Ref ID : 4948

Juan F. Saldarriaga, F.J.R. "Max"Taylor, Thomas Cavalier-Smith, Susanne Menden-Deuer, and Patrick J. Keeling; Molecular data and the evolutionary history of dinoflagellates. Europ.J.Protistol. 40:85-111, 2004
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Notes : We have sequenced small-subunit (SSU) ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes from 16 dinoflagellates, produced phylogenetic trees of the group containing 105 taxa, and combined small- and partial large-subunit (LSU) rRNA data to produce new phylogenetic trees. We compare phylogenetic trees based on dinoflagellate rRNA and protein genes with established hypotheses of dinoflagellate evolution based on morphological data. Protein-gene trees have too few species for meaningful in-group phylogenetic analyses, but provide important insights on the phylogenetic position of dinoflagellates as a whole, on the identity of their close relatives, and on specific questions of evolutionary history. Phylogenetic trees obtained from dinoflagellate SSU rRNA genes are generally poorly resolved, but include by far the most species and some well-supported clades. Combined analyses of SSU and LSU somewhat improve support for several nodes, but are still weakly resolved. All analyses agree on the placement of dinoflagellates with ciliates and apicomplexans (=Sporozoa) in a well-supported clade, the alveolates. The closest relatives to dinokaryotic dinoflagellates appear to be apicomplexans, Perkinsus, Parvilucifera, syndinians and Oxyrrhis. The position of Noctiluca scintillans is unstable, while Blastodiniales as currently circumscribed seems polyphyletic. The same is true for Gymnodiniales: all phylogenetic trees examined (SSU and LSU-based) suggest that thecal plates have been lost repeatedly during dinoflagellate evolution. It is unclear whether any gymnodinialean clades originated before the theca. Peridiniales appear to be a paraphyletic group from which other dinoflagellate orders like Prorocentrales. Dinophysiales, most Gymnodiniales, and possibly also Gonyaulacales originated. Dinophysiales and Suessiales are strongly supported holophyletic groups, as is Gonyaulacales, although with more modest support. Prorocentrales is a monophyletic group only in some LSU-based trees. Within Gonyaulacales, molecular data broadly agree with classificatory schemes based on morphology. Implications of this taxonomic scheme for the evolution of selected dinoflagellate features (the nucleus, mitosis, flagella and photosynthesis) are discussed.