Kryptoperidinium foliaceum blooms in South Carolina: A multi-analytical approach to identification

Jason W. Kempton, Jennifer Wolny, Torstein Tengs, Peter Rizzo, Rodney Morris, Janet Tunnell, Paula Scott, Karen Steidinger, Sabrina N. Hymel, Alan J. Lewitus

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47 Scopus citations


Observations following the discovery of Kryptoperidinium foliaceum blooms in South Carolina (SC), USA, suggest that a multi-analytical approach, using a standard, minimal set of criteria, should be adopted for determining dinoflagellate species identity and taxonomic placement. A combination of morphological, molecular, and biochemical analyses were used to determine the identity of this "red tide" dinoflagellate, first documented in SC waters in the spring of 1998. Results from thecal plate tabulations (based on scanning electron and epifluorescence microscopy), gene sequence data, species-specific PCR probe assays, and microalgal pigment profiles were analyzed and compared to reference cultures of K. foliaceum. Comparative data showed marked inconsistencies among the K. foliaceum reference culture isolates. In addition, the SC bloom isolate was shown to be mononucleate, contrary to previous reports for K. foliaceum, suggesting a more transient endosymbiotic association than previously considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-392
Number of pages10
JournalHarmful Algae
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Susan Wilde, Ken Hayes, Aaron Shurtleff, Patrick Williams, Jamie Williams, Larissa Mason, Laurie Van Heukelem, and Crystal Thomas for technical assistance. This research project was funded by South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium grant NA86RG0052, ECOHAB (NOAA/NSF/EPA/NASA/ONR) grant NA86OP0493, and NOAA grants NA90AA-D-SG672 and NA06OA0675. This is contribution # 60 from the ECOHAB program, contribution # 1359 of the Belle W. Baruch Institute for Marine Biology and Coastal Research, and contribution # 497 of SCDNR’s Marine Resources Research Institute.


  • Dinoflagellate
  • Harmful algae
  • Kryptoperidinium foliaceum
  • PCR
  • Peridinium
  • Taxonomy


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