Diatom interactions in the open ocean : from the global patterns to the single cell

Abstract : Diatoms are unicellular photosynthetic microeukaryotes that play a critical role in the functioning of marine ecosystems. They are responsible for 20% of global photosynthesis on Earth and lie at the base of marine food webs, ever more threatened by climate change.Diatoms establish microbial interactions with numerous organisms across the whole tree of life, through complex mechanisms including symbiosis, parasitism and competition. The goal of my thesis was to understand how those biotic interactions structure the planktonic community at large spatial scales, by using new approaches based on the unprecedented Tara Oceans dataset, a unique and worldwide circumnavigation that collected over 40.000 samples across 210 sites to explore the diversity and functions of marine microbes. Through the analysis of microbial association networks, I show that diatoms act as repulsive segregators in the ocean, in particular towards potentially harmful organisms such as predators as well as parasites, and that species co-occurrence is driven by environmental factors in a minority of cases. By leveraging the singularity of the Tara Oceans data, I provide a comprehensive characterization of a prevalent biotic interaction between a diatom and heterotrophic ciliates at large spatial scale, illustrating the success of data-driven research. Overall, my thesis contributes to our understanding of diatom biotic interactions, from the global patterns to the single cell.
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Flora Vincent. Diatom interactions in the open ocean : from the global patterns to the single cell. Ecosystems. Université Sorbonne Paris Cité, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016USPCB094⟩. ⟨tel-01835792⟩

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