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Genetic determinism vs. phenotypic plasticity in protist morphology

Genetic determinism vs. phenotypic plasticity in protist morphology
Genetic determinism vs. phenotypic plasticity in protist morphology

Untangling the relationships between morphology and phylogeny is key to building a reliable taxonomy, but is especially challenging for protists, where the existence of cryptic or pseudocryptic species makes finding relevant discriminant traits difficult. Here we use Hyalosphenia papilio (a testate amoeba) as a model species to investigate the contribution of phylogeny and phenotypic plasticity in its morphology. We study the response of H. papilio morphology (shape and pores number) to environmental variables in (i) a manipulative experiment with controlled conditions (water level), (ii) an observational study of a within-site natural ecological gradient (water level), and (iii) an observational study across 37 European peatlands (climate). We showed that H. papilio morphology is correlated to environmental conditions (climate and water depth) as well as geography, while no relationship between morphology and phylogeny was brought to light. The relative contribution of genetic inheritance and phenotypic plasticity in shaping morphology varies depending on the taxonomic group and the trait under consideration. Thus, our data call for a reassessment of taxonomy based on morphology alone. This clearly calls for a substantial increase in taxonomic research on these globally still under-studied organisms leading to a reassessment of estimates of global microbial eukaryotic diversity.

Body size, protozoa, soil moisture, testate amoebae, water table depth
1066-5234
729-739
Mulot, Matthieu
d7ec7002-1356-4e7a-b373-e6ad1b71b0a1
Marcisz, Katarzyna
d1c4b87a-9109-40aa-ad3d-053611c2a1bd
Grandgirard, Lara
6b65fd0a-dc9d-4171-91e2-276fefc2f312
Lara, Enrique
10ad4edb-c93b-4453-b140-2d4bdd29c691
Kosakyan, Anush
2024a56c-8bb2-4fc7-80e6-a4bbfc15450c
Robroek, Bjorn J. M.
06dcb269-687c-41db-ab73-f61899617f92
Lamentowicz, Mariusz
f8e2ab1b-b595-4cdf-a65a-7f1e787f3369
Payne, Richard J.
9729e434-4d8c-470c-850e-cb66a3e04369
Mitchell, Edward A. D.
3e3f18d5-9ce1-4151-a529-1e47044f609f
Mulot, Matthieu
d7ec7002-1356-4e7a-b373-e6ad1b71b0a1
Marcisz, Katarzyna
d1c4b87a-9109-40aa-ad3d-053611c2a1bd
Grandgirard, Lara
6b65fd0a-dc9d-4171-91e2-276fefc2f312
Lara, Enrique
10ad4edb-c93b-4453-b140-2d4bdd29c691
Kosakyan, Anush
2024a56c-8bb2-4fc7-80e6-a4bbfc15450c
Robroek, Bjorn J. M.
06dcb269-687c-41db-ab73-f61899617f92
Lamentowicz, Mariusz
f8e2ab1b-b595-4cdf-a65a-7f1e787f3369
Payne, Richard J.
9729e434-4d8c-470c-850e-cb66a3e04369
Mitchell, Edward A. D.
3e3f18d5-9ce1-4151-a529-1e47044f609f

Mulot, Matthieu, Marcisz, Katarzyna, Grandgirard, Lara, Lara, Enrique, Kosakyan, Anush, Robroek, Bjorn J. M., Lamentowicz, Mariusz, Payne, Richard J. and Mitchell, Edward A. D. (2017) Genetic determinism vs. phenotypic plasticity in protist morphology. Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology, 64 (6), 729-739. (doi:10.1111/jeu.12406).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Untangling the relationships between morphology and phylogeny is key to building a reliable taxonomy, but is especially challenging for protists, where the existence of cryptic or pseudocryptic species makes finding relevant discriminant traits difficult. Here we use Hyalosphenia papilio (a testate amoeba) as a model species to investigate the contribution of phylogeny and phenotypic plasticity in its morphology. We study the response of H. papilio morphology (shape and pores number) to environmental variables in (i) a manipulative experiment with controlled conditions (water level), (ii) an observational study of a within-site natural ecological gradient (water level), and (iii) an observational study across 37 European peatlands (climate). We showed that H. papilio morphology is correlated to environmental conditions (climate and water depth) as well as geography, while no relationship between morphology and phylogeny was brought to light. The relative contribution of genetic inheritance and phenotypic plasticity in shaping morphology varies depending on the taxonomic group and the trait under consideration. Thus, our data call for a reassessment of taxonomy based on morphology alone. This clearly calls for a substantial increase in taxonomic research on these globally still under-studied organisms leading to a reassessment of estimates of global microbial eukaryotic diversity.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 16 February 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 28 March 2017
Published date: 2017
Keywords: Body size, protozoa, soil moisture, testate amoebae, water table depth

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 413322
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/413322
ISSN: 1066-5234
PURE UUID: 9ab4ef28-c369-48ed-8cd2-eebabd5ac4f9
ORCID for Bjorn J. M. Robroek: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6714-0652

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 21 Aug 2017 16:31
Last modified: 10 Nov 2021 03:46

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Contributors

Author: Matthieu Mulot
Author: Katarzyna Marcisz
Author: Lara Grandgirard
Author: Enrique Lara
Author: Anush Kosakyan
Author: Bjorn J. M. Robroek ORCID iD
Author: Mariusz Lamentowicz
Author: Richard J. Payne
Author: Edward A. D. Mitchell

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