Special Issue "Marine Toxins from Harmful Algae and Seafood Safety"

A special issue of Toxins (ISSN 2072-6651). This special issue belongs to the section "Marine and Freshwater Toxins".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Shauna Murray
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Climate Change Cluster, University of Technology Sydney, Ultimo, NSW 2007, Australia
Interests: harmful algal blooms; qPCR; phylogenetics; evolution; molecular ecology; benthic dinoflagellates; systematics
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

The rapid expansion of aquaculture around the world is increasingly impacted by toxins produced by harmful marine microalgae, which threaten seafood safety. In addition, ocean climate change is leading to changing patterns in the distribution of toxic dinoflagellates and diatoms that produce these toxins. New approaches are being developed to monitor for harmful species and the toxins they produce. This Special Issue will cover new research on harmful marine microalgae and their toxins, including the identification of species and toxins; the development of new chemical and biological techniques to identify and monitor species and toxins;  marine biotoxin uptake in seafood and marine ecosystems; and the distribution and abundance of toxins, particularly in relation to climate change.

Prof. Dr. Shauna Murray
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Toxins is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Marine harmful algae
  • Gambierdiscus
  • Alexandrium
  • Dinophysis
  • Pseudo-nitzschia
  • ciguatoxin
  • saxitoxin
  • okadaic acid
  • domoic acid
  • paralytic shellfish toxins

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Article
First Report of Domoic Acid Production from Pseudo-nitzschia multistriata in Paracas Bay (Peru)
Toxins 2021, 13(6), 408; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins13060408 - 09 Jun 2021
Viewed by 763
Abstract
The Peruvian sea is one of the most productive ecosystems in the world. Phytoplankton production provides food for fish, mammals, mollusks and birds. This trophic network is affected by the presence of toxic phytoplankton species. In July 2017, samples of phytoplankton were obtained [...] Read more.
The Peruvian sea is one of the most productive ecosystems in the world. Phytoplankton production provides food for fish, mammals, mollusks and birds. This trophic network is affected by the presence of toxic phytoplankton species. In July 2017, samples of phytoplankton were obtained from Paracas Bay, an important zone for scallop (Argopecten purpuratus) aquaculture in Peru. Morphological analysis revealed the presence of the genus Pseudo-nitzschia, which was isolated and cultivated in laboratory conditions. Subsequently, the monoclonal cultures were observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and identified as P. multistriata, based on both the morphological characteristics, and internal transcribed spacers region (ITS2) sequence phylogenetic analysis. Toxin analysis using liquid chromatography (LC) with high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) revealed the presence of domoic acid (DA) with an estimated amount of 0.004 to 0.010 pg cell−1. This is the first report of DA from the coastal waters of Peru and its detection in P. multistriata indicates that it is a potential risk. Based on our results, routine monitoring of this genus should be considered in order to ensure public health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Toxins from Harmful Algae and Seafood Safety)
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Article
Acute Toxicity of Gambierone and Quantitative Analysis of Gambierones Produced by Cohabitating Benthic Dinoflagellates
Toxins 2021, 13(5), 333; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins13050333 - 05 May 2021
Viewed by 738
Abstract
Understanding the toxicity and production rates of the various secondary metabolites produced by Gambierdiscus and cohabitating benthic dinoflagellates is essential to unravelling the complexities associated with ciguatera poisoning. In the present study, a sulphated cyclic polyether, gambierone, was purified from Gambierdiscus cheloniae CAWD232 [...] Read more.
Understanding the toxicity and production rates of the various secondary metabolites produced by Gambierdiscus and cohabitating benthic dinoflagellates is essential to unravelling the complexities associated with ciguatera poisoning. In the present study, a sulphated cyclic polyether, gambierone, was purified from Gambierdiscus cheloniae CAWD232 and its acute toxicity was determined using intraperitoneal injection into mice. It was shown to be of low toxicity with an LD50 of 2.4 mg/kg, 9600 times less toxic than the commonly implicated Pacific ciguatoxin-1B, indicating it is unlikely to play a role in ciguatera poisoning. In addition, the production of gambierone and 44-methylgambierone was assessed from 20 isolates of ten Gambierdiscus, two Coolia and two Fukuyoa species using quantitative liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry. Gambierone was produced by seven Gambierdiscus species, ranging from 1 to 87 pg/cell, and one species from each of the genera Coolia and Fukuyoa, ranging from 2 to 17 pg/cell. The production of 44-methylgambierone ranged from 5 to 270 pg/cell and was ubiquitous to all Gambierdiscus species tested, as well as both species of Coolia and Fukuyoa. The relative production ratio of these two secondary metabolites revealed that only two species produced more gambierone, G. carpenteri CAWD237 and G. cheloniae CAWD232. This represents the first report of gambierone acute toxicity and production by these cohabitating benthic dinoflagellate species. While these results demonstrate that gambierones are unlikely to pose a risk to human health, further research is required to understand if they bioaccumulate in the marine food web. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Toxins from Harmful Algae and Seafood Safety)
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Article
Shellfish Toxin Uptake and Depuration in Multiple Atlantic Canadian Molluscan Species: Application to Selection of Sentinel Species in Monitoring Programs
Toxins 2021, 13(2), 168; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins13020168 - 22 Feb 2021
Viewed by 523
Abstract
Shellfish toxin monitoring programs often use mussels as the sentinel species to represent risk in other bivalve shellfish species. Studies have examined accumulation and depuration rates in various species, but little information is available to compare multiple species from the same harvest area. [...] Read more.
Shellfish toxin monitoring programs often use mussels as the sentinel species to represent risk in other bivalve shellfish species. Studies have examined accumulation and depuration rates in various species, but little information is available to compare multiple species from the same harvest area. A 2-year research project was performed to validate the use of mussels as the sentinel species to represent other relevant eastern Canadian shellfish species (clams, scallops, and oysters). Samples were collected simultaneously from Deadmans Harbour, NB, and were tested for paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) and amnesic shellfish toxin (AST). Phytoplankton was also monitored at this site. Scallops accumulated PSTs and AST sooner, at higher concentrations, and retained toxins longer than mussels. Data from monitoring program samples in Mahone Bay, NS, are presented as a real-world validation of findings. Simultaneous sampling of mussels and scallops showed significant differences between shellfish toxin results in these species. These data suggest more consideration should be given to situations where multiple species are present, especially scallops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Toxins from Harmful Algae and Seafood Safety)
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Article
Lobster Supply Chains Are Not at Risk from Paralytic Shellfish Toxin Accumulation during Wet Storage
Toxins 2021, 13(2), 129; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins13020129 - 09 Feb 2021
Viewed by 578
Abstract
Lobster species can accumulate paralytic shellfish toxins (PST) in their hepatopancreas following the consumption of toxic prey. The Southern Rock Lobster (SRL), Jasus edwardsii, industry in Tasmania, Australia, and New Zealand, collectively valued at AUD 365 M, actively manages PST risk based [...] Read more.
Lobster species can accumulate paralytic shellfish toxins (PST) in their hepatopancreas following the consumption of toxic prey. The Southern Rock Lobster (SRL), Jasus edwardsii, industry in Tasmania, Australia, and New Zealand, collectively valued at AUD 365 M, actively manages PST risk based on toxin monitoring of lobsters in coastal waters. The SRL supply chain predominantly provides live lobsters, which includes wet holding in fishing vessels, sea-cages, or processing facilities for periods of up to several months. Survival, quality, and safety of this largely exported high-value product is a major consideration for the industry. In a controlled experiment, SRL were exposed to highly toxic cultures of Alexandrium catenella at field relevant concentrations (2 × 105 cells L−1) in an experimental aquaculture facility over a period of 21 days. While significant PST accumulation in the lobster hepatopancreas has been reported in parallel experiments feeding lobsters with toxic mussels, no PST toxin accumulated in this experiment from exposure to toxic algal cells, and no negative impact on lobster health was observed as assessed via a wide range of behavioural, immunological, and physiological measures. We conclude that there is no risk of PST accumulation, nor risk to survival or quality at the point of consumption through exposure to toxic algal cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Toxins from Harmful Algae and Seafood Safety)
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Article
Brevisulcenals-A1 and A2, Sulfate Esters of Brevisulcenals, Isolated from the Red Tide Dinoflagellate Karenia brevisulcata
Toxins 2021, 13(2), 82; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins13020082 - 22 Jan 2021
Viewed by 486
Abstract
Two different types of polycyclic ether toxins, namely brevisulcenals (KBTs) and brevisulcatic acids (BSXs), produced by the red tide dinoflagellate Karenia brevisulcata, were the cause of a toxic incident that occurred in New Zealand in 1998. Four major components, KBT-F, -G, -H, [...] Read more.
Two different types of polycyclic ether toxins, namely brevisulcenals (KBTs) and brevisulcatic acids (BSXs), produced by the red tide dinoflagellate Karenia brevisulcata, were the cause of a toxic incident that occurred in New Zealand in 1998. Four major components, KBT-F, -G, -H, and -I, shown to be cytotoxic and lethal in mice, were isolated from cultured K. brevisulcata cells, and their structures were elucidated by spectroscopic analyses. New analogues, brevisulcenal-A1 (KBT-A1) and brevisulcenal-A2 (KBT-A2), toxins of higher polarity than that of known KBTs, were isolated from neutral lipophilic extracts of bulk dinoflagellate culture extracts. The structures of KBT-A1 and KBT-A2 were elucidated as sulfated analogues of KBT-F and KBT-G, respectively, by NMR and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization tandem mass spectrometry (MALDI TOF/TOF), and by comparison with the spectra of KBT-F and KBT-G. The cytotoxicities of the sulfate analogues were lower than those of KBT-F and KBT-G. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Toxins from Harmful Algae and Seafood Safety)
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Article
Risk Assessment of Pectenotoxins in New Zealand Bivalve Molluscan Shellfish, 2009–2019
Toxins 2020, 12(12), 776; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12120776 - 06 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1634
Abstract
Pectenotoxins (PTXs) are produced by Dinophysis spp., along with okadaic acid, dinophysistoxin 1, and dinophysistoxin 2. The okadaic acid group toxins cause diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP), so are therefore regulated. New Zealand currently includes pectenotoxins within the DSP regulations. To determine the impact [...] Read more.
Pectenotoxins (PTXs) are produced by Dinophysis spp., along with okadaic acid, dinophysistoxin 1, and dinophysistoxin 2. The okadaic acid group toxins cause diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP), so are therefore regulated. New Zealand currently includes pectenotoxins within the DSP regulations. To determine the impact of this decision, shellfish biotoxin data collected between 2009 and 2019 were examined. They showed that 85 samples exceeded the DSP regulatory limit (0.45%) and that excluding pectenotoxins would have reduced this by 10% to 76 samples. The incidence (1.3%) and maximum concentrations of pectenotoxins (0.079 mg/kg) were also found to be low, well below the current European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) safe limit of 0.12 mg/kg. Inclusion within the DSP regulations is scientifically flawed, as pectenotoxins and okadaic acid have a different mechanism of action, meaning that their toxicities are not additive, which is the fundamental principle of grouping toxins. Furthermore, evaluation of the available toxicity data suggests that pectenotoxins have very low oral toxicity, with recent studies showing no oral toxicity in mice dosed with the PTX analogue PTX2 at 5000 µg/kg. No known human illnesses have been reported due to exposure to pectenotoxins in shellfish, a fact which combined with the toxicity data indicates that they pose negligible risk to humans. Regulatory policies should be commensurate with the level of risk, thus deregulation of PTXs ought to be considered, a stance already adopted by some countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Toxins from Harmful Algae and Seafood Safety)
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Article
Dihydrodinophysistoxin-1 Produced by Dinophysis norvegica in the Gulf of Maine, USA and Its Accumulation in Shellfish
Toxins 2020, 12(9), 533; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12090533 - 20 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1188
Abstract
Dihydrodinophysistoxin-1 (dihydro-DTX1, (M-H)m/z 819.5), described previously from a marine sponge but never identified as to its biological source or described in shellfish, was detected in multiple species of commercial shellfish collected from the central coast of the Gulf of Maine, USA [...] Read more.
Dihydrodinophysistoxin-1 (dihydro-DTX1, (M-H)m/z 819.5), described previously from a marine sponge but never identified as to its biological source or described in shellfish, was detected in multiple species of commercial shellfish collected from the central coast of the Gulf of Maine, USA in 2016 and in 2018 during blooms of the dinoflagellate Dinophysis norvegica. Toxin screening by protein phosphatase inhibition (PPIA) first detected the presence of diarrhetic shellfish poisoning-like bioactivity; however, confirmatory analysis using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) failed to detect okadaic acid (OA, (M-H)m/z 803.5), dinophysistoxin-1 (DTX1, (M-H)m/z 817.5), or dinophysistoxin-2 (DTX2, (M-H)m/z 803.5) in samples collected during the bloom. Bioactivity-guided fractionation followed by liquid chromatography-high resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS) tentatively identified dihydro-DTX1 in the PPIA active fraction. LC-MS/MS measurements showed an absence of OA, DTX1, and DTX2, but confirmed the presence of dihydro-DTX1 in shellfish during blooms of D. norvegica in both years, with results correlating well with PPIA testing. Two laboratory cultures of D. norvegica isolated from the 2018 bloom were found to produce dihydro-DTX1 as the sole DSP toxin, confirming the source of this compound in shellfish. Estimated concentrations of dihydro-DTX1 were >0.16 ppm in multiple shellfish species (max. 1.1 ppm) during the blooms in 2016 and 2018. Assuming an equivalent potency and molar response to DTX1, the authority initiated precautionary shellfish harvesting closures in both years. To date, no illnesses have been associated with the presence of dihydro-DTX1 in shellfish in the Gulf of Maine region and studies are underway to determine the potency of this new toxin relative to the currently regulated DSP toxins in order to develop appropriate management guidance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Toxins from Harmful Algae and Seafood Safety)
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Review

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Review
Critical Review and Conceptual and Quantitative Models for the Transfer and Depuration of Ciguatoxins in Fishes
Toxins 2021, 13(8), 515; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins13080515 - 23 Jul 2021
Viewed by 179
Abstract
We review and develop conceptual models for the bio-transfer of ciguatoxins in food chains for Platypus Bay and the Great Barrier Reef on the east coast of Australia. Platypus Bay is unique in repeatedly producing ciguateric fishes in Australia, with ciguatoxins produced by [...] Read more.
We review and develop conceptual models for the bio-transfer of ciguatoxins in food chains for Platypus Bay and the Great Barrier Reef on the east coast of Australia. Platypus Bay is unique in repeatedly producing ciguateric fishes in Australia, with ciguatoxins produced by benthic dinoflagellates (Gambierdiscus spp.) growing epiphytically on free-living, benthic macroalgae. The Gambierdiscus are consumed by invertebrates living within the macroalgae, which are preyed upon by small carnivorous fishes, which are then preyed upon by Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus commerson). We hypothesise that Gambierdiscus and/or Fukuyoa species growing on turf algae are the main source of ciguatoxins entering marine food chains to cause ciguatera on the Great Barrier Reef. The abundance of surgeonfish that feed on turf algae may act as a feedback mechanism controlling the flow of ciguatoxins through this marine food chain. If this hypothesis is broadly applicable, then a reduction in herbivory from overharvesting of herbivores could lead to increases in ciguatera by concentrating ciguatoxins through the remaining, smaller population of herbivores. Modelling the dilution of ciguatoxins by somatic growth in Spanish mackerel and coral trout (Plectropomus leopardus) revealed that growth could not significantly reduce the toxicity of fish flesh, except in young fast-growing fishes or legal-sized fishes contaminated with low levels of ciguatoxins. If Spanish mackerel along the east coast of Australia can depurate ciguatoxins, it is most likely with a half-life of ≤1-year. Our review and conceptual models can aid management and research of ciguatera in Australia, and globally. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Toxins from Harmful Algae and Seafood Safety)
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