1.1 General Overview
- fortii is a dinoflagellate. A dinoflagellate is a single celled organism that has two flagella and some can produce toxins making things poisonous for both humans and other animals. Dinoflagellate are typically armored organism with chloroplasts inside. D. fortii releases the harmful toxin Okadaic acid.
1.2 Species Characteristics
- fortii is an armored dinoflagellate and has many large chloroplasts. The center rounded body of the cell is called the hypotheca. Along one of the sides of the hypotheca is the wing, which connects to the epitheca. D. fortii appears to have pores all over the hypotheca. The length of D. forii is 60-75 um for the length, and 40-55 um for the width, on average. The color of D. fortii is brown/red/green/ in the hypotheca, and a light yellow/green on the wing. It is also translucent. D. fortii reproduces asexually through binary fission.
1.3 Environmental Characteristics
- fortii produces an acid called okadic acid which causes diarrhetic shellfish poisoning. When these plankton are present it is very concerning because it doesn’t take very many of them to affect humans. Even the smallest bloom can be detrimental, the summer is when the most abundant blooms happen when the temperature is at an average of 13.2 C. D. fortii can be found between cold temperate to tropical waters all over the world. They thrive best in low temperatures and high salinity.