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Scientific classification
Domain: Eukaryota
(unranked): SAR
(unranked): Alveolata
Phylum: Dinoflagellata
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 genus of dinoflagellates 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. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Aissaoui, A; Reguera, B; Dhib, A (October 2014). "First evidence of cell deformation occurrence during a Dinophysis bloom along the shores of the Gulf of Tunis (SW Mediterranean Sea)". Harmful Algae. 39: 191–201. 
  • Harred, Laura Brooke; Campbell, Lisa (27 July 2014). "Predicting harmful algal blooms: a case study with Dinophysis ovum in the Gulf of Mexico". Journal of Plankton Research. 36 (6): 1434–1445. doi:10.1093/plankt/fbu070. 
  • McCarthy, Moira; O'Halloran, John; O'Brien, Nora M.; van Pelt, Frank F.N.A.M. (October 2014). "Does the marine biotoxin okadaic acid cause DNA fragmentation in the blue mussel and the pacific oyster?". Marine Environmental Research. 101: 153–160. doi:10.1016/j.marenvres.2014.09.009. 
  • Reguera, Beatriz; Riobó, Pilar; Rodríguez, Francisco; Díaz, Patricio A.; Pizarro, Gemita; Paz, Beatriz; Franco, José M.; Blanco, Juan (20 January 2014). "Dinophysis Toxins: Causative Organisms, Distribution and Fate in Shellfish". Marine Drugs. 12 (1): 396–461. doi:10.3390/md12010394. 
  • Vlamis, Aristidis; Katikou, Panagiota (March 2014). "Climate influence on Dinophysis spp. spatial and temporal distributions in Greek coastal water". Plankton & Benthos Research. 9 (1): 15–31. doi:10.3800/pbr.9.15. 
  • Whyte, Callum; Swan, Sarah; Davidson, Keith (October 2014). "Changing wind patterns linked to unusually high Dinophysis blooms around the Shetland Islands, Scotland". Harmful Algae. 39: 365–373. doi:10.1016/j.hal.2014.09.006.