Pujari, L., D. Narale, J. Kan, C. Wu, G. Zhang, C. Ding, L. Li, and J. Sun. 2021. Frontiers in Microbiology 12: 596015.
Marine chromophytic phytoplankton are a diverse group of algae and contribute significantly to the total oceanic primary production. However, the spatial distribution of chromophytic phytoplankton is understudied in the West Pacific Ocean (WPO). In this study, we have investigated the community structure and spatial distribution of chromophytic phytoplankton using RuBisCO genes (Form ID rbcL). Our results showed that Haptophyceae, Pelagophyceae, Cyanophyceae, Xanthophyceae, and Bacillariophyceae were the dominant groups. Further, chromophytic phytoplankton can be distinguished between upwelling and non-upwelling zones of the WPO. Surface and 75 m depths of a non-upwelling area were dominated by Prochlorococcus strains, whereas chromophytic phytoplankton were homogenously distributed at the surface layer in the upwelling zone. Meanwhile, Pelagomonas-like sequences were dominant at DCM (75 m) and 150 m depths of the upwelling zone. Non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) analysis did not differentiate between chromophytic phytoplankton in the upwelling and non-upwelling areas, however, it showed clear trends of them at different depths. Further, redundancy analysis (RDA) showed the influence of physicochemical parameters on the distribution of chromophytic phytoplankton. Along with phosphate (p < 0.01), temperature and other dissolved nutrients were important in driving community structure. The upwelling zone was impacted by a decrease in temperature, salinity, and re-supplement of nutrients, where Pelagomonas-like sequences outnumbered other chromophytic groups presented.