Karlodinium elegans sp. nov. (Gymnodiniales, Dinophyceae), a novel species isolated from the East China Sea in a dinoflagellate bloom

Abstract

On May 24–29, 2019, a harmful algal bloom occurred in Pingtan coastal areas, Fujian, southeast China, and caused mass mortality of cage-cultured fish. Two clonal cultures of an unknown naked dinoflagellate were set up from seawater samples taken during the bloom. The cultures were examined for morphological features, ultrastructure characters, photosynthetic pigments, the large subunit (LSU) of the rRNA gene, and the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences, as well as acute toxicity analysis. The cell was unarmored, small-sized, and ovoid, and was characterized by elaborate striations on the epicone and hypocone. The nucleus was large, ellipsoid to oval or kidney-shaped, and centrally located in the cell. A long linear apical groove originated above the sulcus in the ventral epicone and extended to the dorsal side. An elongate, slit-like “ventral pore” was located on the left of the epicone, well away from the apical groove. The chloroplasts were yellowish brown, numerous, band like, and irregularly distributed in the cell periphery. Fucoxanthin was the main accessory pigment composition. Phylogeny topology reconstructed on partial LSU rDNA showed that the unknown dinoflagellate branched as a sister species to Karlodinium sp. (strain IFR981 & IFR797, from France) and Karlodinium corrugatum (strain KDGSO08, from Australia), with genetic divergences of 0.6% and 3.3%, respectively. Based on the morphological and molecular phylogenetic analysis, we describe the novel dinoflagellate as Karlodinium elegans sp. nov. A toxicity assay revealed that the clonal culture of K. elegans (strain PTB601) had no adverse effect on brine shrimp (Artemia salina) and marine medaka (Oryzias melastigma), indicating it may not be a toxic species.

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Acknowledgment

Special appreciations are expressed to Prof. Moestrup of the University of Copenhagen for his helpful comments and for improving the English text. We sincerely thank Dr. JIANG Tao of the Yellow Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences for his help in the pigment composition analysis. We deeply thank Prof. Hallegraeff of University of Tasmania for his kind help on the new species confirmation.

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Correspondence to Jianyan Wang or Songhui Lü.

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Data Availability Statement

The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon request.

Supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (No. 2017YFC1404301), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 41906112, 41606175), the Science & Technology Basic Resources Investigation Program of China (No. 2018FY100200), and the Beijing Natural Science Foundation (No. 8194059)

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Cen, J., Wang, J., Huang, L. et al. Karlodinium elegans sp. nov. (Gymnodiniales, Dinophyceae), a novel species isolated from the East China Sea in a dinoflagellate bloom. J. Ocean. Limnol. 39, 242–258 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00343-020-0221-4

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Keyword

  • Karlodinium
  • Kareniaceae
  • harmful algal bloom
  • toxicity
  • dinoflagellate