Source and profile of paralytic shellfish poisoning toxins in shellfish in Daya Bay, South China Sea.

Research paper by Zhao-Hui ZH Wang, Xiang-Ping XP Nie, Shi-Jun SJ Jiang, Jian-Gang JG Zhao, Yu Y Cao, Yu-Juan YJ Zhang, Da-Zhi DZ Wang

Indexed on: 11 Jun '11Published on: 11 Jun '11Published in: Marine Environmental Research


Changes in cell density and cyst flux of Alexandrium tamarense, paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxin contents in shellfishes, and environmental parameters were measured in two stations in Daya Bay, South China Sea from March 2005 to July 2006. Vegetative cells of A. tamarense occurred sporadically; however, they presented abundantly during the winter months. Meanwhile, cyst flux reached its maximum level just following the peak abundance of motile cells. The PSP contents in shellfish were generally low, but higher in winter with the maximum of 14,015 μg STX equiv./kg. The majority of toxins were found in digestive glands, with a maximum of 66,227 μg STX equiv./kg. There were significant positive relationships between toxin level and vegetative cell density and cyst flux. This indicates that vegetative cells and cysts of Alexandrium significantly influenced PSP level, and could be an important source of PSP toxins in shellfish during winter.