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Phylogenetic characterization of cryptic species of the marine dinoflagellate, Ostreopsis sp. Shmidt, 1902, from Russian coastal waters, the Sea of Japan

Kseniya V. Efimova, Tatiana Yu. Orlova, Vladimir A. Brykov

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J. Bio. Env. Sci.5(4), 317-332, October 2014


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Ostreopsis Schmidt, 1902 is a genus of benthic and epiphytic dinoflagellates known to produce palytoxin (PTX) and its analogues. In 2006, high concentrations (10,970 cells g-1dry weight) of Ostreopsis spp. were found in waters of Peter the Great Bay, Sea of Japan, near Vladivostok (43˚04ʹ N, 131˚57ʹ E). Since then, high numbers of Ostreopsis spp. have been observed each year associated with the epiphytic assemblages of the bay. The current investigation focuses on molecular-genetic analysis and phylogenetic reconstruction of Ostreopsis sp. from Russian waters based on ribosomal DNA genes (LSU rDNA (D1/D2) and ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 region, SSU rDNA). Single cells from environmental samples and monoclonal cultures were used to isolate DNA, which was compared to sequences of Ostreopsis species from the northwestern Pacific, Indo-Pacific, Malaysia, and Atlantic/Mediterranean regions. Phylogenetic analysis, based on rDNA sequence, revealed three distinctly different Ostreopsis ribotypes: one similar to a toxic Korean strain, the second analogous to a Japanese strain from Okinawa (Ostreopsis sp.2), and the third similar to an extremely toxic Japanese strain (Ostreopsis sp.1). The present study has revealed high genetic homogeneity of SSU rDNA within the Russian strain that allowed us to reliably estimate distinctions among populations from different regions and homogeneity within population.


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Phylogenetic characterization of cryptic species of the marine dinoflagellate, Ostreopsis sp. Shmidt, 1902, from Russian coastal waters, the Sea of Japan

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