Date of Award

Summer 1999

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Ocean & Earth Sciences



Committee Director

William M. Dunstan

Committee Member

Fred C. Dobbs

Committee Member

Harold G. Marshall

Committee Member

Patricia A. Tester

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.O35 K518


Although the formation of temporary cysts has been documented in several papers, the physiology of these stages has remained obscure. Research dealing with dinoflagellate resting stages has primarily targeted sexual cysts. Accordingly, formation, germination and photosynthetic activity in the temporary cysts of Amphidinium carterae have been investigated in the present study. The effect of light intensity upon cyst germination was tested by incubating temporary cysts at three different light intensities. In order to assess the potential for photosynthesis in cysts, cellular chlorophyll-a concentrations and cellular fluorescence were quantified during encystment. Photosynthetic carbon uptake of H14CO3- was also measured in light and dark cultures of temporary cysts. Germination success was found to increase slightly with decreasing light intensity. Chlorophyll Cell-1 and Fluorescence Cell-1 were each significantly higher in dark-treated cysts than in light-treated cysts. Although temporary cysts were found to possess chlorophyll concentrations only slightly less than those in active cells, no evidence was found to indicate that temporary cysts of A. carterae are photosynthetically active.


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