Cryptic dispersal of Cyanidiophytina (Rhodophyta) in non-acidic environments from Turkey

Manuela Iovinella, Ayla Eren, Gabriele Pinto, Antonino Pollio, Seth Jon Davis, Paola Cennamo, Claudia Ciniglia

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Cyanidiophytina are a group of polyextremophilic red algae with a worldwide, but discontinuous colonization. They are restricted to widely dispersed hot springs, geothermal habitats, and also some human-altered environments. Cyanidiophytina are predominant where pH is prohibitive for the majority of eukaryotes (pH 0.5-3). Turkey is characterized by areas rich in volcanic activity separated by non-volcanic areas. Here we show that Cyanidiophycean populations are present in thermal baths located around Turkey on neutral/alkaline soils. All known genera and species within Cyanidiophytina were detected in Turkey, including Galdieria phlegrea, recorded up to now only in Italian Phlegrean Fields. By phylogenetic analyses, Turkish G. sulphuraria strains are monophyletic with Italian and Icelandic strains, and with Russian G. daedala strains. G. maxima from Turkey clustered with Icelandic, Kamchatka, and Japanese populations. The discovery of Cyanidiophytina in non-acidic Turkish soils raises new questions about the ecological boundaries of these extremophilic algae. This aids in the understanding of the dispersal abilities and distribution patterns of this ecologically and evolutionarily interesting group of algae.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
Early online date19 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2018

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