Molecular phylogeny and ecology of textularia agglutinans d'orbigny from the mediterranean coast of Israel: A case of a successful new incumbent

Gily Merkado, Danna Titelboim, Orit Hyams-Kaphzan, Maria Holzmann, Jan Pawlowski, Ahuva Almogi-Labin, Uri Abdu, Barak Herut, Sigal Abramovich

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Textularia agglutinans d'Orbigny is a non-symbiont bearing and comparatively large benthic foraminiferal species with a widespread distribution across all oceans. In recent years, its populations have considerably expanded along the Israeli Mediterranean coast of the eastern Levantine basin. Despite its exceptionally widespread occurrence, no molecular data have yet been obtained. This study provides the first ribosomal DNA sequences of T. agglutinans complemented with morphological and ecological characterization, which are based on material collected during environmental monitoring of the hard bottom habitats along the Israeli Mediterranean coast, and from the Gulf of Elat (northern Red Sea). Our phylogenetic analyses reveal that all specimens from both provinces belong to the same genetic population, regardless their morphological variability. These results indicate that modern population of T. agglutinans found on the Mediterranean coast of Israel is probably Lessepsian. Our study also reveals that T. agglutinans has an epiphytic life mode, which probably enabled its successful colonization of the hard bottom habitats, at the Mediterranean coast of Israel, which consist of a diverse community of macroalgae. Our study further indicates that the species does not tolerate high SST (> 35°C), which will probably prevent its future expansion in the easternmost Mediterranean in light of the expected rise in temperatures.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0142263
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number11
StatePublished - 5 Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Merkado et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology

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