Pyrocystis Wyville-Thompson, 1876

Lectotype species: Pyrocystis pseudonoctiluca Wyville-Thompson

Original publication: Murray, J. (1876). Preliminary reports to Professor Thompson, F.R.S. and Director of the civilian scientific staff on work done on board the "Challenger". Proceedings of the Royal Society of London 24: 471-544, plates 21-23, 1 map.

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Type designated in: Haeckel E. (1890). Plankton Studien. Jenaische Zeitschrift für Naturwissenschaft 25: 232-336.

Description: Coccoid phototrophic and bioluminescent dinophyte of small to large size (30-1000 µm). Shape globular (type species), bladder-like, lanceolate, or lunate. Vegetative reproduction by obligate alternation of coccoid stage and a short-lived (< 1 hour) reproductive body: either autospores (type species) or flagellated dinospores which may be uni- or biflagellated, unarmored or thecate. If thecate, plate pattern is like that of Gonyaulax Diesing. The formation of the reproductive stages are very distinctive, and this can be used to calculate mean doubling times of the species in natural waters (at least 2-10 days, species specific). Cytoplasm movement follows a circadian rhythm, as does bioluminescence. Nucleus always horseshoe shaped. All species with numerous chloroplasts. Marine oceanic plankton restricted to warm waters. The lunate species currently confused with the secondary cysts of the parasite Dissodinium Klebs in Pascher; therefore numerous records also from neritic temperate to cold water zones are incorrect. Several species currently used for investigations of circadian rhythms and bioluminescence. The specific weight of the coccal cells is regulated by exchange of SO4, Ca and Mg by NaCl.

Information contributed by: M. Elbrächter. The most recent alteration to this page was made on 2021-03-05 by M.D. Guiry.

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

Gender: This genus name is currently treated as feminine.

Most recent taxonomic treatment adopted: Tillmann, U., Bantle, A., Krock, B., Elbrächter, M & Gottschling, M. (2021). Recommendations for epitypification of dinophytes exemplified by Lingulodinium polyedra and molecular phylogenetics of the Gonyaulacales based on curated rRNA sequence data. Harmful Algae 103: [1-16], 8 figs, 3 tables.

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Some of the descriptions included in AlgaeBase were originally from the unpublished Encyclopedia of Algal Genera, organised in the 1990s by Dr Bruce Parker on behalf of the Phycological Society of America (PSA) and intended to be published in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. 05 March 2021. AlgaeBase. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway.; searched on 23 July 2024

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