The ichthyotoxic dinoflagellates Gyrodinium aureolum and Gymnodinium nagasakiense were cultured under different environmental conditions to test possible variability in immunochemical labelling intensity of cell-surface antigens using species-specific monoclonal antibodies. Variation of antigen abundance (which is directly related to labelling intensity) at the cell surface, determined by immune-flow cytometry of cells labelled with FITC, appeared to be small but significant compared to control cultures. In general, a minor decrease in FITC fluorescence was recorded during exponential growth, followed by an increase during stationary growth. FITC fluorescence was correlated with cell size, shape and structure. This suggests a constant number of antigens per unit of cell surface. In all cultures, immunochemically labelled cells were distinguished clearly from unlabelled cells; immune-flow cytometric identification is apparently not affected by growth conditions. Only at the end of the stationary growth phase in batch cultures did the FITC fluorescence values drop, which suggests that unhealthy, dying or lysing cells may either alter the composition of the cell surface or just fail to express the antigen.