To elucidate the mechanism of bloom outbreaks of Chattonella ovata (Raphidophyceae), we investigated the cysts of C. ovata and succeeded in finding them from the bottom sediments of Hiroshima Bay. The morphology of the cysts was mostly hemispherical in shape, with a diameter of ca. 30 μm and height of ca. 20 μm. The cysts were usually adhering to solid materials, such as diatom frustules, yellow-greenish in color and had several dark brown grains. The cyst wall was smooth and had no ornamentation. Because the morphological characteristic of the cysts was in general agreement with those of Chattonella antiqua and Chattonella marina, it was difficult to differentiate the cysts of these three species. Germination of the cysts of C. ovata was observed at temperatures from 17.5 to 30 °C, but not at 15 °C or below. The number of the germinated cysts increased with increasing temperature and the optimum temperature for germination was 30 °C. Although cysts of C. antiqua and C. marina germinated at temperatures from 15 to 30 °C, optimum temperature of germination was 22.5 °C. The lower limit and optimum temperatures for germination of C. ovata cysts was higher than for C. antiqua and C. marina. The role of cysts in the population dynamics of C. ovata is discussed.
- Chattonella ovata