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Geochemical Journal
Geochemical Journal An open access journal for geochemistry
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Sterol composition of dinoflagellates: Different abundance and composition in heterotrophic species and resting cysts

MIKI AMO, NORIYUKI SUZUKI, HIROSHI KAWAMURA, AIKA YAMAGUCHI, YOSHIHITO TAKANO, TAKEO HORIGUCHI
Geochemical Journal, Vol. 44, No. , P. 225-231, 2010

ABSTRACT

The motile cells of the autotrophic dinoflagellates Peridinium umbonatum var. inaequale, Akashiwo sanguinea, Scrippsiella tinctoria, and Prorocentrum micans commonly contain five major sterols: cholesterol, 4-methylcholestan-3-ol, 4,24-dimethylcholestan-3-ol, dinosterol, and dinostanol. The motile cell of the heterotrophic dinoflagellate Protoperidinium crassipes contains cholesterol, 4,24-dimethylcholestan-3-ol, dinosterol, dinostanol, and 4-tetramethylcholestan-3-ol as major free sterols. The dinosterol concentrations of heterotrophic dinoflagellates are about 4-12 times higher than those of autotrophic species, suggesting that the heterotrophic dinoflagellate is an important source of dinosterol in some sediments. 4-Tetramethylcholestan-3-ol has not been reported in cultured samples of other heterotrophic dinoflagellates. The difference in 4-methyl sterol composition in heterotrophic dinoflagellates may be related to the feeds used during the culture experiment. The resting cyst of P. umbonatum var. inaequale contains 4-methylcholestan-3-ol, 4,24-dimethylcholestan-3-ol, dinosterol, dinostanol, and C31Δ5,22-sterol as major free sterols. The C31Δ5,22-sterol has not been reported in cultured samples of motile cells from dinoflagellates. This compound might be produced during the resting stage, and thus may serve as a potential biomarker for the resting cysts of dinoflagellates.

KEYWORDS

4α-methyl sterol, autotrophic dinoflagellate, eterotrophic dinoflagellate, resting cyst, motile cell

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