A strain of a dinoflagellate belonging to the genus Azadinium was obtained by the incubation of sediments collected from Shiwha Bay, Korea. This report of the genus Azadinium is the first outside of northern Europe and furthermore from thePacific Ocean. The diagnostic morphological features of the isolate very closely resemble the recently described species Azadinium poporum isolated from the North Sea. However, the shape of the 3′ apical plate and the occasional morphological variations unreported from A. poporum bring minor distinctions between strains from different locations. The DNA sequences of small subunit, ITS, and large subunit (LSU) rDNA differed by 0.2%, 2.6%, and 3.6%, respectively, from those of A. poporum, whereas the COI gene was identical to those found in all strains of Azadinium. Phylogenetic analyses of the ribosomal DNA regions generally positioned the Korean strain as a sister taxon of A. poporum. However, the Korean isolate tends to occupy a basal position within Azadinium species with ITS rDNA and LSU rDNA. Using liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry, no known azaspiracids were detected. The slight but discernible morphological differences, the distinct rDNA sequences, and the tendency of the Korean strain to diverge phylogenetically based on ITS rDNA and LSU rDNA from A. poporum do not enable us to clearly assign the isolate to A. poporum. However, these characteristics do not allow us to classify it as a distinct species, and it is therefore designated as Azadinium cf. poporum. The examination of more strains to find more diagnostic characteristics might enable the attribution of this material to a well-defined taxonomic position.
Helmholtz Research Programs > PACES I (2009-2013) > TOPIC 2: Coastal Change > WP 2.2: Integrating evolutionary Ecology into Coastal and Shelf Processes