Rynearson, T. A. Marine Molecular Biotechnology Laboratory, School of Oceanography, University of Washington, trynear@ocean.washington.edu
Armbrust, E. A. Marine Molecular Biotechnology Laboratory, School of Oceanography, University of Washington, armbrust@ocean.washington.edu

 
POPULATION STRUCTURE OF DIATOM BLOOMS USING DNA FINGERPRINTS
 
Diatoms are characterized by their ability to increase rapidly in cell number during blooms. Despite years of study, however, the factors dictating the timing, magnitude or composition of a bloom remain elusive. We are developing life history-independent DNA fingerprinting techniques for diatoms to explore how the genetic composition of a population influences its behavior in dynamic environments. Using these techniques, it is now possible to identify and quantify individual clones and thus determine the extent of genetic diversity within a single species of diatom from a field community. Here we describe the genetic composition of spring and fall populations of the centric diatom Ditylum brightwellii, a dominant component of blooms in Puget Sound, WA. Preliminary results indicate that the two D. brightwellii populations are composed of distinctly different individuals. Furthermore, the composition of the fall population appears remarkably diverse, containing many unique clones. In contrast, the spring population displays a surprisingly low degree of diversity. The observed genetic diversity suggests that each population was shaped by a different combination of factors. These results also indicate that the two populations may have a very different capacity to respond to changing environmental conditions.
 
Day: Tuesday, Feb. 2
Time: 02:30 - 02:45pm
Location: Sweeney Center
 
Code: SS41TU0230S