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.
- Harmful algae
- Kryptoperidinium foliaceum