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Diversity and Phylogeny of Gymnodiniales (Dinophyceae) from the NW Mediterranean Sea Revealed by a Morphological and Molecular Approach

Reñé, Albert ; Camp, Jordi ; Garcés, Esther


The diversity and phylogeny of dinoflagellates belonging to the Gymnodiniales were studied during a 3-year period at several coastal stations along the Catalan coast (NW Mediterranean) by combining analyses of their morphological features with rDNA sequencing. This approach resulted in the detection of 59 different morphospecies, 13 of which were observed for the first time in the Mediterranean Sea. Fifteen of the detected species were HAB producers; four represented novel detections on the Catalan coast and two in the Mediterranean Sea. Partial rDNA sequences were obtained for 50 different morphospecies, including novel LSU rDNA sequences for 27 species, highlighting the current scarcity of molecular information for this group of dinoflagellates. The combination of morphology and genetics allowed the first determinations of the phylogenetic position of several genera, i.e., Torodinium and many Gyrodinium and Warnowiacean species. The results also suggested that among the specimens belonging to the genera GymnodiniumApicoporus, and Cochlodinium were those representing as yet undescribed species. Furthermore, the phylogenetic data suggested taxonomic incongruences for some species, i.e., Gyrodinium undulans and Gymnodinium agaricoides. Although a species complex related to G. spirale was detected, the partial LSU rDNA sequences lacked sufficient resolution to discriminate between various other Gyrodinium morphospecies.

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