Gonyaulax Catenella Classification Essay

1. Taxonomy (biology) – Taxonomy is the science of defining groups of biological organisms on the basis of shared characteristics and giving names to those groups. The exact definition of taxonomy varies from source to source, but the core of the remains, the conception, naming. There is some disagreement as to whether biological nomenclature is considered a part of taxonomy, the broadest meaning of taxonomy is used here. The word taxonomy was introduced in 1813 by Candolle, in his Théorie élémentaire de la botanique, the term alpha taxonomy is primarily used today to refer to the discipline of finding, describing, and naming taxa, particularly species. In earlier literature, the term had a different meaning, referring to morphological taxonomy, ideals can, it may be said, never be completely realized. They have, however, a value of acting as permanent stimulants. Some of us please ourselves by thinking we are now groping in a beta taxonomy, turrill thus explicitly excludes from alpha taxonomy various areas of study that he includes within taxonomy as a whole, such as ecology, physiology, genetics, and cytology. He further excludes phylogenetic reconstruction from alpha taxonomy, thus, Ernst Mayr in 1968 defined beta taxonomy as the classification of ranks higher than species. This activity is what the term denotes, it is also referred to as beta taxonomy. How species should be defined in a group of organisms gives rise to practical and theoretical problems that are referred to as the species problem. The scientific work of deciding how to define species has been called microtaxonomy, by extension, macrotaxonomy is the study of groups at higher taxonomic ranks, from subgenus and above only, than species. While some descriptions of taxonomic history attempt to date taxonomy to ancient civilizations, earlier works were primarily descriptive, and focused on plants that were useful in agriculture or medicine. There are a number of stages in scientific thinking. Early taxonomy was based on criteria, the so-called artificial systems. Later came systems based on a complete consideration of the characteristics of taxa, referred to as natural systems, such as those of de Jussieu, de Candolle and Bentham. The publication of Charles Darwins Origin of Species led to new ways of thinking about classification based on evolutionary relationships and this was the concept of phyletic systems, from 1883 onwards. This approach was typified by those of Eichler and Engler, the advent of molecular genetics and statistical methodology allowed the creation of the modern era of phylogenetic systems based on cladistics, rather than morphology alone. Taxonomy has been called the worlds oldest profession, and naming and classifying our surroundings has likely been taking place as long as mankind has been able to communicate

2. Eukaryote – A eukaryote is any organism whose cells contain a nucleus and other organelles enclosed within membranes. Eukaryotes belong to the taxon Eukarya or Eukaryota, the presence of a nucleus gives eukaryotes their name, which comes from the Greek εὖ and κάρυον. Eukaryotic cells also contain other membrane-bound organelles such as mitochondria and the Golgi apparatus, in addition, plants and algae contain chloroplasts. Eukaryotic organisms may be unicellular or multicellular, only eukaryotes form multicellular organisms consisting of many kinds of tissue made up of different cell types. Eukaryotes can reproduce asexually through mitosis and sexually through meiosis and gamete fusion. In mitosis, one cell divides to produce two identical cells. In meiosis, DNA replication is followed by two rounds of division to produce four daughter cells each with half the number of chromosomes as the original parent cell. These act as sex cells resulting from genetic recombination during meiosis, the domain Eukaryota appears to be monophyletic, and so makes up one of the three domains of life. The two other domains, Bacteria and Archaea, are prokaryotes and have none of the above features, eukaryotes represent a tiny minority of all living things. However, due to their larger size, eukaryotes collective worldwide biomass is estimated at about equal to that of prokaryotes. Eukaryotes first developed approximately 1. 6–2.1 billion years ago, in 1905 and 1910, the Russian biologist Konstantin Mereschkowsky argued three things about the origin of nucleated cells. Firstly, plastids were reduced cyanobacteria in a symbiosis with a non-photosynthetic host, secondly, the host had earlier in evolution formed by symbiosis between an amoeba-like host and a bacteria-like cell that formed the nucleus. Thirdly, plants inherited photosynthesis from cyanobacteria, the split between the prokaryotes and eukaryotes was introduced in the 1960s. The concept of the eukaryote has been attributed to the French biologist Edouard Chatton, the terms prokaryote and eukaryote were more definitively reintroduced by the Canadian microbiologist Roger Stanier and the Dutch-American microbiologist C. B. van Niel in 1962. In his 1938 work Titres et Travaux Scientifiques, Chatton had proposed the two terms, calling the bacteria prokaryotes and organisms with nuclei in their cells eukaryotes. However he mentioned this in one paragraph, and the idea was effectively ignored until Chattons statement was rediscovered by Stanier. In 1967, Lynn Margulis provided microbiological evidence for endosymbiosis as the origin of chloroplasts and mitochondria in cells in her paper. In the 1970s, Carl Woese explored microbial phylogenetics, studying variations in 16S ribosomal RNA and this helped to uncover the origin of the eukaryotes and the symbiogenesis of two important eukaryote organelles, mitochondria and chloroplasts

3. Alveolate – The alveolates are a group of protists, considered a major clade and superphylum within Eukarya, and are also called Alveolata. The most notable shared characteristic is the presence of alveoli, flattened vesicles packed into a continuous layer supporting the membrane. In dinoflagellates they often form armor plates, alveolates have mitochondria with tubular cristae and their flagella or cilia have a distinct structure. Almost all sequenced mitochondrial genomes of ciliates and apicomplexia are linear, the mitochondrial genome of Babesia microti is circular. This species is now known not to belong to either of the genera Babesia or Theileria. The Acavomonidia are closer to the group than the Colponemidia are. As such, the informal term colponemids, as its stands currently, the Apicomplexa and dinoflagellates may be more closely related to each other than to the ciliates. Both have plastids, and most share a bundle or cone of microtubules at the top of the cell, in apicomplexans this forms part of a complex used to enter host cells, while in some colorless dinoflagellates it forms a peduncle used to ingest prey. Various other genera are related to these two groups, mostly flagellates with a similar apical structure. These include free-living members in Oxyrrhis and Colponema, and parasites in Perkinsus, Parvilucifera, Rastrimonas, in 2001, direct amplification of the rRNA gene in marine picoplankton samples revealed the presence of two novel alveolate linages, called group I and II. Group I has no cultivated relatives, while group II is related to the dinoflagellate parasite Amoebophrya, cavalier-Smith, introduced the formal name Alveolata in 1991, although at the time he actually considered the grouping to be a paraphyletic assemblage, rather than a monophyletic group. Some studies suggested the haplosporids, mostly parasites of invertebrates, might belong here. Based on a compilation of the following works, cavalier-Smith 2014 Superclass Perkinsozoa Norén et al.1999 s. s. Class Perkinsea Levine 1978 Superclass Dinoflagellata Butschli 1885 stat. nov, Class Noctiluciphyceae Fensome et al.1993 Class Dinophyceae Pascher 1914 The development of plastids among the alveolates is intriguing. Cavalier-Smith proposed the alveolates developed from an ancestor, which also gave rise to the Chromista. Other researchers have speculated that the alveolates originally lacked plastids and possibly the dinoflagellates, a Bayesian estimate places the evolution of the alveolate group at ~850 million years ago. The Alveolata consist of Myzozoa, Ciliates, and Colponemids, in other words, The term Myzozoa meaning to siphon the contents from prey, may be applied informally to the common ancestor of the subset of alveolates that are neither ciliates nor colponemids. Predation upon algae is an important driver in alveolate evolution, as it can provide sources for endosymbiosis of novel plastids, the term Myzozoa is therefore a handy concept for tracking the history of the alveolate phylum

4. Dinoflagellate – The dinoflagellates are a large group of flagellate eukaryotes that constitute the phylum Dinoflagellata. Most are marine plankton, but they are common in freshwater habitats and their populations are distributed depending on temperature, salinity, or depth. Many dinoflagellates are known to be photosynthetic, but a fraction of these are in fact mixotrophic. In terms of number of species, dinoflagellates form one of the largest groups of marine eukaryotes, some species are endosymbionts of marine animals and play an important part in the biology of coral reefs. Other dinoflagellates are unpigmented predators on other protozoa, and a few forms are parasitic, some dinoflagellates produce resting stages, called dinoflagellate cysts or dinocysts, as part of their lifecycles. Dinoflagellates are considered to be protists, with their own division, about 1,555 species of free-living marine dinoflagellates are currently described. Another estimate suggests about 2,000 living species, of more than 1,700 are marine. The latest estimates suggest a total of 2,294 living dinoflagellate species, a bloom of certain dinoflagellates can result in a visible coloration of the water colloquially known as red tide, which can cause shellfish poisoning if humans consume contaminated shellfish. In 1753, the first modern dinoflagellates were described by Henry Baker as Animalcules which cause the Sparkling Light in Sea Water, the term derives from the Greek word δῖνος, meaning whirling, and Latin flagellum, a diminutive term for a whip or scourge. These same dinoflagellates were first defined by Otto Bütschli in 1885 as the flagellate order Dinoflagellida, botanists treated them as a division of algae, named Pyrrophyta or Pyrrhophyta after the bioluminescent forms, or Dinophyta. At various times, the cryptomonads, ebriids, and ellobiopsids have been included here, dinoflagellates have a known ability to transform from noncyst to cyst-forming strategies, which makes recreating their evolutionary history extremely difficult. Dinoflagellates are protists which have been classified using both the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature and the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, about half of living dinoflagellate species are autotrophs possessing chloroplasts and half are nonphotosynthesising heterotrophs. Most dinoflagellates have a dinokaryon, described below, dinoflagellates with a dinokaryon are classified under Dinokaryota, while dinoflagellates without a dinokaryon are classified under Syndiniales. This group, however, does contain typically eukaryotic organelles, such as Golgi bodies, mitochondria, jakob Schiller provided a description of all the species, both marine and freshwater, known at that time. Later, Alain Sournia listed the new taxonomic entries published after Schiller, Sournia gave descriptions and illustrations of the marine genera of dinoflagellates, excluding information at the species level. The latest index is written by Gómez, english-language taxonomic monographs covering large numbers of species are published for the Gulf of Mexico, the Indian Ocean, the British Isles, the Mediterranean and the North Sea. The main source for identification of freshwater dinoflagellates is the Süsswasser Flora, calcofluor-white can be used to stain thecal plates in armoured dinoflagellates. Dinoflagellates are unicellular and possess two dissimilar flagella arising from the ventral cell side and they have a ribbon-like transverse flagellum with multiple waves that beats to the cells left, and a more conventional one, the longitudinal flagellum, that beats posteriorly

5. Lingulodinium polyedrum – Lingulodinium polyedrum is a species of motile dinoflagellates, which produces a dinoflagellate cyst called Lingulodinium machaerophorum. As part of its cycle, this species produces a resting stage. Surface of shell granular or punctate and its stratigraphic range is the Upper Paleocene of eastern USA and Denmark till Recent. Organic-walled dinocyst morphology is shown to be controlled by changes in salinity and temperature in some species and this morphological variation is known for Lingulodinium machaerophorum from culture experiments, and study of surface sediments. The morphological variation of process lengths can be applied for the reconstruction of salinity, process length variation of Lingulodinium machaerophorum has been used to reconstruct Black Sea salinity variation. Lingulodinium polyedrum produces brilliant displays of bioluminescence in warm coastal waters, seen in Southern California regularly since at least 1901. They are easily visible under 100x magnification and their scintillons luminesce in response to surface tension, luminescence is under circadian regulation, peaking at night. Because of this obvious rhythms L. polyedrum has been an organism for studying clocks in single cells. These blooms contain sufficient concentrations of dinoflagellates that they can provide excellent experimental material for students, a jug of water can be collected from the surf and brought into a completely dark classroom. After a minute or so of complete darkness, the organisms will bioluminesce when the bottle is agitated, vinegar, baking soda, and vegetable oil can be added in drops to see if they affect the luminescence. Though brilliant to the eye, the bioluminescence is relatively dim for photographic purposes. Riccardi, M, Guerrini, F, Ventrella, Ventrella, lipid and DNA features of Gonyaulax fragilis as potential biomarkers in mucilage genesis. North County Times interview of Dr Franks regarding L polyedrum biochemistry of scintillons UC Santa Cruz Phytoplankton Identification page

6. Red tide – Red tide is a common name for a phenomenon known as an algal bloom when it is caused by a few species of dinoflagellates and the bloom takes on a red or brown color. Red tides are events in which estuarine, marine, or fresh water algae accumulate rapidly in the water column and it is usually found in coastal areas. It kills many manatees every year and these algae, a form of phytoplankton, are single-celled protists, plant-like organisms that can form dense, visible patches near the waters surface. Certain species of phytoplankton, dinoflagellates, contain photosynthetic pigments that vary in color from green to brown to red. When the algae are present in concentrations, the water appears to be discolored or murky, varying in color from purple to almost pink. Not all algal blooms are dense enough to cause water discoloration, additionally, red tides are not typically associated with tidal movement of water, hence the preference among scientists to use the term algal bloom. Some red tides are associated with the production of toxins, depletion of dissolved oxygen or other harmful effects. The most conspicuous effects of these kinds of red tides are the associated wildlife mortalities of marine and coastal species of fish, birds, marine mammals, and other organisms. Red tides in the Gulf of Mexico are a result of high concentrations of Karenia brevis, in high concentrations, its toxin paralyzes the central nervous system of fish so they cannot breathe. Dead fish have been observed to wash up on beaches of Mexico. In addition to killing fish and contaminating shellfish, the released by Karenia brevis blooms can kill marine animals including dolphins. Red tide is very harmful to the environment and ocean inhabitants, because toxins produced by it can affect the nervous systems of fish, birds, mammals. Dense concentrations appear as discolored water, often reddish in color and it is a natural phenomenon, but the exact cause or combination of factors that result in a red tide outbreak are unknown. Red tide causes economic harm and for this reason red tide outbreaks are carefully monitored, for example, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission provides an up-to-date status report on the red tide in Florida. Texas also provides a current status report, Red tides also occur regularly in the Coral Sea, Torres Strait, and along the south coast of Papua New Guinea. The intensities observed are much lower than those found on the Chilean coast, only two deaths, occurring in April 1972, have ever been confirmed. The closely related ciguatera poisoning is, however, found across large areas of the Western Pacific. While there is no one particular cause of red tides, there are different factors that contribute to its presence

7. Flagellum – A flagellum is a lash-like appendage that protrudes from the cell body of certain prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. The word flagellum in Latin means whip, the primary role of the flagellum is locomotion, but it also often has function as a sensory organelle, being sensitive to chemicals and temperatures outside the cell. Flagella are organelles defined by function rather than structure, large differences occur between different types of flagella, the prokaryotic and eukaryotic flagella differ greatly in protein composition, structure, and mechanism of propulsion. However, both can be used for swimming, an example of a flagellated bacterium is the ulcer-causing Helicobacter pylori, which uses multiple flagella to propel itself through the mucus lining to reach the stomach epithelium. An example of a eukaryotic cell is the mammalian sperm cell. Eukaryotic flagella are structurally identical to eukaryotic cilia, although distinctions are made according to function and/or length. Fimbriae and pili are also thin appendages, but have different functions and are usually smaller, three types of flagella have so far been distinguished, bacterial, archaeal, and eukaryotic. The main differences among these three types are, Bacterial flagella are helical filaments, each with a motor at its base which can turn clockwise or counterclockwise. They provide two of several kinds of bacterial motility, archaeal flagella are superficially similar to bacterial flagella, but are different in many details and considered non-homologous. Eukaryotic flagella—those of animal, plant, and protist cells—are complex cellular projections that lash back, eukaryotic flagella are classed along with eukaryotic motile cilia as undulipodia to emphasize their distinctive wavy appendage role in cellular function or motility. Primary cilia are immotile, and are not undulipodia, they have a structurally different 9+0 axoneme rather than the 9+2 axoneme found in both flagella and motile cilia undulipodia, the bacterial flagellum is made up of the protein flagellin. Its shape is a 20-nanometer-thick hollow tube and it is helical and has a sharp bend just outside the outer membrane, this hook allows the axis of the helix to point directly away from the cell. A shaft runs between the hook and the body, passing through protein rings in the cells membrane that act as bearings. Gram-positive organisms have two of these basal body rings, one in the layer and one in the plasma membrane. The filament ends with a capping protein, the flagellar filament is the long, helical screw that propels the bacterium when rotated by the motor, through the hook. Each protofilament is a series of protein chains. However, Campylobacter jejuni has seven protofilaments, the basal body has several traits in common with some types of secretory pores, such as the hollow, rod-like plug in their centers extending out through the plasma membrane. The bacterial flagellum is driven by an engine made up of protein

8. Protist – Protist is an informal term for any eukaryotic organism that is not an animal, plant or fungus. The protists do not form a group, or clade. Besides their relatively simple levels of organization, protists do not necessarily have much in common, others use the term protist more broadly, to encompass both microbial eukaryotes and macroscopic organisms that do not fit into the other traditional kingdoms. In cladistic systems, there are no equivalents to the taxa Protista or Protoctista, in cladistic classification, the contents of Protista are distributed among various supergroups and Protista, Protoctista and Protozoa are considered obsolete. However, the term protist continues to be used informally as a term for eukaryotic microorganisms. For example, the phrase protist pathogen may be used to denote any disease-causing microbe which is not bacteria, virus, the term protista was first used by Ernst Haeckel in 1866. Some protists, sometimes called ambiregnal protists, have considered to be both protozoa and algae or fungi, and names for these have been published under either or both of the ICN and the ICZN. Conflicts, such as these – for example the dual-classification of Euglenids and Dinobryons and these traditional subdivisions, largely based on superficial commonalities, have been replaced by classifications based on phylogenetics. Molecular analyses in modern taxonomy have been used to redistribute former members of this group into diverse, however, the older terms are still used as informal names to describe the morphology and ecology of various protists. For example, the term protozoa is used to refer to species of protists that do not form filaments. Among the pioneers in the study of the protists, which were almost ignored by Linnaeus except for some genera were Leeuwenhoek, O. F. Müller, C. G. Ehrenberg, the first groups used to classify microscopic organism were the Animalcules and the Infusoria. In 1817, the German naturalist Georg August Goldfuss introduced the word Protozoa to refer to such as ciliates. After the cell theory of Schwann and Schleiden, this group was modified in 1848 by Carl von Siebold to include only animal-like unicellular organisms, such as foraminifera and amoebae. He defined the Protoctista as a kingdom of nature, in addition to the then-traditional kingdoms of plants. The kingdom of minerals was later removed from taxonomy in 1866 by Ernst Haeckel, leaving plants, animals, in 1938, Herbert Copeland resurrected Hoggs label, arguing that Haeckels term Protista included anucleated microbes such as bacteria, which the term Protoctista did not. In contrast, Copelands term included nucleated eukaryotes such as diatoms, green algae and this classification was the basis for Whittakers later definition of Fungi, Animalia, Plantae and Protista as the four kingdoms of life. The kingdom Protista was later modified to separate prokaryotes into the kingdom of Monera. Many systematists today do not treat Protista as a formal taxon, some systematists judge paraphyletic taxa acceptable, and use Protista in this sense as a formal taxon


Gonyaulax is a genus of dinoflagellates with the type species Gonyaulax spinifera (Claparède et Lachmann) Diesing. Gonyaulax belongs to red dinoflagellates and commonly causes red tides.[4]


Gonyaulax is a genus of dinoflagellates that are aquatic organisms with two separate flagella: one extends backward and the other wraps around the cell in a lateral groove helping to keep the organism afloat by rotational motility.[5] The plate formula in the genus Gonyaulax Diesing was redefined as Po, 3', 2a, 6", 6c, 4-8s, 5'", 1p, 1"".[6]


All species are marine, except for one freshwater species, Gonyaulax apiculata.[6]

It previously included several species, which are now considered to belong to a separate genus, e.g.:[6]


Gonyaulaxdinoflagellates have evolved a type of resting spore (or resting cyst), to enable it to survive harsh weather conditions. Resting cysts can be formed when temperature or salinity changes in the surrounding water. These cysts are round mucous covered bodies that appear reddish in color. Gonyaulax catenella has been recorded forming vegetative cysts in response to cold water.[7]


Gonyaulax are protists that may grow in long chains, especially when faced with turbulent water conditions. These chains allow for clustering of organisms for increased mating, and protection of weakly swimming organisms that could otherwise be washed away.[7]

Effect on Humans[edit]

Although Gonyaulax is predominantly found in seawater, it can also have a detrimental effect on humans. Filter feeding organisms e.g. mussels, clams etc. can accumulate these dinoflagellates in their bodies. When humans eat these shellfish after dinoflagellate accumulation during Red Tide season, usually during the warmer months of the year, it can poison the person who eats it.[5]

Red Tide[edit]

Red tide is a discoloration of the sea water by pigmented cells like Gonyaulax spp., some of which may produce toxins. Gonyaulax spinifera has been connected to the production of yessotoxins (YTXs), a group of structurally related polyether toxins, which can accumulate in shellfish and produce symptoms similar to those produced by paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins.[8]


Further reading[edit]

  • White, A W (Jan 1981). "Marine zoo plankton can accumulate and retain dinoflagellate toxins and cause fish kills". ASOL Limnology and Oceanography. 26 (1): 103–9. JSTOR 2835810. 
  • Diaz, Patricio; Molinet, Carlos; Seguel, Miriam; Labra, Gissela; Figueroa, Rosa (December 2014). "Coupling planktonic and benthic shifts during a bloom of Alexandrium catenella in southern Chile: Implications for bloom dynamics and recurrence". Harmful Algae. 40 (1): 9–22. doi:10.1016/j.hal.2014.10.001. 

Eukaryota: SAR: Alveolata


Mesodiniea (Mesodinium, Myrionecta)

  • Fusionicae (Fusionidae)
  • Gregarinicae (Cephaloidophoridae, Cephalolobidae, Didymophoridae, Gregarinidae, Hirmocystidae, Metameridae, Uradiophoridae)
  • Porosporicae (Porosporidae)
  • Stenophoricae (Acutidae, Amphiplatysporidae, Brustiophoridae, Cnemidosporidae, Dactylophoridae, Leidyanidae, Monoductidae, Monoicidae, Sphaerocystidae, Stenophoridae, Trichorhynchidae)
  • Stylocephaloidea (Actinocephalidae, Stylocephalidae)
  • Blabericolidae
Red tide off the coast of La Jolla, California.
  1. ^syn. G. schuettii Lemmermann 1899 AQUASYMBIO: Gonyaulax polygramma
  2. ^syn. Steiniella fragilis Schütt AQUASYMBIO: Gonyaulax fragilis
  3. ^Mertens KN, Aydin H, Uzar S, Takano Y, Yamaguchi A, Matsuoka K (2015). "Relationship between the dinoflagellate cyst Spiniferites pachydermus and Gonyaulax ellegaardiae sp. nov. from Izmir Bay, Turkey, and molecular characterization". J. Phycol. 51 (3): 560–73. doi:10.1111/jpy.12304. PMID 26986670. 
  4. ^Rollo, Franco; Sassarolil, Stefano; Boni, Laurita; Marota, Isolina (1995-04-28). "Molecular typing of the red-tide dinoflagellate Gonyaulax polyedra in phytoplankton suspensions"(PDF). Aquatic Microbial Ecology. 9: 55. doi:10.3354/ame009055. Retrieved 2015-04-25. 
  5. ^ ab"Gonyaulax | dinoflagellate genus". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2017-04-13. 
  6. ^ abcDodge, J.D. (1989). "Some revisions of the family Gonyaulacaceae (Dinophyceae) based on scanning electron microscope study". Bot. Mar. 32: 275–298. doi:10.1515/botm.1989.32.4.275. 
  7. ^ ab"Gonyaulax Adaptations". bioweb.uwlax.edu. Retrieved 2017-04-13. 
  8. ^Kirkpatrick, Barbara; Fleming, Lora E.; Squicciarini, Dominick; Backer, Lorrie C.; Clark, Richard; Abraham, William; Benson, Janet; Cheng, Yung Sung; Johnson, David (2004-04-01). "Literature review of Florida red tide: implications for human health effects". Harmful Algae. 3 (2): 99–115. doi:10.1016/j.hal.2003.08.005. PMC 2856946. PMID 20411030. 

0 thoughts on “Gonyaulax Catenella Classification Essay

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *