Micromonas 18S secondary structure

Revision of the Genus Micromonas Manton et Parke (Chlorophyta, Mamiellophyceae), of the Type Species M. pusilla (Butcher) Manton & Parke and of the Species M. commoda van Baren, Bachy and Worden and Description of Two New Species Based on the Genetic and Phenotypic Characterization of Cultured Isolates


The green picoalgal genus Micromonas is broadly distributed in estuaries, coastal marine habitats and open oceans, from the equator to the poles. Phylogenetic, ecological and genomic analyses of culture strains and natural populations have suggested that this cosmopolitan genus is composed of several cryptic species corresponding to genetic lineages. We performed a detailed analysis of variations in morphology, pigment content, and sequences of the nuclear-encoded small-subunit rRNA gene and the second internal transcribed spacer (ITS2) from strains isolated worldwide. A new morphological feature of the genus, the presence of tip hairs at the extremity of the hair point, was discovered and subtle differences in hair point length were detected between clades. Clear non-homoplasious synapomorphies were identified in the small-subunit rRNA gene and ITS2 spacer sequences of five genetic lineages. These findings lead us to provide emended descriptions of the genus Micromonas, of the type species M. pusilla, and of the recently described species M. commoda, as well as to describe 2 new species, M. bravo and M. polaris. By clarifying the status of the genetic lineages identified within Micromonas, these formal descriptions will facilitate further interpretations of large-scale analyses investigating ecological trends in time and space for this widespread picoplankter.

Protist, (168), 5, pp. 612–635, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.protis.2017.09.002