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J Phycol. 2017 Dec;53(6):1305-1324. doi: 10.1111/jpy.12584. Epub 2017 Oct 10.

Plate pattern clarification of the marine dinophyte Heterocapsa triquetra sensu Stein (Dinophyceae) collected at the Kiel Fjord (Germany).

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Alfred Wegener Institut, Helmholz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Am Handelshafen 12, D - 27570, Bremerhaven, Germany.
Senckenberg am Meer, German Centre for Marine Biodiversity Research (DZMB), Südstrand 44, D - 26382, Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
Department Biologie, Systematische Botanik und Mykologie, GeoBio-Center, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Menzinger Str. 67, D - 80638, München, Germany.
Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum Berlin-Dahlem, Freie Universität Berlin, Königin-Luise-Straße 6-8, D - 14195, Berlin, Germany.
Wattenmeerstation Sylt des Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Hafenstr. 43, D - 25992, List/Sylt, Germany.


One of the most common marine dinophytes is a species known as Heterocapsa triquetra. When Stein introduced the taxon Heterocapsa, he formally based the type species H. triquetra on the basionym Glenodinium triquetrum. The latter was described by Ehrenberg and is most likely a species of Kryptoperidinium. In addition to that currently unresolved nomenclatural situation, the thecal plate composition of H. triquetra sensu Stein (1883) was controversial in the past. To clarify the debate, we collected material and established the strain UTKG7 from the Baltic Sea off Kiel (Germany, the same locality as Stein had studied), which was investigated using light and electron microscopy, and whose systematic position was inferred using molecular phylogenetics. The small motile cells (18-26 μm in length) had a biconical through fusiform shape and typically were characterized by a short asymmetrically shaped, horn-like protuberance at the antapex. A large spherical nucleus was located in the episome, whereas a single pyrenoid laid in the lower cingular plane. The predominant plate pattern was identified as apical pore complex (Po, cp?, X), 4', 2a, 6'', 6c, 5s, 5''', 2''''. The triradiate body scales were 254-306 nm in diameter, had 6 ridges radiating from a central spine, 9 peripheral and 3 radiating spines, and 12 peripheral bars as well as a central depression in the basal plate. Our work provides a clarification of morphological characters and a new, validly published name for this important but yet formally undescribed species of Heterocapsa: H. steinii sp. nov.


morphology; plate pattern; taxonomy; variability

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