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A new species of Gambierdiscus (Dinophyceae) from the south-west Pacific: Gambierdiscus honu sp. nov.
- Rhodes, Lesley, Smith, Kirsty F., Verma, Arjun, Curley, Belinda G., Harwood, D. Tim, Murray, Sam, Kohli, Gurjeet S., Solomona, Dorothy, Rongo, Teina, Munday, Rex, Murray, Shauna A.
- Harmful algae 2017 v.65 pp. 61-70
- Gambierdiscus, ciguatoxin, epiphytes, intraperitoneal injection, islands, macroalgae, maitotoxin, mice, new species, phylogeny, toxicity, Cook Islands
- Two isolates of a new tropical, epiphytic dinoflagellate species, Gambierdiscus honu sp. nov., were obtained from macroalgae sampled in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, and from North Meyer Island, Kermadec Islands. Gambierdiscus honu sp. nov. had the common Gambierdiscus Kofoidian plate formula: Po, 3′, 6″, 6C?, 6 or 7S, 5‴, 1p and 2⁗. The characteristic morphological features of this species were its relatively small short dorsoventral length and width and the shape of individual plates, in particular the combination of the hatchet-shaped 2′ and pentagonal 3′ plates and the length to width ratio of the antapical 1p plate. The combination of these characteristics plus the smooth thecal surface and equal sized 1⁗ and 2⁗ plates differentiated this species from other Gambierdiscus species. The phylogenetic analyses supported the unique description. Both isolates of G. honu produced the putative maitotoxin (MTX)-3 analogue, but neither produced ciguatoxin (CTX) or MTX. Extracts of G. honu were shown to be highly toxic to mice by intraperitoneal injection (0.2mg/kg), although less toxic by gavage. It is possible that toxins other than putative MTX-3 are produced.