Elevando la calidad y producción científica en las ciencias biológicas y preservación de los recursos naturales.

Marine Dinoflagellate Collection


Curatorial Practices

We use two methods to obtain strains: (a) induction of cysts to germinate, and (b) isolation of vegetative forms with micropipette from phytoplankton samples.

The strains are maintained in liquid f/2 (Anderson et al. 1984) and GSe (Doblin et al. 1999) culture media. Culture room conditions are maintained at 20±2°C and 25±2°C; cycles of light and dark of 12 h:12 h; average light intensity of 2,585 lux. Re-inoculation of strains is performed every 25 days.

To identify strains, we apply traditional light microscopy. Thecate dinoflagellates are identified with theca dissection and the use of stains. Naked dinoflagellates are observed alive to facilitate the location of key morphologic features to discriminate between species. To identify complex species and species with features that are difficult to observe with conventional microscopes, a scanning electron microscope is used. Methods in molecular biology have been applied to some strains for genetic characterization (see list of publications).

To improve curation, some strains have been treated with antibiotics. We also have an extensive photographic record of the taxa in the collection.


Anderson, D.M., Kulis, D.M., Binder, B.J., 1984. Sexuality and cyst formation in the dinoflagellate Gonyaulax tamarensis: cyst yield in batch cultures. J. Phycol. 20, 418–425.

Doblin, M., Blackburn, S.I., Hallegraeff, G.M., 1999. Comparative study of selenium requirements of three phytoplankton species: Gymnodinium catenatum, Alexandrium minutum (Dinophyta) and Chaetoceros cf. tenuissimus (Bacillariophyta). J. Plankton. Res. 21, 1153–69.