Bipolar distribution of the cyst-forming dinoflagellate Polarella glacialis
Montresor, M × Lovejoy, C Orsini, L Procaccini, G Roy, S #
Polar biology vol:26 issue:3 pages:186-194
Morphological investigations of motile cells and cysts of a small dinoflagellate (strain CCMP 2088) isolated from Canadian Arctic waters were carried out under both light and scanning electron microscopy. This species strongly resembled Polarella glacialis (strain CCMP 1383), which up to now was known only from Antarctic sea ice. The photosynthetic pigment composition of strain CCMP 2088 is typical of dinoflagellates, with peridinin as a major accessory pigment. Phylogenetic relationships between the two strains and other dinoflagellate species were inferred from SSU nrDNA using Neighbour Joining and weighted parsimony analyses. Our results showed that strain CCMP 2088 and P. glacialis (strain CCMP 1383) grouped in the same clade (Suessiales clade), showing high similarity values (0.99%). Morphological and molecular data support the assignment of the Arctic strain to P. glacialis. The free-living Gymnodinium simplex and the two P. glacialis strains have a basal position in the Suessiales clade, as compared to Symbiodinium spp.