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Studies on the Genus Mesodinium II. Ultrastructural and Molecular Investigations of Five Marine Species Help Clarifying the Taxonomy


Corresponding Author: L. Garcia-Cuetos, Section of Marine Biology, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Øster Farimagsgade 2D, DK-1353 Copenhagen, Denmark—Telephone number: +45 0 35 32 22 90; FAX number: +45 0 35 32 23 21; e-mail:


We provide a detailed study of four marine Mesodinium species and compare the data to the companion article on Mesodinium chamaeleon and other available studies on Mesodinium, to shed some light on the taxonomy of the genus. Micrographs of two red phototrophic Mesodinium species, Mesodinium rubrum and Mesodinium major n. sp., as well as the first published micrographs of two heterotrophic species, M. pulex and M. pupula are presented in combination with molecular analyses based on the ribosomal genes. The main conclusion of this study is the invalidity of the genus Myrionecta based on the arrangements of the basal bodies forming the cirri and the separation of species formerly known as M. rubrum resulting in an emended description of M. rubrum and the description of a related new species M. major n. sp.

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