Toxicity assessment of New Zealand and Pacific dinoflagellates Ostreopsis and Gambierdiscus (Dinophyceae) extracts using bioassays

Informa UK Limited
Publication Type:
Journal Article
New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 2016, 50, (3), pp. 444-456
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
The dinoflagellate genus Ostreopsis produces palytoxin-like compounds (PLTXs) and the genus Gambierdiscus produces ciguatoxins (CTXs) and maitotoxin (MTX). Human illness has been recorded following the consumption of CTX-contaminated finfish. Their effects on the flora and fauna in the environment are largely unexplored. Toxin profiles of extracts of Ostreopsis and Gambierdiscus isolates from the Pacific region were characterised using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Sea urchin (Evechinus chloriticus) fertilisation was unaffected by any algal extracts, but extracts containing maitotoxin-3 (MTX-3, but not MTX or CTXs), or with high concentrations of PLTXs, were toxic to urchin larval development. Gambierdiscus extracts containing CTXs elicited toxic responses in zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryo toxicity assays; extracts containing only MTX-3 elicited a limited response. Ostreopsis extracts containing PLTXs caused no response. The results demonstrate potential impacts of toxic dinoflagellates on larval organisms and the potential of embryonic assays as toxicity screening tools.
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