The possible role of cortical microtubules in dinoflagellates was studied using high-pressure treatments applied to nonmotile cells (just after ecdysis) of Scrippsiella hexapraecingula T. Horig. et Chihara. Whereas considerable disorganization of cortical microtubules was observed when cells were exposed to high-pressure treatments of 98 MPa or more for 5–15 min, they were mostly intact in cells exposed to a pressure of <98 MPa for 5 min. After nonmotile cells were exposed to high-pressure treatments sufficient to disorganize the cortical microtubules, they produced new motile cells with thecal plate patterns that differed considerably from the pattern known for this species. Increasing the intensity of high pressure applied to nonmotile cells resulted in an increase in the number of cells that exhibited disorganized cortical microtubules as well as a change in their thecal plate pattern, suggesting that high pressure disorganizes cortical microtubules leading to a change in the thecal plate pattern.