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A plantlike flagellate of the subclass Phytomastigophorea, some species of which (for example, Karenia brevis) produce a potent neurotoxin that may cause severe food intoxication following ingestion of parasitized shellfish.
[G. dinos, whirling, + L. flagellum, a whip]
dinoflagellate(dī′nō-flăj′ə-lĭt, -lāt′, -flə-jĕl′ĭt)
Any of numerous minute, chiefly marine protists of the phylum Dinoflagellata, characteristically having two flagella and a cellulose covering and forming one of the chief constituents of plankton. They include bioluminescent species, photosynthetic species, and species that produce red tide.