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Dinophysis Toxins: Causative Organisms, Distribution and Fate in Shellfish

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      Several Dinophysis species produce diarrhoetic toxins (okadaic acid and dinophysistoxins) and pectenotoxins, and cause gastointestinal illness, Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning (DSP), even at low cell densities (<10 3 cells·L 1). They are the main threat, in terms of days of harvesting bans, to aquaculture in Northern Japan, Chile, and Europe. Toxicity and toxin profiles are very variable, more between strains than species. The distribution of DSP events mirrors that of shellfish production areas that have implemented toxin regulations, otherwise misinterpreted as bacterial or viral contamination. Field observations and laboratory experiments have shown that most of the toxins produced by Dinophysis are released into the medium, raising questions about the ecological role of extracelular toxins and their potential uptake by shellfish. Shellfish contamination results from a complex balance between food selection, adsorption, species-specific enzymatic transformations, and allometric processes. Highest risk areas are those combining Dinophysis strains with high cell content of okadaates, aquaculture with predominance of mytilids (good accumulators of toxins), and consumers who frequently include mussels in their diet. Regions including pectenotoxins in their regulated phycotoxins will suffer from much longer harvesting bans and from disloyal competition with production areas where these toxins have been deregulated.

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      Most cited references 476

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          Okadaic acid: a new probe for the study of cellular regulation.

          The tumour promoter okadaic acid is a potent and specific inhibitor of protein phosphatases 1 and 2A. Here we review recent studies which demonstrate that this toxin is extremely useful for identifying biological processes that are controlled through the reversible phosphorylation of proteins.

            Author and article information

            [1 ]Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO), Oceanographic Centre of Vigo, Subida a Radio Faro 50, Vigo 36390, Spain; E-Mails: francisco.rodriguez@ (F.R.); patricio.diaz@ (P.A.D.)
            [2 ]Marine Research Institute (IIM-CSIC), Eduardo Cabello 6, Vigo 36080, Spain; E-Mails: pilar.riobo@ (P.R.); beapaz@ (B.P.); jose.franco@ (J.M.F.)
            [3 ]Fisheries Research Programme & Aquaculture Institute, Austral University of Chile, Los Pinos s/n, Balneario Pelluco, Puerto Montt 5480000, Chile
            [4 ]Fisheries Institute (IFOP), Enrique Abello 0552, Punta Arenas 6200000, Chile; E-Mail: gemita.pizarro@
            [5 ]Marine Research Centre (CIMA), Pedras do Corón s/n, Aptdo. 13, Vilanova de Arousa, Pontevedra 36620, Spain
            Author notes
            [* ] Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mails: beatriz.reguera@ (B.R.); (J.B.); Tel.: +34-986-492-111; Fax: +34-986-498-626.
            Mar Drugs
            Mar Drugs
            Marine Drugs
            20 January 2014
            January 2014
            : 12
            : 1
            : 394-461
            © 2014 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 (



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