Neowestiellopsis gen. nov, a new genus of true branched cyanobacteria with the description of Neowestiellopsis persica sp. nov. and Neowestiellopsis bilateralis sp. nov., isolated from Iran
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Two strains of true branched heterocytous cyanobacteria, SA33 and SA16, isolated from dried paddy fields of Mazandaran, Iran, were studied using morphological, ecological, and molecular tools. Morphological characterization of the strains indicated them to be commonly showing profuse T-type branching, large irregularly shaped cells of main filament and tapering branches. Strain SA33 showed development of interesting biseriate filaments with unilateral branching, while strain SA16 showed uniseriate filaments with bilateral branching. Ecological examination of the localities consisted of the assessment of the habitat and correlations with the overall environment of the habitats. 16S rRNA gene-based molecular and phylogenetic assessment gave unique positioning to both the strains separated with good bootstrap support from rest of the members of the true branched clade. Full length sequencing of the 16S–23S ITS region and folding of the secondary structures gave interesting secondary structures and comparison with the closely related sequences clearly indicated the secondary structures of both the strains to be unique. All the results indicated the strains to be members of a morphologically cryptic but phylogenetically distinct unknown genus of cyanobacteria. Comprehensive evaluation of all the findings and comparative assessment of previous studies indicate that SA33 and SA16 are indeed two new species of a new genus of true branched cyanobacteria. In accordance with the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi and plants, we propose the name of the new genus as Neowestiellopsis with the names of the species being Neowestiellopsis persica and Neowestiellopsis bilateralis.
Keywords16S rRNA 16S–23S ITS Cyanobacteria Neowestiellopsis True branching cyanobacteria
We thank the Director NCCS for providing the necessary facilities and encouragement. PS is thankful to the Department of Science and Technology (Department of Science and Technology), India for the project YSS/2014/000879. A part of the work was supported by the Department of Biotechnology (Department of Biotechnology; Grant No. BT/Coord.II/01/032016), Government of India, under the project ‘Establishment of Centre of Excellence for National Centre for Microbial Resource (NCMR)’. SK was the recipient of the NAM S&T Centre Research Training Fellowship for Developing Country Scientists (RTF-DCS) 2016–17 and thanks the NAM Centre for providing research fellowship. The authors thank Prof. Aharon Oren for all the help in the Latin nomenclature and etymology. Thanks to Archana Suradkar and Aniket Saraf for help throughout the morphological analysis.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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