Pennate diatom Nitzschia pungens as the primary ...



Title Pennate diatom Nitzschia pungens as the primary source of domoic acid, a toxin in shellfish from eastern Prince Edward Island, Canada
Author(s) S. S. Bates, C. J. Bird, A. S. W. de Freitas, R. Foxall, M. Gilgan, Louis A. Hanic, Gerald R. Johnson, A. W. McCulloch, P. Odense
Journal Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Date 1989
Volume 46
Issue 7
Start page 1203
End page 1215
Abstract An outbreak of food poisoning in Canada during autumn 1987 was traced to cultured blue mussels (Mytilus edulis ) from the Cardigan Bay region of eastern Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.). The toxin, identified as domoic acid, had not previously been found in any shellfish and this outbreak represents the first known occurrence of human poisoning by this neurotoxin. A plankton bloom at the time of the outbreak consisted almost entirely of the pennate diatom, Nitzschia pungens f. multiseries , and a positive correlation was found between the number of N. pungens cells and the concentration of domoic acid in the plankton. The authors conclude that N. pungens was the major source of the domoic acid in toxic mussels in eastern P.E.I. The recurrence, in November 1988, of a monospecific bloom of N. pungens and the presence of domoic acid in plankton and mussels reinforced this conclusion.

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