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Analysis of a New Strain of Pseudomuriella engadinensis (Sphaeropleales, Chlorophyta) for Possible Use in Biotechnology


The species diversity of green coccoid algae is often difficult to study using light microscopy due to their complex morphology. Algae, which have morphological and ecological similarities with the genera Bracteacoccus Tereg., Dictyococcus Gerneck, and Pseudomuriella Hanagata, are one of the most taxonomically complex examples. Often, only a comparison of nucleotide sequences allows one to carry out a reliable identification and find out the phylogenetic identity of the studied objects. Pseudomuriella belongs to the group of genetically diverse genera with a homogeneous Bracteacoccus-like morphology. The combined use of two genetic markers (18S rDNA nuclear gene and chloroplast rbcL gene), along with light microscopy and comparison of fatty acid profiles, allowed the identification of the green algae strain isolated from the soil of the artificial pine and robinia plantation in the steppe zone of Ukraine as Pseudomuriella engadinensis (Kol et Chodat) Fučiková, Rada et Lewis—the first find of the species in the flora of algae in Ukraine. Analysis of the fatty acid composition of the studied strain’s cells showed that the total lipid content in the stationary growth phase was at the level of 87.9 ± 2.1 mg/g dry cell mass, and the main fatty acids were palmitic, hexadecadienoic, ruganic, oleic, linoleic, and α-linolenic—their share accounted for 82.4% of the total amount of fatty acids.

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This publication is based on research carried out with financial support by Russian Science Foundation (project number 18-74-00095).

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Correspondence to Y. I. Maltsev.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. This article does not contain any studies involving animals or human participants performed by any of the authors.

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Translated by M. Shulskaya

Abbreviations: BI—Bayesian inference; DO—directly opposed orientation of the basal bodies of flagella, phylogenetic clade of the same name; FAME—fatty acid methyl esters; FFA—free fatty acids; LB—likelihood bootstrap; ML—maximum likelihood; PP—posterior probability.

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Maltsev, Y.I., Maltseva, I.A., Kulikovskiy, M.S. et al. Analysis of a New Strain of Pseudomuriella engadinensis (Sphaeropleales, Chlorophyta) for Possible Use in Biotechnology. Russ J Plant Physiol 66, 609–617 (2019).

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  • Pseudomuriella
  • coccoid algae
  • cryptic species
  • new finds
  • flora of Ukraine
  • 18S rDNA
  • rbcL
  • fatty acid composition