Dinoflagellates
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Dinoflagellates. Dinoflagellates - . Kingdom Protista Belong to the division Dinophyta Phylum dinoflagellata Are part of phytoplankton Of the 12,000 species most are marine and photosynthetic but a few ingest bits of food (heterotrophic) Primary production is second only to diatoms

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Dinoflagellates

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Dinoflagellates


Dinoflagellates -

  • Kingdom Protista

  • Belong to the division Dinophyta

  • Phylum dinoflagellata

  • Are part of phytoplankton

  • Of the 12,000 species most are marine and photosynthetic but a few ingest bits of food (heterotrophic)

  • Primary production is second only to diatoms

  • Sometimes more abundant than diatoms

  • Unicellular eukaryotes


One flagella encircles the cell in groove and the other is free. The two unequal flagella cause a spiraling swimming motion.


Most cells are armored with plates (tabulation), which may have spine, pores, and other ornaments.


Contains several chloroplast


Reproduction is mostly asexual (mitosis).


  • “Blooms” - buildup neurotoxins in food chain - Biomagnification = “red tides” effect nervous system and lung function. Can kill fish and shell fish and even humans. Saxitoxin (100,000 x more potent then cocaine) and Brevitoxin are examples. Shell fish should be eaten in months with “R” in them - not May thru August.


Some species are bioluminescent - light is released when luciferin is broken down and the energy is released as light.


May be used to scare predators, distract predators, or even attract predators of the predators.


redtide event in Carlsbad Ca.


watch video


Video-Marine Bioluminescence:

Secret lights in the Sea


Ostracod Crustacean Demo!

Luciferin is a pigment that is catalyzed by the enzyme Luciferase to generate light.


Bioluminescing ostracod crustaceans are native to the Sea of Japan.The crustaceans live on the bottom during the day then come to the surface to feed at night. During WWII Japanese soldiers used the dried ostracods to read maps at night.


Dinoflagellates like zooxanthellae have symbiotic mutualistic relationships with: Coral, Sponges, and Anemones


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