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Overview

Brief Summary

Species Overview

Gymnodinium catenatum is an unarmoured, marine, planktonic dinoflagellate species. It is a chain-forming, toxin-producing, red tide species associated with PSP events throughout the world.

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National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany

Source: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Department of Botany

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Comprehensive Description

Gymnodinium catenatum is a chain-forming naked dinoflagellate, with a variable morphology depending on whether it occurs in a chain or single cell. The cingulum is descending (displaced up to 20 % cell length). The sulcus extends from the antapex to the apex, which is surrounded by an apical groove. Cells contain many chloroplasts and have a large centrally placed nucleus
  • Tomas C ed. (1996) Identifying marine diatoms and dinoflagellates. pp 598. Academic Press Ltd. London
  • Hallegraeff GM and Hara Y (2003) Taxnomy of harmful marine raphidophytes. In: Hallegraeff GM, Anderson DM, Cembella AD. Manual on harmful microalgae. UNESCO Publishing
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© University of Liverpool

Source: Harmful Phytoplankton Project

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Distribution

Gymnodinium catenatum was first reported from California but now has a very wide distribution including Europe, Australia and Japan.
  • Tomas C ed. (1996) Identifying marine diatoms and dinoflagellates. pp 598. Academic Press Ltd. London
  • Hallegraeff GM and Hara Y (2003) Taxnomy of harmful marine raphidophytes. In: Hallegraeff GM, Anderson DM, Cembella AD. Manual on harmful microalgae. UNESCO Publishing
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© University of Liverpool

Source: Harmful Phytoplankton Project

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Physical Description

Morphology

Morphology and Structure

G. catenatum is a photosynthetic species with numerous yellow-brown chloroplasts and conspicuous pyrenoids. The large nucleus is centrally located. Lipid globules are also common.

  • Fukuyo, Y., H. Takano, M. Chihara & K. Matsuoka 1990. Red Tide Organisms in Japan. An Illustrated Taxonomic Guide. Uchida Rokakuho, Co., Ltd., Tokyo. 407 pp.
  • Graham, H.W. 1943. Gymnodinium catenatum, a new dinoflagellate from the Gulf of California. Tans. Am. Micr. Soc. 62: 259-261.
  • Hallegraeff, G.M. 1991. Aquaculturists Guide to Harmful Australian Microalgae. Fishing Industry Training Board of Tasmania/CSIRO Division of Fisheries, Hobart, 111 pp.
  • Larsen, J. & O. Moestrup 1989. Guide to Toxic and Potentially Toxic Marine Algae. The Fish Inspection Service, Ministry of Fisheries, Copenhagen. 61 pp.
  • Steidinger, K.A. & K. Tangen 1996. Dinoflagellates. In: C.R. Tomas (ed.), Identifying Marine Diatoms and Dinoflagellates, Academic Press, New York: 387-598.
  • Taylor, F.J.R., Y. Fukuyo & J. Larsen 1995. Taxonomy of harmful dinoflagellates. In: G.M. Hallegraeff, D.M. Anderson & A.D. Cembella (eds.), Manual on Harmful Marine Microalgae, IOC Manuals and Guides No. 33. UNESCO, France: 283-317.
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National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany

Source: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Department of Botany

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Taxonomic Description

Gymnodinium catenatum is an athecate species; i.e. without thecal plates. This species is typically seen in chain formation with up to 64 cells. Cells are small with morphology varying between single cell (Fig. 1) and chain formation (Figs. 2-4). Single cells are generally elongate-ovoid with slight dorso-ventral compression (Figs. 1, 5). The apex is truncate or slightly conical while the antapex is rounded and notched (Figs. 1, 5). Chain formers, in general, are squarish-ovoid with anterior-posterior compression (Fig. 3). A characteristic horseshoe shaped apical groove encircles the apex (Fig. 1).

Single cells range in size from 27-43 µm in width to 34-65 µm in length. Chain-forming cells are slightly smaller with sizes ranging from 27-43 µm in width to 23-60 µm in length; terminal cells are slightly larger (Figs. 2,3), similar to single cells.

The epitheca is smaller than the hypotheca, rounded or truncate (Figs. 1, 2). In chain-formers, the epitheca is conical (Figs. 2, 4). The larger hypotheca tapers slightly posteriorly (Figs. 2, 3). It is notched by the sulcus at the antapex creating a bilobed posterior (Fig. 5). The premedian cingulum displays left-handed displacement, about 2 times its width (Figs. 1, 2). The transverse flagellum is housed in the deep cingulum (Figs. 1-3). The sulcus is deep and extends almost the full length of the cell: from just beneath the apex to the antapex (Figs. 1-3).

  • Blackburn, S.I., G.M. Hallegraeff & C.J. Bolch 1989. Vegetative reproduction and sexual life cycle of the toxic dinoflagellate Gymnodinium catenatum from Tasmania, Australia. J. Phycol. 25: 577-590.
  • Fukuyo, Y., H. Takano, M. Chihara & K. Matsuoka 1990. Red Tide Organisms in Japan. An Illustrated Taxonomic Guide. Uchida Rokakuho, Co., Ltd., Tokyo. 407 pp.
  • Graham, H.W. 1943. Gymnodinium catenatum, a new dinoflagellate from the Gulf of California. Tans. Am. Micr. Soc. 62: 259-261.
  • Hallegraeff, G.M. 1991. Aquaculturists Guide to Harmful Australian Microalgae. Fishing Industry Training Board of Tasmania/CSIRO Division of Fisheries, Hobart, 111 pp.
  • Larsen, J. & O. Moestrup 1989. Guide to Toxic and Potentially Toxic Marine Algae. The Fish Inspection Service, Ministry of Fisheries, Copenhagen. 61 pp.
  • Steidinger, K.A. & K. Tangen 1996. Dinoflagellates. In: C.R. Tomas (ed.), Identifying Marine Diatoms and Dinoflagellates, Academic Press, New York: 387-598.
  • Taylor, F.J.R., Y. Fukuyo & J. Larsen 1995. Taxonomy of harmful dinoflagellates. In: G.M. Hallegraeff, D.M. Anderson & A.D. Cembella (eds.), Manual on Harmful Marine Microalgae, IOC Manuals and Guides No. 33. UNESCO, France: 283-317.
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National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany

Source: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Department of Botany

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Diagnostic Description

Gymnodinium catenatum typically forms chains of up to 16 cells but chains with up to 64 cells have been reported. The cingulum is descending (displaced up to 20 % of cell length). The sulcus extends from the antapex to the apex, which is surrounded by an apical groove. It runs in a counter-clockwise direction around the apex and starts at the end of the intrusion of the sulcus into the epitheca. Cells contain many chloroplasts and have a large centrally placed nucleus. Cysts are round (42-52µm), brown and reticulated.
  • Tomas C ed. (1996) Identifying marine diatoms and dinoflagellates. pp 598. Academic Press Ltd. London
  • Hallegraeff GM and Hara Y (2003) Taxnomy of harmful marine raphidophytes. In: Hallegraeff GM, Anderson DM, Cembella AD. Manual on harmful microalgae. UNESCO Publishing
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© University of Liverpool

Source: Harmful Phytoplankton Project

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Type Information

Type locality: NE Pacific Ocean: Gulf of California, Mexico
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Source: AlgaeBase

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Look Alikes

Species Comparison

G. catenatum can readily be distinguished from other Gymnodinium species by forming long chains, however, single cells can easily be misidentified. Chains of G. catenatum can resemble Alexandrium catenella, an anterio-posteriorly compressed species that forms short-chains, however, this species is a cold-water species and is armoured. Chains of G. catenatum can also be confused with Peridiniella catenata, another armoured chain-forming species. The latter species, however, is not toxic, is a cold-water species and has posterior spines. Gyrodinium impudicum, recently described from Spain, can superficially resemble Gymnodinium catenatum with its similar horseshoe shaped apical groove and its tendency toward chain formation. However, Gyrodinium impudicum is smaller in size, differs in shape, forms shorter chains and is not associated with PSP.

  • Fraga, S., I. Bravo, M. Delgado, J.M. Franco & M. Zapata 1995. Gyrodinium impudicum sp. nov. (Dinophyceae), a non toxic, chain-forming, red tide dinoflagellate. Phycologia 34: 514-521.
  • Hallegraeff, G.M. 1991. Aquaculturists Guide to Harmful Australian Microalgae. Fishing Industry Training Board of Tasmania/CSIRO Division of Fisheries, Hobart, 111 pp.
  • Larsen, J. & O. Moestrup 1989. Guide to Toxic and Potentially Toxic Marine Algae. The Fish Inspection Service, Ministry of Fisheries, Copenhagen. 61 pp.
  • Taylor, F.J.R., Y. Fukuyo & J. Larsen 1995. Taxonomy of harmful dinoflagellates. In: G.M. Hallegraeff, D.M. Anderson & A.D. Cembella (eds.), Manual on Harmful Marine Microalgae, IOC Manuals and Guides No. 33. UNESCO, France: 283-317.
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National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany

Source: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Department of Botany

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Locality

G. catenatum populations are found in warm, temperate coastal waters. Blooms have been reported in Mexico, Argentina, Europe, Australia and Japan.

  • Hallegraeff, G.M. 1991. Aquaculturists Guide to Harmful Australian Microalgae. Fishing Industry Training Board of Tasmania/CSIRO Division of Fisheries, Hobart, 111 pp.
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National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany

Source: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Department of Botany

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Depth range based on 185 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 7 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 8
  Temperature range (°C): 12.224 - 20.400
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.871 - 6.894
  Salinity (PPS): 34.704 - 36.170
  Oxygen (ml/l): 5.182 - 6.447
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.382 - 0.630
  Silicate (umol/l): 2.591 - 4.938

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0 - 8

Temperature range (°C): 12.224 - 20.400

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.871 - 6.894

Salinity (PPS): 34.704 - 36.170

Oxygen (ml/l): 5.182 - 6.447

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.382 - 0.630

Silicate (umol/l): 2.591 - 4.938
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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General Ecology

Ecology

G. catenatum is a planktonic red tide species. The first G. catenatum red tide was reported from the Gulf of California with populations close to 1 X 106 cells/L. Populations of this species have been recorded from Mexico, Japan, Australia, Venezuela, the Philippines and Europe.

G. catenatum produces a characteristic resting cyst (Fig. 6). Cysts are 42-52 µm in diameter, spherical and brown. They have a very distinct morphology: the surface is covered with microreticulate ornament t-tations. These cysts can germinate after just two weeks of dormancy and initiate new populations. Cysts are not only a reseeding tool, but also a disbursement agent: G. catenatum was introduced to Australian waters via ships' ballast water.

  • Blackburn, S.I., G.M. Hallegraeff & C.J. Bolch 1989. Vegetative reproduction and sexual life cycle of the toxic dinoflagellate Gymnodinium catenatum from Tasmania, Australia. J. Phycol. 25: 577-590.
  • Estrada, M., F.J. Sanchez & S. Fraga 1984. Gymnodinium catenatum (Graham) en las rias gallegas (NO de Espana), Inv. Pesq. 48: 31-40.
  • Franca, S. & J.F. Almeida 1989. Paralytic shellfish poisons in bivalve molluscs on the Portuguese coast caused by a bloom of the dinoflagellate Gymnodinium catenatum. In: T. Okaichi, D.M. Anderson & T. Nemoto (eds.), Red Tides: Biology, Environmental Science and Toxicology, Elsevier, New York: 93-96.
  • Fukuyo, Y., M. Kodama, T. Ogata, T. Ishimaru, K. Matsuoka, T. Okaichi, A.M. Maala & J.A. Ordones 1993. Occurrence of Gymnodinium catenatum in Manila Bay, the Philippines. In: T.J. Smayda & Y. Shimizu (eds.), Toxic Phytoplankton in the Sea, Elsevier, Amsterdam: 875-880.
  • Giacobbe, M.G., F. Oliva, R. La Ferla, A. Puglisi, E. Crisafi & G. Maimone 1995. Potentially toxic dinoflagellates in Mediterranean waters (Sicily) and related hydrobiological conditions. Aquat. Microb. Ecol. 9: 3-68.
  • Graham, H.W. 1943. Gymnodinium catenatum, a new dinoflagellate from the Gulf of California. Tans. Am. Micr. Soc. 62: 259-261.
  • Hallegraeff, G.M. & C.J. Bolch 1991. Transport of toxic dinoflagellate cysts via ships' ballast water. Mar. Poll. Bull. 22: 27-30.
  • Hallegraeff, G.M., D.A. Steffensen & R. Wetherbee 1988. Three estuarine Australian dinoflagellates that can produce paralytic shellfish poisons. J. Plank. Res. 10: 533-541.
  • Hallegraeff, G.M., S.O. Stanley, C.J. Bolch & S. Blackburn 1989. Gymnodinium catenatum blooms and shellfish toxicity in southern Tasmania, Australia. In: T. Okaichi, D.M. Anderson & T. Nemoto (eds.), Red Tides: Biology, Environmental Science and Toxicology, Elsevier, New York: 77-80.
  • Ikeda, T., S. Matsuno, S. Sato, T. Ogata, M. Kodama, Y. Fukuyo & H. Takayama 1989. First report on paralytic shellfish poisoning caused by Gymnodinium catenatum Graham (Dinophyceae) in Japan. In: T. Okaichi, D.M. Anderson & T. Nemoto (eds.), Red Tides: Biology, Environmental Sciences and Toxicology, Elsevier, New York: 411-414.
  • La Barbera-Sanchez, A., S. Hall & E. Ferraz-Reyes 1993. Alexandrium sp., Gymnodinium catenatum and PSP in Venezuela. In: T.J. Smayda & Y. Shimizu (eds.), Toxic Phytoplankton in the Sea, Elsevier, Amsterdam: 281-285.
  • Mee, L.D., M. Espinosa & G. Diaz 1986. Paralytic shellfish poisoning with a Gymnodinium catenatum red tide on the Pacific coast of Mexico. Mar. Environ. Res. 19: 77-92.
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National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany

Source: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Department of Botany

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Life History and Behavior

Reproduction

G. catenatum reproduces asexually by binary fission. This species also has a sexual cycle with opposite mating types (heterothallism). After gamete fusion, a planozygote forms, and after two weeks, this form encysts into a characteristic resting cyst (Fig. 6). Nutrient deficiency induces the sexual phase.

  • Blackburn, S.I., G.M. Hallegraeff & C.J. Bolch 1989. Vegetative reproduction and sexual life cycle of the toxic dinoflagellate Gymnodinium catenatum from Tasmania, Australia. J. Phycol. 25: 577-590.
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National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany

Source: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Department of Botany

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Physiology and Cell Biology

Physiology

Toxicity

G. catenatum is a known paralytic shellfish poison (PSP) toxin producer. This species is the only unarmoured dinoflagellate known to produce PSP toxins. First reports of PSP associated with G. catenatum blooms were recorded in Spain.

  • Estrada, M., F.J. Sanchez & S. Fraga 1984. Gymnodinium catenatum (Graham) en las rias gallegas (NO de Espana), Inv. Pesq. 48: 31-40.
  • Mee, L.D., M. Espinosa & G. Diaz 1986. Paralytic shellfish poisoning with a Gymnodinium catenatum red tide on the Pacific coast of Mexico. Mar. Environ. Res. 19: 77-92.
  • Morey-Gaines, G. 1982. Gymnodinium catenatum Graham (Dinophyceae): morphology and affinities with armoured forms. Phycologia 21: 154-163.
  • Taylor, F.J.R., Y. Fukuyo & J. Larsen 1995. Taxonomy of harmful dinoflagellates. In: G.M. Hallegraeff, D.M. Anderson & A.D. Cembella (eds.), Manual on Harmful Marine Microalgae, IOC Manuals and Guides No. 33. UNESCO, France: 283-317.
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National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany

Source: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Department of Botany

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Gymnodinium catenatum

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Gymnodinium catenatum

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 5
Specimens with Barcodes: 7
Species With Barcodes: 1
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© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Conservation

Management

Toxicity

Gymnodinium catenatum is the only naked dinoflagellate known to produce PSP toxins
  • Tomas C ed. (1996) Identifying marine diatoms and dinoflagellates. pp 598. Academic Press Ltd. London
  • Hallegraeff GM and Hara Y (2003) Taxnomy of harmful marine raphidophytes. In: Hallegraeff GM, Anderson DM, Cembella AD. Manual on harmful microalgae. UNESCO Publishing
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© University of Liverpool

Source: Harmful Phytoplankton Project

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