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Life history and cell cycle of Durinskia baltica (Dinophyceae: Peridiniales) in culture

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Durinskia baltica is a dinophyte whose presence has been reported over a wide ecological range (freshwater, brackish and marine environments) but has been studied mostly in temperate regions. Although there are some studies about its taxonomy, its life cycle is only partially known. Knowing the life cycle is important to understand various ecological aspects of dinophytes like bloom events, which have been reported recently in freshwater environments. In this study we describe the life cycle of a tropical freshwater strain of Durinskia baltica, identifying the different resting structures in asexual and sexual reproductive phases and the occurrence of meiosis. Cells were isolated from samples collected at a natural tropical freshwater site and maintained in culture. The photographic material was obtained with light and epifluorescence microscopy over alive culture material. We present the first description of the pellicle cyst that appears in the sexual phase of the life cycle and identify three alternative sexual routes: direct division of the planozygote by meiosis, temporary sexual encystment, and the formation of a hypnozygote with a short dormancy period. It was also found that the duration of the phases and meiosis timing are related directly to the route of the cycle that the organism follows. We conclude that, for D. baltica the presence of different routes after syngamy is a key response for the species' survival when short-term environmental changes (as in the studied water body) have more impact than seasonal transitions, as it occurs in temperate regions.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2019

This article was made available online on July 17, 2018 as a Fast Track article with title: "Life history and cell cycle of Durinskia baltica (Dinophyceae: Peridiniales) in culture".

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  • Nova Hedwigia is an international journal publishing original, peer-reviewed papers on current issues of taxonomy, morphology, ultrastructure and ecology of all groups of cryptogamic plants, including cyanophytes/cyanobacteria and fungi. The half-tone plates in Nova Hedwigia are known for their high quality, which makes them especially suitable for the reproduction of photomicrographs and scanning and transmission electron micrographs.
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