Bysmatrum subsalsum is a cosmopolitan dinoflagellate species that inhabits marine and transitional habitats. Despite its wide distribution, information on the morphological variability, phylogeny and ecology of B. subsalsum is scarce. In this study, we provide morphological and molecular data on B. subsalsum strains and wild cells from different locations in the Mediterranean Basin. The dynamics of cell abundances and the associated environmental conditions during a field bloom are also described. Genetic sequences of B. subsalsum obtained in this study showed large intraspecific differences, clustering in two well-differentiated clades. Despite a certain degree of variation with respect to cell size, apical pore complex (APC) morphology and size, and cingulum displacement, cells from the two clades showed similar morphological traits. These findings indicated the occurrence of cryptic species. Comparisons of the morphology of our B. subsalsum specimens with the few descriptions available in the literature revealed larger than previously known intraspecific morphological variability. Phylogenetic trees inferred from the concatenated SSU, 5.8S-ITS, and LSU rRNA and the individual 5.8S-ITS regions suggested the inclusion of Bysmatrum in the Peridiniales and a close phylogenetic relationship with Peridinium sensu stricto. However, the low statistical support prevented the assignment of Bysmatrum to a particular family of Peridiniales. Ecological data obtained from a bloom in La Pletera salt marshes (Catalan Coast, Spain) suggested the species reaches high cell abundances at water temperatures >20°C and salinity levels >30. Our results add new information regarding the morphology, phylogeny, and ecology of B. subsalsum.
Morphological and molecular characterization of Bysmatrum subsalsum (Dinophyceae) from the western Mediterranean Sea reveals the existence of cryptic species1 / Anglès, Sílvia; Reñé, Albert; Garcés, Esther; Lugliè, Antonella Gesuina Laura; Sechi, Nicola; Camp, Jordi; Satta, Cecilia Teodora. - In: JOURNAL OF PHYCOLOGY. - ISSN 0022-3646. - (2017). [10.1111/jpy.12546]