SEM observations have revealed unknown and previously undetected stages of the bloom-forming dinoflagellate Prorocentrum growing inside calcium carbonate-encrusted perithallial cells of the rhodolith-forming Lithothamnion sp. (Hapalidiaceae, Hapalidiales, Rhodophyta) in the NW Gulf of Mexico. Roundish structures inside the coralline cells were clustered together, surrounded by a thin membrane. Organized blebs, projections of the cytoplasm into the plasma membrane, as well as a suite of varying extracellular ornamentation patterns, were observed. Openings on the surface of some of the structures looked like characteristic thecal pores found in thecal plates of some dinoflagellates. DNA was extracted from inside the rhodolith and sequenced using dinoflagellate-specific cob1-primers. When blasting the resulting DNA sequences, it proved to be an exact match for Prorocentrum lima. Cells were isolated from inside the rhodoliths and cultured, revealing the presence of another set of endolithic life stages identified as Haptophyta (Prymnesiophyta), confirmed by single cell 18S rDNA sequencing. This research illustrates and illuminates newly found benthic life history stages of two ecologically important taxa of primary producers that also cause harmful algal blooms, such as the formation of red tides, fish kills, or shellfish poisoning events in the Gulf of Mexico.
|Advisor:||Fredericq, Suzanne L.|
|Commitee:||Felgenhauer, Bruce, Norris, James N., Renzaglia, Karen, Spring, Jeffery|
|School:||University of Louisiana at Lafayette|
|School Location:||United States -- Louisiana|
|Source:||DAI-B 77/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Biological oceanography, Systematic|
|Keywords:||Calcium carbonate, Crustose coralline alagae, Dinoflagellate, Haptophyte|
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