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Noctilucales



Noctilucales
Scientific classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Chromalveolata
Superphylum: Alveolata
Phylum: Dinoflagellata
Class: Noctiluciphyceae
Order: Noctilucales
Haeckel, 1894
Families

Kofodiniaceae
Leptodiscaceae
Noctilucaceae

The Noctilucales are a peculiar order of marine dinoflagellates. They differ from most others in that the mature cell is diploid and its nucleus does not show a dinokaryotic organization. These cells are very large, from 1 to 2 millimetres in diameter, and are filled with large buoyant vacuoles. Some may contain symbiotic green algae, but there are no chloroplasts. Instead, they feed on other plankton, and there is usually a special tentacle involved in ingestion.

Additional recommended knowledge

Noctilucales reproduce mainly by fission, but sexual reproduction also occurs. Each cell produces numerous gametes, which resemble more typical athecate dinoflagellates and have the dinokaryotic nuclei. Evidence suggests that they diverged from most other dinoflagellates early on, and they are generally placed in their own class.

The most common species is Noctiluca scintillans, also called N. miliaris. It is usually bioluminescent when disturbed, as are various other dinoflagellates, and large blooms can sometimes be seen as flickering lights on the ocean.

References

  • Eckert R, Reynolds GT (1967 May). "The subcellular origin of bioluminescence in Noctiluca miliaris". J Gen Physiol. 50 (5): 1429-58. PMID: 5340466 pdf file available.
 
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Noctilucales". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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