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Algae > Volume 23(1); 2008 > Article
Algae 2008;23(1): 15-29. doi: https://doi.org/10.4490/algae.2008.23.1.015
Morphological Characteristics and Molecular Phylogeny of Five Unarmored Dinoflagellates in Korean Coastal Waters
Soo-Yeon Cho, Jang-Seu Ki and Myung-Soo Han*
Department of Life Science, Hanyang University, Seoul 133-791, Korea
*Corresponding Author  Email: hanms@hanyang.ac.kr
Many species in Gymnodiniales, which are unarmored dinoflagellates, are responsible for marine algal blooms and some of them have potent toxin in the cell. Their taxonomy has so far been well-defined, and several genera (e.g. Akashiwo, Gymnodinium, Karenia) have recently been re-described. In Korea, few works have been carried out on their taxonomical and molecular studies. This study focused on comparison of both morphological and molecular characteristics of five unarmored dinoflagellates on Korean coastal water: Akashiwo sanguinea, Cochlodinium polykrikoides, Gymnodinium catenatum, Gymnodinium impudicum and Karenia aureolum (=K. mikimotoi). Morphological characteristics observed here was in good accordance with the original descriptions of individual species. In addition, none of difference was found in morphological comparisons between the Korean and foreign strains. Furthermore, molecular analysis showed that the SSU rDNA sequences were generally identical according to each species. In some distinct features, A. sanguinea, which has generally the same morphological features, were divided into two groups: one was Korean isolates including European isolates, the other was American isolates. In the two groups, the nucleus was positioned differently: middle of the cells in the Korean isolates (GnSg02, GnSg03), near the epicone in American isolates (CCMP1593, CCMP1837). In addition, this was strongly supported by phylogenetic analysis, inferred from the SSU rDNA sequences. K. aureolum (GrAr01) was corresponded to European G. aureolum (=K. mikimotoi) in shape and position of nucleus, chloroplast, however, which is similar to K. digitata in view of having a finger-like sulcus. This was in good agreement with phylogenetic study of these species. G. catenatum have identical morphology except the ridge location, and their genotype of SSU rDNA was also identical to GenBank data of the same species. From this study, we found that the five Korean unarmored dinoflagellates are identical morphological characteristics and genotype to each species of foreign isolates.
Key words: morphology, phylogeny, SSU rDNA, taxonomy, unarmored dinoflagellates

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