News from IBE (CSIC-UPF)
Seawater contains, in addition to chemical compounds such as sodium and magnesium chlorides and hundreds of unidentified microorganims, great amount of sperm of jellyfish and Ctenophora. This is one of the main findings of a study published in Scientific Reports and led by IBE researchers. The other one is the discovery of a new group of tunicates, animals which usually lay at the bottom of the sea are usually mistaken by jellyfish.
Research was carried out within the European project BioMarKs, which aims at studying the diversity of unicellular eukaryote organisms. Water and sediment columns were sampled in Norway, France, Asturias, Italy and Bulgaria. The genetic material in these samples was afterwards extracted and sequenced and according with the sperm abundance, researchers hypothesize that spermmay play an important ecological role in oceans, particularly in the Black Sea anoxic waters. Further research is needed to assess the effect of sperm in microbial nutrient fluxes, especially during spawning events, when it may represent a passive member of the community eaten by other metazoans or protists from micro-scale fractions. - Carlos Sierra / PRBB
López-Escardó, D.; Paps, J.; de Vargas, C.; Massana, R.; Ruiz-Trillo, I. & del Campo, J. Metabarcoding analysis on European coastal samples reveals new molecular metazoan diversity Scientific Reports (2018) 8:9106 DOI:10.1038/s41598-018-27509-8
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