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First report of the photosynthetic dinoflagellate Heterocapsa minima in the Pacific Ocean: morphological and genetic characterizations and the nationwide distribution in Korea

Cited 11 time in Web of Science Cited 11 time in Scopus

Lee, Sung Yeon; Jeong, Hae Jin; Kwon, Ji Eun; You, Ji Hyun; Kim, So Jin; Ok, Jin Hee; Kang, Hee Chang; Park, Jae Yeon

Issue Date
ALGAE, Vol.34 No.1, pp.7-21
The genus Heterocapsa is one of the major dinoflagellate groups, with some of its species having worldwide distributions. However, prior to the present study, the phototrophic species Heterocapsa minima has been reported only from the northeast Atlantic Ocean. Recently, H. minima was found in the Korean waters, and a clonal culture was established. This culture was used to examine the morphology of the Korean strain H. minima HMMJ1604 through light and scanning electron microscopy, as well as for its genetic characterization. Furthermore, to determine the nationwide distribution of H. minima in Korea, its abundance was quantified in the waters of 28 stations in all four seasons in 2016-2018 using the quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction method. The overall morphology of H. minima HMMJ1604 was very similar to that of the Irish strain H. minima JK2. However, the Korean strain had five pores around the pore plate, whereas the Irish strain had six pores. When properly aligned, the sequences of the large subunit and internal transcribed spacer regions of the ribosomal DNA of the Korean strain were identical to those of the Irish strain. This species was detected in the waters of 26 out of 28 stations, but its abundance was greater than 1.0 cells mL(-1) at 8 stations. The highest abundance of H. minima was 44.4 cells mL(-1). Although this species was found in all seasons, its abundance was greater than 1.0 cells mL(-1) when the water temperature and salinity were 10.9-25.0 degrees C and 17.5-34.1, respectively. To the best knowledge, the present study reported for the first time that II. minima lives in the Pacific Ocean and is widely distributed in the Korean waters.
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  • College of Natural Sciences
  • Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Research Area Aquatic Microbial Ecology, Biological Oceanography, Plankton


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