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Gottschling, Marc; Czech, Lucas; Mahe, Frederic; Adl, Sina; Dunthorn, Micah (2020): The Windblown: Possible Explanations for Dinophyte DNA in Forest Soils. In: Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology, Vol. 68, No. 1
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Dinophytes are widely distributed in marine- and fresh-waters, but have yet to be conclusively documented in terrestrial environments. Here, we evaluated the presence of these protists from an environmental DNA metabarcoding dataset of Neotropical rainforest soils. Using a phylogenetic placement approach with a reference alignment and tree, we showed that the numerous sequencing reads that were phylogenetically placed as dinophytes did not correlate with taxonomic assignment, environmental preference, nutritional mode, or dormancy. All the dinophytes in the soils are rather windblown dispersal units of aquatic species and are not biologically active residents of terrestrial environments.