Phylogenetic analyses indicate that the 19'Hexanoyloxy-fucoxanthin-containing dinoflagellates have tertiary plastids of haptophyte origin

T Tengs, O J Dahlberg, K Shalchian-Tabrizi, D Klaveness, K Rudi, C F Delwiche, K S Jakobsen
Molecular Biology and Evolution 2000, 17 (5): 718-29
The three anomalously pigmented dinoflagellates Gymnodinium galatheanum, Gyrodinium aureolum, and Gymnodinium breve have plastids possessing 19'-hexanoyloxy-fucoxanthin as the major carotenoid rather than peridinin, which is characteristic of the majority of the dinoflagellates. Analyses of SSU rDNA from the plastid and the nuclear genome of these dinoflagellate species indicate that they have acquired their plastids via endosymbiosis of a haptophyte. The dinoflagellate plastid sequences appear to have undergone rapid sequence evolution, and there is considerable divergence between the three species. However, distance, parsimony, and maximum-likelihood phylogenetic analyses of plastid SSU rRNA gene sequences place the three species within the haptophyte clade. Pavlova gyrans is the most basal branching haptophyte and is the outgroup to a clade comprising the dinoflagellate sequences and those of other haptophytes. The haptophytes themselves are thought to have plastids of a secondary origin; hence, these dinoflagellates appear to have tertiary plastids. Both molecular and morphological data divide the plastids into two groups, where G. aureolum and G. breve have similar plastid morphology and G. galatheanum has plastids with distinctive features.

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