Whittaker Kerry A.

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Kerry A.

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  • Article
    Molecular subdivision of the marine diatom Thalassiosira rotula in relation to geographic distribution, genome size, and physiology
    (BioMed Central, 2012-10-26) Whittaker, Kerry A. ; Rignanese, Dayna R. ; Olson, Robert J. ; Rynearson, Tatiana A.
    Marine phytoplankton drift passively with currents, have high dispersal potentials and can be comprised of morphologically cryptic species. To examine molecular subdivision in the marine diatom Thalassiosira rotula, variations in rDNA sequence, genome size, and growth rate were examined among isolates collected from the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean basins. Analyses of rDNA included T. gravida because morphological studies have argued that T. rotula and T. gravida are conspecific. Culture collection isolates of T. gravida and T. rotula diverged by 7.0 ± 0.3% at the ITS1 and by 0.8 ± 0.03% at the 28S. Within T. rotula, field and culture collection isolates were subdivided into three lineages that diverged by 0.6 ± 0.3% at the ITS1 and 0% at the 28S. The predicted ITS1 secondary structure revealed no compensatory base pair changes among lineages. Differences in genome size were observed among isolates, but were not correlated with ITS1 lineages. Maximum acclimated growth rates of isolates revealed genotype by environment effects, but these were also not correlated with ITS1 lineages. In contrast, intra-individual variation in the multi-copy ITS1 revealed no evidence of recombination amongst lineages, and molecular clock estimates indicated that lineages diverged 0.68 Mya. The three lineages exhibited different geographic distributions and, with one exception, each field sample was dominated by a single lineage. The degree of inter- and intra-specific divergence between T. gravida and T. rotula suggests they should continue to be treated as separate species. The phylogenetic distinction of the three closely-related T. rotula lineages was unclear. On the one hand, the lineages showed no physiological differences, no consistent genome size differences and no significant changes in the ITS1 secondary structure, suggesting there are no barriers to interbreeding among lineages. In contrast, analysis of intra-individual variation in the multicopy ITS1 as well as molecular clock estimates of divergence suggest these lineages have not interbred for significant periods of time. Given the current data, these lineages should be considered a single species. Furthermore, these T. rotula lineages may be ecologically relevant, given their differential abundance over large spatial scales.
  • Article
    Draft genome sequence of marine alphaproteobacterial strain HIMB11, the first cultivated representative of a unique lineage within the Roseobacter clade possessing an unusually small genome
    (Genomic Standards Consortium, 2014) Durham, Bryndan P. ; Grote, Jana ; Whittaker, Kerry A. ; Bender, Sara J. ; Luo, Haiwei ; Grim, Sharon L. ; Brown, Julia M. ; Casey, John F. ; Dron, Antony ; Florez-Leiva, Lennis ; Krupke, Andreas ; Luria, Catherine M. ; Mine, Aric ; Nigro, Olivia D. ; Pather, Santhiska ; Talarmin, Agathe ; Wear, Emma K. ; Weber, Thomas S. ; Wilson, Jesse M. ; Church, Matthew J. ; DeLong, Edward F. ; Karl, David M. ; Steward, Grieg F. ; Eppley, John ; Kyrpides, Nikos C. ; Schuster, Stephan ; Rappe, Michael S.
    Strain HIMB11 is a planktonic marine bacterium isolated from coastal seawater in Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Hawaii belonging to the ubiquitous and versatile Roseobacter clade of the alphaproteobacterial family Rhodobacteraceae. Here we describe the preliminary characteristics of strain HIMB11, including annotation of the draft genome sequence and comparative genomic analysis with other members of the Roseobacter lineage. The 3,098,747 bp draft genome is arranged in 34 contigs and contains 3,183 protein-coding genes and 54 RNA genes. Phylogenomic and 16S rRNA gene analyses indicate that HIMB11 represents a unique sublineage within the Roseobacter clade. Comparison with other publicly available genome sequences from members of the Roseobacter lineage reveals that strain HIMB11 has the genomic potential to utilize a wide variety of energy sources (e.g. organic matter, reduced inorganic sulfur, light, carbon monoxide), while possessing a reduced number of substrate transporters.
  • Article
    The distribution and mitochondrial genotype of the hydroid Aglaophenia latecarinata is correlated with its pelagic Sargassum substrate type in the tropical and subtropical western Atlantic Ocean
    (PeerJ, 2019-10-18) Govindarajan, Annette F. ; Cooney, Laura ; Whittaker, Kerry A. ; Bloch, Dana ; Burdorf, Rachel M. ; Canning, Shalagh ; Carter, Caroline ; Cellan, Shannon M. ; Eriksson, Fredrik A.A. ; Freyer, Hannah ; Huston, Grayson ; Hutchinson, Sabrina ; McKeegan, Kathleen ; Malpani, Megha ; Merkle-Raymond, Alex ; Ouellette, Kendra ; Petersen-Rockney, Robin ; Schultz, Maggie ; Siuda, Amy N. S.
    The pelagic brown macroalga Sargassum supports rich biological communities in the tropical and subtropical Atlantic region, including a variety of epiphytic invertebrates that grow on the Sargassum itself. The thecate hydroid Aglaophenia latecarinata is commonly found growing on some, but not all, Sargassum forms. In this study, we examined the relationship between A. latecarinata and its pelagic Sargassum substrate across a broad geographic area over the course of 4 years (2015–2018). The distribution of the most common Sargassum forms that we observed (Sargassum fluitans III and S. natans VIII) was consistent with the existence of distinct source regions for each. We found that A. latecarinata hydroids were abundant on both S. natans VIII and S. fluitans III, and also noted a rare observation of A. latecarinata on S. natans I. For the hydroids on S. natans VIII and S. fluitans III, hydroid mitochondrial genotype was strongly correlated with the Sargassum substrate form. We found significant population genetic structure in the hydroids, which was also consistent with the distributional patterns of the Sargassum forms. These results suggest that hydroid settlement on the Sargassum occurs in type-specific Sargassum source regions. Hydroid species identification is challenging and cryptic speciation is common in the Aglaopheniidae. Therefore, to confirm our identification of A. latecarinata, we conducted a phylogenetic analysis that showed that while the genus Aglaophenia was not monophyletic, all A. latecarinata haplotypes associated with pelagic Sargassum belonged to the same clade and were likely the same species as previously published sequences from Florida, Central America, and one location in Brazil (São Sebastião). A nominal A. latecarinata sequence from a second Brazilian location (Alagoas) likely belongs to a different species.