Epiphytic Dinoflagellates of Drift Algae—Another Toxigenic Community in the Ciguatera Food Chain
Abstract:The principal ciguatera-causing dinoflagellate, Gambierdiscus toxicus Adachi and Fukuyo, occurred in 30 of 198 drift algae samples collected in the Florida Straits and Bahamian waters. Seven other toxic dinoflagellate species also occurred in the drift samples. The same species were found at up to 14 of 16 benthic stations. The distribution of these dinoflagellates from drift algae helps explain their circumtropical distribution and their presence in Bermuda. G. toxicus was cultured from drift algae, indicating its viability within this habitat and these cultures were also toxic (5,093 ± 793 cells per mouse unit). Genetic comparisons (acclimated reproduction rates) identified at least three races of G. toxicus and indicate that a clone from Bermuda may be derived from Floridian or Bahamian clones. A Caribbean clone had a markedly different acclimated reproduction rate than any other clone and was also considerably more toxic (250 ± 25 cells per mouse unit).
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: September 1, 1988
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