Data from: Hiding in plain sight: Koshicola spirodelophila gen. et sp. nov. (Chaetopeltidales, Chlorophyceae), a novel green alga associated with the aquatic angiosperm Spirodela polyrhiza
Watanabe, Shin; Fucikova, Karolina; Lewis, Louise A.; Lewis, Paul O. (2016), Data from: Hiding in plain sight: Koshicola spirodelophila gen. et sp. nov. (Chaetopeltidales, Chlorophyceae), a novel green alga associated with the aquatic angiosperm Spirodela polyrhiza, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.jt18m
Premise of the study: Discovery and morphological characterization of a novel epiphytic aquatic green alga increases our understanding of Chaetopeltidales, a poorly known order in Chlorophyceae. Chloroplast genomic data from this taxon reveals an unusual architecture previously unknown in green algae. Methods: Using light and electron microscopy, we characterized the morphology and ultrastructure of a novel taxon of green algae. Bayesian phylogenetic analyses of nuclear and plastid genes were used to test the hypothesized membership of this taxon in order Chaetopeltidales. With next-generation sequence data, we assembled the plastid genome of this novel taxon and compared its gene content and architecture to that of related species to further investigate plastid genome traits. Key results: The morphology and ultrastructure of this alga are consistent with placement in Chaetopeltidales (Chlorophyceae), but a distinct trait combination supports recognition of this alga as a new genus and species—Koshicola spirodelophila gen. et sp. nov. Its placement in the phylogeny as a descendant of a deep division in the Chaetopeltidales is supported by analysis of molecular data sets. The chloroplast genome is among the largest reported in green algae and the genes are distributed on three large (rather than a single) chromosome, in contrast to other studied green algae. Conclusions: The discovery of Koshicola spirodelophila gen. et sp. nov. highlights the importance of investigating even commonplace habitats to explore new microalgal diversity. This work expands our understanding of the morphological and chloroplast genomic features of green algae, and in particular those of the poorly studied Chaetopeltidales.