Who is the “murderer” of the bloom in coastal waters of Fujian, China, in 2019?

  • Jingyi Cen
  • Jianyan Wang
  • Lifen Huang
  • Guangmao Ding
  • Yuzao Qi
  • Rongbo Cao
  • Lei Cui
  • Songhui LüEmail author


On May 24–29, 2019, a bloom occurring in Pingtan coastal areas of Fujian Province caused mass mortality of cage-cultured fish (Plectorhinchus cinctus and Pagrosomus major). During the bloom, two major causative organisms were present: Prorocentrum donghaiense (at a concentration of 1.46×107 cells/L) and an unknown naked dinoflagellate (4.58×106 cells/L). The naked dinoflagellate was isolated and cultured in this study, and its morphological features were examined using light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The large subunit (LSU) of the rRNA gene and the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of the naked dinoflagellate were also sequenced for field bloom samples and lab culture strains (PT-A and PT-B). On the basis of its morphological characteristics and molecular sequences, the unknown naked dinoflagellate was identified as Karlodinium digitatum. According to the phylogenetic analysis, the Karl. digitatum was most closely related to Karlodinium australe and Karlodinium armiger, and the three species clustered into a single clade of Karlodinium with bootstrap/posterior probability values of 95%/0.99 and 86%/0.99 inferred from LSU and ITS sequences, respectively. Karl. digitatum was first reported as Karenia digitata, a new harmful algal species bloomed in Hong Kong, China, in 1998. In present study, we gave a detailed morphological and phylogenetic description of Karl. digitatum and submitted the molecular sequences of this species to GenBank for the first time.


Karenia digitata Karlodinium digitatum harmful algal bloom Ichthyotoxicity 


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7 Acknowledgment

Special appreciation is expressed to Prof. Moestrup of the University of Copenhagen for helpful discussions regarding the species identification. We also sincerely thank Dr. ZHEN Yu of the Ocean University of China for his assistance with the molecular data analysis.


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Copyright information

© Chinese Society for Oceanology and Limnology, Science Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jingyi Cen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jianyan Wang
    • 3
  • Lifen Huang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Guangmao Ding
    • 4
  • Yuzao Qi
    • 1
  • Rongbo Cao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lei Cui
    • 1
    • 2
  • Songhui Lü
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.College of Life Science and TechnologyJinan UniversityGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Aquatic Eutrophication and Control of Harmful Algae Blooms of Guangdong Higher Education InstitutesGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.Department of Science ResearchBeijing Museum of Natural HistoryBeijingChina
  4. 4.Fujian Fishery Resources Monitoring CenterFuzhouChina

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