Two morphologically distinct species of free-swimming dinoflagellates belonging to the genus Gyrodinium utilize the spine and rhizopodial environments of planktonic foraminifera and colonial radiolaria as microhabitats. Up to 84% of the sarcodines examined in a given population were associated with these dinoflagellates at densities up to 20,000 cells per sarcodine in some radiolarian colonies. Both dinoflagellate species possess chloroplasts, indicating they are capable of autotrophy. C-14-labelling experiments with the radiolarian-associated dinoflagellate demonstrate that it can take up inorganic carbon under both light and dark conditions. Ultrastructural evidence suggests the foraminiferal dinoflagellate may be capable of phagotrophy. Hence, these algae should be considered mixotrophs. An unusual cytoplasmic extension used for attachment and possibly feeding occurs in the foraminiferal-associated Gyrodinium and is documented with electron microscopy. Ultrastructural examination suggests this organelle may be hydrostatically controlled and may be an extension of the sac pusule.
Fh983Times Cited:8Cited References Count:42