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      Toxin Levels and Profiles in Microalgae from the North-Western Adriatic Sea—15 Years of Studies on Cultured Species

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          Abstract

          The Northern Adriatic Sea is the area of the Mediterranean Sea where eutrophication and episodes related to harmful algae have occurred most frequently since the 1970s. In this area, which is highly exploited for mollusk farming, the first occurrence of human intoxication due to shellfish consumption occurred in 1989, nearly 10 years later than other countries in Europe and worldwide that had faced similar problems. Until 1997, Adriatic mollusks had been found to be contaminated mostly by diarrhetic shellfish poisoning toxins ( i.e., okadaic acid and dinophysistoxins) that, along with paralytic shellfish poisoning toxins ( i.e., saxitoxins), constitute the most common marine biotoxins. Only once, in 1994, a toxic outbreak was related to the occurrence of paralytic shellfish poisoning toxins in the Adriatic coastal waters. Moreover, in the past 15 years, the Adriatic Sea has been characterized by the presence of toxic or potentially toxic algae, not highly widespread outside Europe, such as species producing yessotoxins ( i.e., Protoceratium reticulatum, Gonyaulax spinifera and Lingulodinium polyedrum), recurrent blooms of the potentially ichthyotoxic species Fibrocapsa japonica and, recently, by blooms of palytoxin-like producing species of the Ostreopsis genus. This review is aimed at integrating monitoring data on toxin spectra and levels in mussels farmed along the coast of the Emilia-Romagna region with laboratory studies performed on the species involved in the production of those toxins; toxicity studies on toxic or potentially toxic species that have recently appeared in this area are also reviewed. Overall, reviewed data are related to: (i) the yessotoxins producing species P. reticulatum, G. spinifera and L. polyedrum, highlighting genetic and toxic characteristics; (ii) Adriatic strains of Alexandrium minutum, Alexandrium ostenfeldii and Prorocentrum lima whose toxic profiles are compared with those of strains of different geographic origins; (iii) F. japonica and Ostreopsis cf. ovata toxicity. Moreover, new data concerning domoic acid production by a Pseudo- nitzschia multistriata strain, toxicity investigations on a Prorocentrum cf. levis, and on presumably ichthyotoxic species, Heterosigma akashiwo and Chattonella cf. subsalsa, are also reported.

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          Most cited references 104

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          Phylogeny of some of the major genera of dinoflagellates based on ultrastructure and partial LSU rDNA sequence data, including the erection of three new genera of unarmoured dinoflagellates

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            Marine algal toxins: origins, health effects, and their increased occurrence.

             F Van Dolah (2000)
            Certain marine algae produce potent toxins that impact human health through the consumption of contaminated shellfish and finfish and through water or aerosol exposure. Over the past three decades, the frequency and global distribution of toxic algal incidents appear to have increased, and human intoxications from novel algal sources have occurred. This increase is of particular concern, since it parallels recent evidence of large-scale ecologic disturbances that coincide with trends in global warming. The extent to which human activities have contributed to their increase therefore comes into question. This review summarizes the origins and health effects of marine algal toxins, as well as changes in their current global distribution, and examines possible causes for the recent increase in their occurrence. Images Figure 2 Figure 3
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              Dinoflagellate nuclear SSU rRNA phylogeny suggests multiple plastid losses and replacements.

              Dinoflagellates are a trophically diverse group of protists with photosynthetic and non-photosynthetic members that appears to incorporate and lose endosymbionts relatively easily. To trace the gain and loss of plastids in dinoflagellates, we have sequenced the nuclear small subunit rRNA gene of 28 photosynthetic and four non-photosynthetic species, and produced phylogenetic trees with a total of 81 dinoflagellate sequences. Patterns of plastid gain, loss, and replacement were plotted onto this phylogeny. With the exception of the apparently early-diverging Syndiniales and Noctilucales, all non-photosynthetic dinoflagellates are very likely to have had photosynthetic ancestors with peridinin-containing plastids. The same is true for all dinoflagellates with plastids other than the peridinin-containing plastid: their ancestors have replaced one type of plastid for another, in some cases most likely through a non-photosynthetic intermediate. Eight independent instances of plastid loss and three of replacement can be inferred from existing data, but as more non-photosynthetic lineages are characterized these numbers will surely grow.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Mar Drugs
                marinedrugs
                Marine Drugs
                MDPI
                1660-3397
                17 January 2012
                January 2012
                : 10
                : 1
                : 140-162
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Interdepartmental Center for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Bologna, Via Sant’Alberto 163, Ravenna 48123, Italy; Email: franca.guerrini@ 123456unibo.it (F.G.); laura.pezzolesi@ 123456unibo.it (L.P.); manuela.riccardi@ 123456unibo.it (M.R.)
                [2 ] Department of Animal Biology and Marine Ecology, University of Messina, Salita Sperone 31, Agata, Messina 98166, Italy; Email: silvana.vanucci@ 123456unime.it
                [3 ] Department of Chemistry of Natural Substances, University of Napoli “Federico II”, Via D. Montesano 49, Napoli 80131, Italy; Email: ciminiel@ 123456unina.it (P.C.); dellaver@ 123456unina.it (C.D.); forino@ 123456unina.it (M.F.); fattoru@ 123456unina.it (E.F.); luciana.tartaglione@ 123456unina.it (L.T.)
                [4 ] National Reference Laboratory for Marine Biotoxins, Fondazione Centro Ricerche Marine, Viale A. Vespucci 2, Cesenatico (FC) 47042, Italy; Email: anna.milandri@ 123456centroricerchemarine.it (A.M.); marinella.pompei@ 123456centroricerchemarine.it (M.P.); monica.cangini@ 123456centroricerchemarine.it (M.C.); silvia.pigozzi@ 123456centroricerchemarine.it (S.P.); elena.riccardi@ 123456centroricerchemarine.it (E.R.)
                Author notes
                [* ] Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; Email: rossella.pistocchi@ 123456unibo.it ; Tel.: +39-0544-937376; Fax: +39-0544-937411.
                Article
                marinedrugs-10-00140
                10.3390/md10010140
                3280532
                22363227
                © 2012 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland

                This article is an open-access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).

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