The Hidden Sexuality of Alexandrium Minutum: An Example of Overlooked Sex in Dinoflagellates
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AuthorsFigueroa, R.I. (Rosa Isabel); Dapena, C. (Carlos); Bravo, I. (Isabel); Cuadrado, A. (Ángeles)
Dinoflagellates are haploid eukaryotic microalgae in which rapid proliferation causes dense blooms, with harmful health and economic effects to humans. The proliferation mode is mainly asexual, as the sexual cycle is believed to be rare and restricted to stressful environmental conditions. However, sexuality is key to explaining the recurrence of many dinoflagellate blooms because in many species the fate of the planktonic zygotes (planozygotes) is the formation of resistant cysts in the seabed (encystment). Nevertheless, recent research has shown that individually isolated planozygotes in the lab can enter other routes besides encystment, a behavior of which the relevance has not been explored at the population level. In this study, using imaging flow cytometry, cell sorting, and Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH), we followed DNA content and nuclear changes in a population of the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium minutum that was induced to encystment. Our results first ...
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