Ostreopsis cf. ovata bloom in the northern Adriatic Sea during summer 2009: ecology, molecular characterization and toxin profile

Stefano Accoroni, Tiziana Romagnoli, Federica Colombo, Chiara Pennesi, Cristina Gioia Di Camillo, Mauro Marini, Cecilia Battocchi, Patrizia Ciminiello, Carmela Dell'Aversano, Emma Dello Iacovo, Ernesto Fattorusso, Luciana Tartaglione, Antonella Penna, Cecilia Totti
Marine Pollution Bulletin 2011, 62 (11): 2512-9
Intense blooms of the benthic dinoflagellate Ostreopsis cf. ovata have occurred in the northern Adriatic Sea since 2006. These blooms are associated with noxious effects on human health and with the mortality of benthic organisms because of the production of palytoxin-like compounds. The O. cf. ovata bloom and its relationships with nutrient concentrations at two stations on the Conero Riviera (northern Adriatic Sea) were investigated in the summer of 2009. O. cf. ovata developed from August to November, with the highest abundances in September (1.3×10(6) cells g(-1) fw corresponding to 63.8×10(3) cells cm(-2)). The presence of the single O. cf. ovata genotype was confirmed by a PCR assay. Bloom developed when the seawater temperature was decreasing. Nutrient concentrations did not seem to affect bloom dynamics. Toxin analysis performed by high resolution liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry revealed a high total toxin content (up to 75 pg cell(-1)), including putative palytoxin and all the ovatoxins known so far.

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