Gómez, F., Moreira, D. & López-Garcia, P., 2010
Gómez, F., Moreira, D. & López-Garcia, P. (2010). Neoceratium gen. nov., a new genus for all marine species currently assigned to Ceratium (Dinophyceae). Protist 161: 35-54.
The dinoflagellate genus Ceratium contains marine and freshwater species. Freshwater species possess six cingular plates, thick plates in the concave ventral area and usually develop a third hypothecal horn. The marine Ceratium (>62 species) possess five cingular plates and thin plates in the concave ventral area; a third hypothecal horn is atypical. Resting cysts, a common feature in the freshwater species, are unreported in marine species. We illustrate for the first time resting cysts in marine Ceratium (C. furca and C. candelabrum). We obtained small subunit ribosomal RNA gene (SSU rDNA) sequences of 23 Ceratium species (more than one third of the total marine species described so far), with representatives of the four acknowledged subgenera. Phylogenetic analyses including the type species, the freshwater C. hirundinella, showed that the four available sequences of freshwater species formed a strongly supported subclade, very distant from the marine cluster. Our data support the splitting of Ceratium sensu lato into two genera. Ceratium sensu stricto should remain for freshwater species possessing six cingular plates (three cingular plates in dorsal view). The new genus name, Neoceratium gen. nov. should be applied to the marine species of Ceratium sensu lato that possess five cingular plates (two cingular plates in dorsal view).
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