Popular Science: Another piece of chrysophycean puzzle
Generally, chrysophytes like nutrient-poor waters and lower pH. However, in the highest lakes, which were extremely poor in nutrients, they were not found at all. Of the 21 analysed lakes, there were no chrysomonads living in 9 of them. The pair of scientists recorded 27 species, one of which is completely new to science. It was named Mallomonas pechlaneri. The silica scales of chrysophytes are observed in an electron microscope and their photographs can then be analysed using the geometric morphometry method. This method makes it possible to compare the shape of the scales of each species with one another and, on the basis of differences, to define new species. These morphologically-defined species very often correspond to the results of molecular genetic analyses. Other species found were among the world’s well-known representatives. Factors that most affected the occurrence and composition of chrysophycean communities were altitude and pH.
From this study, it can be seen that even in such thoroughly researched areas such as Europe, new and new species of unicellular organisms, whose diversity is immense, can still be found. Despite the fact that molecular genetic methods are often necessary for the definition of new protists, in the case of chrysomonads, the shape and structure of the silica scales on their surface appears to be a reliable guide for distinguishing these algae from one another.
Němcová, Y., Rott, E. (2018). Diversity of silica-scaled chrysophytes in high-altitude Alpine sites (North Tyrol, Austria) including a description of Mallomonas pechlaneri sp. nov. Cryptogamie, Algologie 39: 63-83.