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Gambierdiscus (Gonyaulacales, Dinophyceae) diversity in Vietnamese waters with description of G. vietnamensis sp. nov

J Phycol. 2023 Mar 3. doi: 10.1111/jpy.13326. Online ahead of print.


Viet Nam has a coastline of 3,200 km with thousands of islands providing diverse habitats for benthic harmful algal species including species of Gambierdiscus. Some of these species produce ciguatera toxins, which may accumulate in large carnivore fish potentially posing major threats to public health. This study reports five species of Gambierdiscus from Vietnamese waters, notably G. australes, G. caribaeus, G. carpenteri, G. pacificus, and G. vietnamensis sp. nov. All species are identified morphologically by LM and SEM, and identifications are supported by molecular analyses of nuclear rDNA (D1-D3 and D8-D10 domains of LSU, SSU, and ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 region) based on cultured material collected during 2010-2021. Statistical analyses of morphometric measurements may be used to differentiate some species if a sufficiently large number of cells are examined. Gambierdiscus vietnamensis sp. nov. is morphologically similar to other strongly reticulated species, such as G. belizeanus and possibly G. pacificus; the latter species is morphologically indistinguishable from G. vietnamensis sp. nov., but they are genetically distinct, and molecular analysis is deemed necessary for proper identification of the new species. This study also revealed that strains denoted G. pacificus from Hainan Island (China) should be included in G. vietnamensis sp. nov.

PMID:36866508 | DOI:10.1111/jpy.13326

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