Bioactive compounds of marine dinoflagellate isolates from western Greenland and their phylogenetic association within the genus Alexandrium

Urban.Tillmann [ at ]


The diversity and biogeography of populations of the toxigenic marine dinoflagellate genus Alexandrium, a major global cause of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP), are represented by only a few studies based upon a low number of cultured isolates and remain poorly described in Arctic and sub-Arctic waters. Multiple clonal isolates (n = 22) of the Alexandrium tamarense species complex, and a single isolate of A. tamutum, were collected from the water column while on board an oceanographic expedition to the west coast of Greenland. After culturing of these isolates under controlled conditions, their phylogenetic affinities within the genus Alexandrium were characterized by sequence analysis of nuclear large subunit (LSU) rDNA. Based upon morphological and molecular genetic criteria, all isolates of the A. tamarense species complex were consistent with membership in the Group I ribotype (previously known as the North American ribotype). Phenotypic signatures were also analyzed based upon their respective profiles of paralytic shellfish toxins (PST) and allelochemical interactions against a target cryptophyte Rhodomonas, as determined by lytic potency. All isolates conforming to the A. tamarense Group I produced PST, but no toxins were detected in A. tamutum P2E2. Unusually, only carbamoyl toxins were produced among the A. tamarense Group I isolates from Greenland; sulfocarbamoyl derivatives, generally present in A. tamarense population from other locations, including the Arctic, North Pacific and North Atlantic, were absent from all isolates. Allelochemical activity, causing cell lysis of Rhodomonas, but generally being unrelated to cellular PST, was expressed by all A. tamarense isolates and also by A. tamutum, but varied widely in potency. Comparison of the genotypic (rDNA) and phenotypic (PST profile, allelochemical activity) characteristics of Greenland isolates with those of other Arctic populations reveals a complex pattern of intra-specific diversity. Estimation of diversity relationships is problematic because of the distinct patterns of divergence and lack of evidence of linkage among the alternative biomarkers and morphology. Nevertheless, such studies are necessary as the basis for constructing hindcasting scenarios and predicting changes in Alexandrium species distribution in the Arctic from the regional to the global scale.

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DOI 10.1016/j.hal.2015.11.004

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Tillmann, U. , Krock, B. , Alpermann, T. and Cembella, A. (2016): Bioactive compounds of marine dinoflagellate isolates from western Greenland and their phylogenetic association within the genus Alexandrium , Harmful Algae, 51 , pp. 67-80 . doi: 10.1016/j.hal.2015.11.004

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