Paper No. 18
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


BALLERO, Deniz Z.A., Online Science, Georgia Perimeter College, 555 North Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston, GA 30021, HABURA, Andrea, Department of Biomedical Sciences, School of Public Health, University at Albany, One University Place, Rensselaer, NY 12144, SCHROEDER, Paul A., Department of Geology, University of Georgia, 210 Field St., Athens, GA 30602-2501 and GOLDSTEIN, Susan T., Department of Geology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602,

Monothalamous foraminifera appear to be morphologically simple, yet they have diverse, intricate shell architectures and cytoplasmic features observed at the fine structural level. We present ultrastructural, reproductive and phylogenetic results on a new species, Psammophaga sapela (manuscript submitted), collected from salt marshes and mudflats along the coast of Georgia, USA. Partial small subunit ribosomal DNA (SSU rDNA) phylogenetic analysis assigns this species to Clade E, one of a series of basal clades of monothalamous foraminifera. This taxon joins three previously described species in this genus: P. simplora Arnold 1982, the type species, P. magnetica Pawlowski and Majewski 2011 and the reassigned Allogromia P. crystallifera Dahlgren 1962.

Psammophaga sapela is of moderate size (up to ~ 550 µm), generally pyriform in shape and has a single, flexible aperture at the end of a short neck. The flexible test is composed of a relatively thick (10-15 μm), outer agglutinated layer of fine clay particles arranged loosely parallel with respect to the plasma membrane of the cell body. It is highly selective with regard to the materials used in test construction. The agglutinated layer is underlain by a fairly thick (2–5 μm), inner organic lining (IOL), which is in direct contact with the cell membrane. Small vesicles just below the membrane function in the release of test construction materials to the IOL, indicating that growth occurs along the entire inner margin of the test. The vegetative nucleus in uninucleate individuals has a distinct cortical ring of densely packed chromatin as seen in some, but not all allogromids. Psammophaga spp. are well-known for ingesting large amounts of sediment. X-ray diffraction analysis identifies cytoplasmic inclusions as orthoclase, zircon, pyrrhotite, basaluminite, and pseudobrookite, along with the iron and/or titanium bearing minerals ilmenite and anatase, rendering this taxon magnetic. P. magnetica, described from Antarctica, is also magnetic.

Reproduction is gametogamous where gamonts release biflagellated gametes directly through the aperture into surrounding seawater. Alternatively membrane-bound packets are expelled through the aperture and subsequently open releasing swarms of gametes into the seawater. Reproduction by budding also occurs.