual PCR

  • Si Li
  • Guanpin Yang
  • Baohua Zhu
  • Kehou PanEmail author


In this study, marine microplankton were identified by combining standard light microscopy with Sanger 18S rRNA gene sequencing. The image-matching individual PCR technique was applied to identify the image collectable unicellular microplankton to genera. Instead of pure strain culture and morphological identification, microplankton individual cells were isolated and fixed with glutaraldehyde, frozen and stored for months. Finally, they were imaged under a microscope and molecularly identified via phylogenetic analysis of their 18S ribosomal RNA gene (18S rDNA). Microplankton cells were collected at 30 locations in South China Sea, and were assigned to 21 known and 4 unidentified genera (2 uncultured fungi and 2 uncultured stramenopiles) with phylogenetic analysis in parallel to the morphological identification.

Key words

image-matching individual PCR microplankton 18S ribosomal RNA gene morphological identification molecular identification South China Sea 


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This research was supported by Hebei Province Natural Science Foundation for Youths (No. C2015202202), Colleges and Universities in Hebei Province Science and Technology Research Project (No. QN20131082), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51474084), and the National Key Research and Development Program of China (No. 2016YFB0601001).


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Ocean University of China and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Chemical Engineering and TechnologyHebei University of TechnologyTianjinChina
  2. 2.Engineering Research Center of Seawater Utilization Technology of Chinese Ministry of EducationHebei University of TechnologyTianjinChina
  3. 3.College of Marine Life SciencesOcean University of ChinaQingdaoChina
  4. 4.Key Laboratory of Mariculture of Chinese Ministry of EducationOcean University of ChinaQingdaoChina

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