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Protist. 2004 Sep;155(3):271-94.

Ultrastructure of Gyrodinium spirale, the type species of Gyrodinium (Dinophyceae), including a phylogeny of G. dominans, G. rubrum and G. spirale deduced from partial LSU rDNA sequences.

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IOC Science & Communication Centre on Harmful Algae, Biological Institute, Oster Farimagsgade 2D, DK-1353 Copenhagen, Denmark.


A detailed ultrastructural analysis of the type species of Gyrodinium, G. spirale, was made based on cells collected from Skagerrak and southern Kattegat (Denmark). This material is considered very similar to the type material studied by Bergh from southern Kattegat. The analysis revealed many characters typical for dinoflagellates as well as a number of previously undescribed features. Here, emphasis was given to a three-dimensional configuration of the flagellar apparatus, the surface ridges, and the nuclear capsule. The latter had a rather complex ultrastructure consisting of two wall-like layers surrounded by membranes, with nuclear pores restricted to globular invaginations of these layers. To overcome difficulties with culturing of many auto- and heterotrophic dinoflagellates, we designed a specific reverse primer to amplify ca. 1800 base pairs of nuclear-encoded LSU rDNA. Using this approach, LSU rDNA sequences were determined from three heterotrophic species of Gyrodinium, including the type species. Using other alveolates (i.e. ciliates and Apicomplexa) as outgroup species, phylogenetic analyses based on Maximum Likelihood, Maximum Parsimony, and Neighbor-Joining supported Gyrodinium as a separate lineage. Unfortunately, the nearest sister group to Gyrodinium could not be established due to low bootstraps support for the deep branching pattern.

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