Comparative growth and toxin profile of cultured Ostreopsis ovata from the Tyrrhenian and Adriatic Seas

Franca Guerrini, Laura Pezzolesi, Andrea Feller, Manuela Riccardi, Patrizia Ciminiello, Carmela Dell'Aversano, Luciana Tartaglione, Emma Dello Iacovo, Ernesto Fattorusso, Martino Forino, Rossella Pistocchi
Toxicon: Official Journal of the International Society on Toxinology 2010, 55 (2): 211-20
Massive blooms of the benthic dinoflagellate Ostreopsis ovata Fukuyo have recently occurred along the whole Italian coastlines, both Tyrrhenian and Adriatic, resulting sometimes in benthonic biocenosis sufferings and, occasionally, in human health problems. In this work, two strains of O. ovata collected in 2006 along the Adriatic and Tyrrhenian coastlines and grown in culture were studied to characterize their growth and toxin profile. The two strains showed different cell volumes, the Adriatic strain being nearly twice bigger than the Tyrrhenian, but they had similar slow growth rates. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) analyses indicated that both strains produce putative palytoxin (pPLTX) and ovatoxin-a (OVTX-a), a palytoxin-like compound presenting 2 oxygen atoms less than palytoxin. Toxin content was determined at the end of the stationary and exponential growth phases and reached the highest value in the Adriatic strain at the end of the stationary phase, with concentrations of 353.3 microg l(-1) for OVTX-a and 30.4 microg l(-1) for pPLTX. Toxin released in the growth medium was also measured and resulted to be the highest at the end of the stationary phase, suggesting that a long lasting bloom could enhance the toxin content in the water and cause toxic effects in people inhaling the aerosol.

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