Prorocentrum Ehrenberg, 1834

Holotype species: Prorocentrum micans Ehrenberg

Original publication and holotype designation: Ehrenberg, C.G. (1834). Dritter Beitrag zur Erkenntniss grosser Organisation in der Richtung des kleinsten Raumes. Abhandlungen der Königlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin 1833: 145-336, pls I-XIII.

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Description: Small to medium-sized (15-100 µm) bilateral thecate flagellates with 2 apical heterodynamic flagella. Shape globular, lanceolate or sigmoid. Theca composed mainly of 2 valves which may be smooth, with pores or spines. In the flagellar region are an additional 7-14 small plates - one may have a larger spine - forming 2 pores. Both flagella emerge from one pore. All species phototrophic with 1-2 chloroplasts. In some species a microtubular basket is present in the apical region which is correlated to particular food uptake, but so far there is no report on phagocytosis. Sexual reproduction not by plasmogamy; haploid isogametes form a fertilization tube through which the nucleus of the male gamete is injected into the plasma of the female gamete. The diploid planozygote replicates its DNA, becoming tetraploid. Two successive meiotic divisions results in tetrads of haploid vegetative cells. Cyst formation of benthic species known. Marine, brackish waters, worldwide. Two freshwater species known only from Australia. Planktonic, epiphytic, benthic, some species sand-dwelling. Some species form large blooms, discoloring the sea. Some species produce toxins which may harm man. P. lima and related species are associated with ciguatera and have been shown to contain ocadaic acid; some populations of P. minimum are related to diarrhetic shellfish poisoning.

Information contributed by: M. Elbrächter. The most recent alteration to this page was made on 2024-06-14 by M.D. Guiry.

Taxonomic status: This name is of an entity that is currently accepted taxonomically.

Most recent taxonomic treatment adopted: Moestrup, Ø. & Calado, A.J. (2018). Süßwasserflora von Mitteleuropa. Dinophyceae. Vol. 6 pp. [i]-xii, [1]-560, 421 figures. Berlin: Springer Spektrum.

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Some of the descriptions included in AlgaeBase were originally from the unpublished Encyclopedia of Algal Genera, organised in the 1990s by Dr Bruce Parker on behalf of the Phycological Society of America (PSA) and intended to be published in CD format. These AlgaeBase descriptions are now being continually updated, and each current contributor is identified above. The PSA and AlgaeBase warmly acknowledge the generosity of all past and present contributors and particularly the work of Dr Parker.

Descriptions of chrysophyte genera were subsequently published in J. Kristiansen & H.R. Preisig (eds.). 2001. Encyclopedia of Chrysophyte Genera. Bibliotheca Phycologica 110: 1-260.

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M.D. Guiry in Guiry, M.D. & Guiry, G.M. 14 June 2024. AlgaeBase. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway.; searched on 23 July 2024

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