Kinetoplastid flagellates overlooked by universal primers dominate in the oxygenated hypolimnion of Lake Biwa, Japan

Indranil Mukherjee, Yoshikuni Hodoki, Shin ichi Nakano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Kinetoplastid flagellates, microscopically often detected from various aquatic environments and considered ubiquitous are seldom reported in molecular diversity studies with universal eukaryote DNA primers. To investigate this inconsistency, we examined nanoflagellate diversity in Lake Biwa, Japan by 18S rRNA gene clone libraries using universal eukaryote and kinetoplastid-specific primers. We also examined the abundance of kinetoplastids by Catalyzed Reporter Deposition-Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization. No, kinetoplastid sequences were detected in the universal eukaryote primers library from epilimnion and hypolimnion in different seasons. However, kinetoplastid flagellates were detected with kinetoplastid-specific probe from all of the seasons and contributed up to 11.9 and 36.0% of total eukaryotes in the epilimnion and hypolimnion, respectively. Thus, kinetoplastids probably are a significant, sometimes dominant, group in the hypolimnion, contributing up to 43.7% of the total flagellates. Using group-specific primers, kinetoplastid sequences were also obtained from both epilimnion and hypolimnion library. Therefore, we attributed the inconsistency to the divergent nature of 18S rRNA gene of kinetoplastids, which lead to their undetection in the universal eukaryote primer libraries. This study revealed that kinetoplastids have significant ecological importance in the hypolimnion of Lake Biwa, suggesting that these flagellates have been overlooked in other studies using universal eukaryote primers.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFEMS microbiology ecology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Aug


  • 18S rRNA gene
  • Clone library
  • Kinetoplastids
  • Lakes
  • Nanoflagellates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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