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Taxonomic revision of Spiniferites elongatus (the resting stage of Gonyaulax elongata) based on morphological and molecular analyses

Nicolas Van Nieuwenhove, Eric Potvin, Maija Heikkila, Vera Pospelova, Kenneth Neil Mertens, Edwige Masure, Malgorzata Kucharska, Eun Jin Yang, Nicolas Chomerat and Marek Zajaczkowski
Taxonomic revision of Spiniferites elongatus (the resting stage of Gonyaulax elongata) based on morphological and molecular analyses (in Spiniferites Mantell 1850, Kenneth Neil Mertens (editor) and Consuelo Carbonell-Moore (editor))
Palynology (December 2018) 42 (S1): 111-134


We restudied the morphological complex comprising the cyst-based species Spiniferites elongatus/Spiniferites frigidus/Rottnestia amphicavata. We reviewed existing studies, and acquired new morphometric measurements of recent cysts from across the Northern Hemisphere, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) observations of cysts from Barents Sea surface sediments, and genetic analyses of cysts from the Beaufort Sea. The measurements suggest that populations and morphospecies cannot be distinguished based on morphometric criteria. Furthermore, sequential sediment trap samples from Hudson Bay reveal that morphological variation can occur at the same location over a few weeks, arguing against a uniform morphological response to environmental parameters. The SEM observations reveal a consistent gonyaulacacean tabulation (Po, 4', 6', 6c, 5s, *6'', 1p, 1''). The small and large subunit ribosomal RNA genes and the internal transcribed spacer sequences obtained from differing cysts from the Beaufort Sea with morphologies attributable to the complex, including forms that correspond to Rottnestia amphicavata, were all identical and conform to those of Gonyaulax elongata from the Orkney Islands. The molecular analyses thus support the conclusion that the morphological variability is not reflected genetically and occurs within one species. Based on arguments against the generic attribution of amphicavata to Rottnestia, the continuum between the extreme ends of the morphological range, and the molecular data, we suggest Rottnestia amphicavata to be conspecific with Spiniferites frigidus, and both to be junior synonyms of Spiniferites elongatus. The morphometric data further indicate that Spiniferites ellipsoideus, an elongate cyst from the Miocene, can also be considered a junior synonym of Spiniferites elongatus. It is recommended to use two informal types in census work (i.e. Spiniferites elongatus Beaufort morphotype for morphologies formerly assignable to Spiniferites frigidus/Rottnestia amphicavata, and Spiniferites elongatus Norwegian morphotype for cysts with strongly reduced processes) to separate specimens at both extreme ends of the morphological spectrum from typical specimens of Spiniferites elongatus.

ISSN: 0191-6122
EISSN: 1558-9188
Serial Title: Palynology
Serial Volume: 42
Serial Issue: S1
Title: Taxonomic revision of Spiniferites elongatus (the resting stage of Gonyaulax elongata) based on morphological and molecular analyses
Title: Spiniferites Mantell 1850
Affiliation: Universite Pierre et Marie Curie-Paris VI, Paris, France
Affiliation: Institut Francais de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer, Station de Biologie Marine, Concarneau, France
Pages: 111-134
Published: 20181220
Text Language: English
Publisher: American Association of Stratigraphic Palynologists, Dallas, TX, United States
References: 62
Accession Number: 2019-007322
Categories: Paleobotany
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 2 tables, 6 plates
N75°55'00" - N75°55'00", E30°13'60" - E30°13'60"
Secondary Affiliation: Aarhus University, DNK, DenmarkUniversity of Helsinki, FIN, FinlandUniversity of Victoria, CAN, CanadaInstitut Francais de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer, FRA, FrancePolish Academy of Sciences, Institute of Oceanology, POL, Poland
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2019, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, Copyright, American Association of Stratigraphic Palynologists. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 201906
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