Morphology and phylogenetics of benthic prorocentrum species (Dinophyceae) from tropical Northwestern Australia

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Toxins, 2019, 11 (10)
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
© 2019 by the authors. Approximately 70 species of Prorocentrum are known, of which around 30 species are associated with benthic habitats. Some produce okadaic acid (OA), dinophysistoxin (DTX) and their derivatives, which are involved in diarrhetic shellfish poisoning. In this study, we isolated and characterized Prorocentrum concavum and P. malayense from Broome in north Western Australia using light and scanning electron microscopy as well as molecular sequences of large subunit regions of ribosomal DNA, marking the first record of these species from Australian waters. The morphology of the motile cells of P. malayense was similar to P. concavum in the light microscopy, but differed by the smooth thecal surface, the pore pattern and the production of mucous stalk-like structures and a hyaline sheath around the non-motile cells. P. malayense could also be differentiated from other closely related species, P. leve and P. foraminosum, despite the similarity in thecal surface and pore pattern, by its platelet formula and morphologies. We tested the production of OA and DTXs from both species, but found that they did not produce detectable levels of these toxins in the given culturing conditions. This study aids in establishing more effective monitoring of potential harmful algal taxa in Australian waters for aquaculture and recreational purposes.
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