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Scientific classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Chromalveolata
Superphylum: Alveolata
Phylum: Dinoflagellate
Class: Dinophyceae
Order: Dinophysiales
Family: Dinophysiaceae
Genus: Dinophysis
Ehrenberg, 1839

Dinophysis acuminata
Dinophysis acuta
Dinophysis caudata
Dinophysis norvegica
Dinophysis tripos
Dinophysis cf. ovum

Dinophysis is a dinoflagellate genus with more than 200 recognised species found in coastal and oceanic waters throughout the world.[1] Cell densities are usually negligible, but favourable conditions can result in massive blooms also known as red tides. Attention to Dinophysis greatly increased as several species of the genus were linked to the toxin including okadaic acid responsible for the toxic syndrome diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP), a gastrointestinal illness causing huge economical losses for the mussel industry, especially around Europe and Japan.[2][3]

The first culture of Dinophysis was established by feeding the photosynthetic Dinophysis acuminata with the ciliate Myrionecta rubra.[4]

Dinophysis includes heterotrophic and photosynthetic species. Only photosynthetic species (mixotrophic) have been linked to DSP.

Common species within the genus include Dinophysis acuminata, D. acuta, D. norvegica, D. caudata and D. tripos.


  1. ^ G. M. Hallegraeff & I. A. N. Lucas (1988). "The marine dinoflagellate genus Dinophysis (Dinophyceae): photosynthetic, neritic and non-photosynthetic, oceanic species". Phycologia 27 (1): 25–42. doi:10.2216/i0031-8884-27-1-25.1. 
  2. ^ Takeshi Yasumoto, Yasukatsu Oshima, Wataru Sugawara, Yasuwo Fukuyo, Hajime Oguri, Teruo Igarashi & Noritaka Fujita (1980). "Identification of Dinophysis fortii as the causative organism of diarrhetic shellfish poisoning". Bulletin of the Japanese Society for the Science of Fish 46 (11): 1405–1411. doi:10.2331/suisan.46.1405. 
  3. ^ Jong-Soo Lee, Teruo Igarashi, Santiago Fraga, Einal Dahl, Peter Hovgaard & Takeshi Yasumoto (1989). "Determination of diarrhetic shellfish toxins in various dinoflagellate species". Journal of Applied Phycology 1 (2): 147–152. doi:10.1007/BF00003877. 
  4. ^ Myung Gil Park, Sunju Kim, Hyung Seop Kim, Geumog Myung, Yi Gu Kang & Wonho Yih (2006). "First successful culture of the marine dinoflagellate Dinophysis acuminata". Aquatic Microbial Ecology 45 (2): 101–106. doi:10.3354/ame045101.