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Taxonomic re-examination of the toxic armored dinoflagellate Pyrodinium bahamense Plate 1906: can morphology or LSU sequencing separate P. bahamense var. compressum from var. bahamense?
Mertens, K.N.; Wolny, J.; Carbonell-Moore, C.; Bogus, K.; Ellegaard, M.; Limoges, A.; de Vernal, A.; Gurdebeke, P.; Omura, T.; Al-Muftah, A.; Matsuoka, K. (2015). Taxonomic re-examination of the toxic armored dinoflagellate Pyrodinium bahamense Plate 1906: can morphology or LSU sequencing separate P. bahamense var. compressum from var. bahamense? Harmful Algae 41: 1-24. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hal.2014.09.010
In: Harmful Algae. Elsevier: Tokyo; Oxford; New York; London; Amsterdam; Shannon; Paris. ISSN 1568-9883, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine
Author keywords
    Biometry; Cyst; Theca; Thermophile; LSU; Saxitoxins

Authors  Top 
  • Mertens, K.N., more
  • Wolny, J.
  • Carbonell-Moore, C.
  • Bogus, K.
  • Ellegaard, M.
  • Limoges, A.
  • de Vernal, A.
  • Gurdebeke, P., more
  • Omura, T.
  • Al-Muftah, A.
  • Matsuoka, K.

Abstract
    Pyrodinium bahamense Plate 1906 is a tropical to subtropical dinoflagellate that can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP). Based on differences in the morphology of the motile stage, as well as geographic distribution, this species was separated into two varieties, the toxic var. compressum and the non-toxic var. bahamense by Steidinger et al. (1980). Thereafter, Balech (1985) carefully reinvestigated the two varieties and concluded there were no significant morphological differences between them. We re-examined the motile cell and cyst morphology of these two varieties, concurring with the arrangement of the sulcal plates, but demonstrating the plate overlap for the first time. The observed size-frequency spectra of cell body diameter, cyst body diameter and cyst process length were unimodal. Overall, we agree with Balech (1985) that there is no consistent criterion to unequivocally separate both varieties based on morphology. We therefore recommend ceasing the use of these varieties (and forma). In addition, we suggest that observations of both varieties in a single plankton sample should be interpreted as the occurrence of different life stages at the sampling time. However, the phylogenetic analysis using partial LSU rDNA sequence data revealed two clearly separated ribotypes within the Pyrodinium clade, an Indo-Pacific and Atlantic-Caribbean ribotype, suggesting that Pyrodinium bahamense is a species complex. The genetic distance between these ribotypes is short, which suggests a late Quaternary separation. Geochemical analyses of the cyst walls also show differences between specimens from both geographical regions.

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