dinoflagellates
Photosynthetic organisms of the order Dinoflagellida (for botanists Dinophyceae). They are aquatic and abundant in marine plankton; two flagella lie in grooves in an often elaborately sculptured shell or pellicle that is formed from plates of cellulose deposited in membrane vesicles. The pellicle gives some dinoflagellates very bizarre shapes. Their chromosomes lack centromeres and may have little or no protein and may perhaps be intermediate between pro- and eu-karyote types; hence the group has been termed mesokaryotic. The nuclear membrane persists during mitosis. Gymnodinium and Gonyaulax, that causes "red tide", produce toxins that if accumulated by filter-feeding molluscs can be fatal. Another common genus is Peridinium.

Dictionary of molecular biology. 2004.

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  • dinoflagellate — /din euh flaj euh layt /, n. any of numerous chiefly marine plankton of the phylum Pyrrophyta (or, in some classification schemes, the order Dinoflagellata), usually having two flagella, one in a groove around the body and the other extending… …   Universalium

  • poison — poisoner, n. poisonless, adj. poisonlessness, n. /poy zeuhn/, n. 1. a substance with an inherent property that tends to destroy life or impair health. 2. something harmful or pernicious, as to happiness or well being: the poison of slander. 3.… …   Universalium

  • protozoan — /proh teuh zoh euhn/, n., pl. protozoans, (esp. collectively) protozoa / zoh euh/, adj. Biol. n. 1. any of a diverse group of eukaryotes, of the kingdom Protista, that are primarily unicellular, existing singly or aggregating into colonies, are… …   Universalium

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