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Morphology and Phylogeny of Prorocentrum texanum sp. nov. (Dinophyceae): A New Toxic Dinoflagellate from the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Waters Exhibiting Two Distinct Morphologies


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A new planktonic species of Prorocentrum is described from the Gulf of Mexico. First observed with the Imaging FlowCytobot, Prorocentrum texanum sp. nov. was characterized using LM, SEM, and TEM along with sequencing of the SSU, LSU, and ITS ribosomal regions and the mitochondrial cob and cox1 regions. P. texanum sp. nov. is a round to oval bivalvate dinoflagellate, with a prominent anterior, serrated solid flange on periflagellar a platelet and an opposing short, flat flange on the h platelet. The periflagellar area consists of 10 platelets. Both left and right valves have shallow round depressions and two-sized valve pores. The anterior ejectosome pore pattern differs between the left and right valve in relation to the periflagellar area and margins. Ten to eleven rows of tangential ejectosome pores are present on each valve. P. texanum sp. nov. has two varieties which exhibit distinct morphotypes, one round to oval (var. texanum) and the other pointed (var. cuspidatum). P. texanum var. cuspidatum is morphologically similar to P. micans in surface markings, but is smaller, and has a serrated periflagellar flange, and is genetically distinct from P. micans. Cytologically, P. texanum has two parietal chlo-roplasts, each with a compound, interlamellar pyrenoid, trichocysts, fibrous vesicles that resemble mucocysts, pusules, V- to U-shaped posterior nucleus, golgi, and tubular mitochondria. No genetic difference was found between the two varieties in the five genes examined. Phylogenetic analysis of the SSU, LSU, and ITS ribosomal regions place P. texanum sp. nov. as a sister group to P. micans. One isolate of P. texanum var. texanum produces okadaic acid.