Morphology and molecular characterization of the epiphytic dinoflagellate Amphidinium massartii, isolated from the temperate waters off Jeju Island, Korea

  • Lee, Kyung Ha (School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, College of Natural Sciences, Seoul National University) ;
  • Jeong, Hae Jin (School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, College of Natural Sciences, Seoul National University) ;
  • Park, Kila (School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, College of Natural Sciences, Seoul National University) ;
  • Kang, Nam Seon (School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, College of Natural Sciences, Seoul National University) ;
  • Yoo, Yeong Du (School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, College of Natural Sciences, Seoul National University) ;
  • Lee, Moo Joon (School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, College of Natural Sciences, Seoul National University) ;
  • Lee, Jin-Woo (School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, College of Natural Sciences, Seoul National University) ;
  • Lee, Soojin (School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, College of Natural Sciences, Seoul National University) ;
  • Kim, Taekyung (School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, College of Natural Sciences, Seoul National University) ;
  • Kim, Hyung Seop (Department of Marine Biotechnology, College of Ocean Sciences, Kunsan National University) ;
  • Noh, Jae Hoon (Marine Resources Research Department, KIOST)
  • Received : 2013.05.17
  • Accepted : 2013.07.01
  • Published : 2013.09.15


Amphidinium massartii Biecheler is an epiphytic and toxic dinoflagellate. Prior to the present study, A. massartii has been reported in the waters off the Mediterranean, Australian, USA, and Canadian coasts. We isolated Amphidinium cells from the coastal waters of Jeju Island, Korea and their morphology and rDNA sequences indicated that they were A. massartii. Herein, we report for the first time the occurrence of A. massartii in the waters of the temperate region in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. The large subunit (LSU) rDNA sequences of the Korean strains were 0.7% different from those of an Australian strain of A. massartii CS-259, the closest species, but were 4.1-5.8% different from those of the other Australian strains and the USA strains of A. massartii and from those of Amphidinium sp. HG115 that was isolated from subtropical Okinawan waters. In phylogenetic trees based on LSU, internal transcribed spacer, small subunit rDNA, and cytochrome b sequences, the Korean strains belonged to the A. massartii clade, which was clearly divergent from the A. carterae clade. The morphology of the Korean A. massartii strains was similar to that of the originally described French strain and recently described Australian strain. However, we report for the first time here that scales were observed on the surface of the flagella. In conclusion, the Korean A. massartii strains have unique rDNA sequences, even though they have a very similar morphology to that of previously reported strains. This report extends the known range of this dinoflagellate to the temperate waters of the northwestern Pacific Ocean.


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