Prorocentrum panamensis Grzebyk et al., 1998
Prorocentrum panamensis is an armoured, marine, benthic dinoflagellate species. This species is associated with turf algae from coral reefs in tropical North Pacific waters.
Prorocentrum panamensis is a bivalvate species often observed in valve view. Cells are broadly heart-shaped with a rounded posterior; valves are asymmetrical (Figs. 1-3). Cells range in size from 46-52 µm in length, and 43-46 µm in width. The intercalary band is transversely striated (Fig. 6) (Grzebyk et al., 1998).
Deep and large areolae (0.7-0.9 µm in diameter) cover the valve surface; the cell center is devoid of any areolae or pores (Figs. 1-3). Marginal areolae contain small pores (Fig. 4). On the right valve, adjacent to the intercalary band, is a large sieve-like depression (1.4-2.4 µm in length), the role of which is unknown (Figs. 1,4-6). This deep and ovoid depression is perforated with small pores (Fig. 5) (Grzebyk et al., 1998).
The periflagellar area is located anteriorly off-center in a shallow raised depression. It is set between the two valves, though slightly more into the right, and is surrounded by a thickened apical ridge (Figs. 1,7). The periflagellar area is nearly ovoid (13-16 µm long) and unornamented (Figs. 1,7). Two periflagellar pores are present: a smaller ovoid flagellar pore, and a larger oblong auxiliary pore (Fig. 7) (Grzebyk et al., 1998).
Morphology and Structure:
Prorocentrum panamensis is a photosynthetic species containing two golden-brown chloroplasts. Both chloroplasts contain a central pyrenoid. The large nucleus is U-shaped (Grzebyk et al., 1998).
P. panamensis reproduces asexually by binary fission (Grzebyk et al., 1998).
P. panamensis is distinguished from other Prorocentrum species by several morphological characteristics: asymmetrical heart-shaped valves; unornamented periflagellar area, and presence of an oblong sieve-like depression on the right valve (Grzebyk et al., 1998). This species roughly resembles P. caribbeanum with the heart-shaped valves; however, P. caribbeanum cells are smaller and have a pointed posterior (Faust, 1993a).
P. panamensis is a bentho-planktonic species: cells swim freely as well as produce embedding mucus (Grzebyk et al., 1998).
The toxicity of this species is unknown (Grzebyk et al., 1998).
Habitat and Locality:
Populations of P. panamensis are associated with turf algae from a coral reef along Contadora Island, Panama, North Pacific Ocean (Grzebyk et al., 1998).