Intraspecific variability in Karlodinium veneficum: Growth rates, mixotrophy, and lipid composition

Albert Calbet, Mireia Bertos, Claudio Fuentes-Grünewald, Elisabet Alacid, Rosa Figueroa, Berta Renom, Esther Garcés

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    41 Citations (Scopus)


    We isolated eleven strains of the harmful algal bloom (HAB)-forming dinoflagellate Karlodinium veneficum during a bloom event in the NW Mediterranean coastal waters and we studied the inter-strain variability in several of their physiological and biochemical traits. These included autotrophic growth parameters, feeding capabilities (mixotrophy), lipid composition, and, in some cases, their responses to biotic and abiotic factors. The strains were found to differ in their growth rates (0.27-0.53d-1) and in the maximum cell concentrations achieved during stationary phase (6.1×104-8.6×104 cellsmL-1). Their ingestion performance, when offered Rhodomonas salina as prey, was also diverse (0.22-1.3 cells per K. veneficum per day; 8-52% of their daily ration). At least two strains survived for several months under strict heterotrophic conditions (no light, low inorganic nutrients availability, and R. salina as food source). These strains also showed very distinct fatty acid compositions, with very low contents of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. According to a Bray Curtis similarity analysis, three or four strain groups able to perform different roles in bloom development were identified. We further analyzed one strain from each of the two most distinct groups with respect to prey concentration, light intensity, nutrient availability, and we determined the functional responses (growth and feeding rates) to food concentration. Taken together, the results served to highlight the role of mixotrophy and clone variability in the formation of HABs. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)654-667
    JournalHarmful Algae
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011


    • Dinoflagellate
    • Fatty acids
    • Grazing
    • Growth
    • Harmful algal blooms
    • Karlodinium veneficum


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