A bloom of Azadinium polongum in coastal waters off Peru

Urban.Tillmann [ at ] awi.de


Species of the dinophycean genus Azadinium are known for their potential production of azaspiracids (AZAs), a group of microalgal toxins that can cause shellfish poisoning. Increase of global Azadinium records indicates a rather wide distribution, but quantitative abundance data of species of Amphidomataceae are hardly available. Within the Peruvian bio-oceanographic monitoring program we detected and sampled a dense bloom of Azadinium in Peruvian coastal waters off Chancay in February 2014 at a water temperature of about 20.5 °C and a salinity of 35. With water discoloration and cell densities of Azadinium up to 1 million cells per liter this is the first Azadinium bloom record for the Pacific. The causative taxon was determined using scanning electron microscopy as Azadinium polongum, a species previously recorded only from the type locality, the Shetland Islands (north Atlantic) and described as non-AZA producer. The field population conformed to the Shetland type culture in most morphological aspects. However, the first intercalary plate of the Pacific field population without exception was not in contact with the first precingular plate, which is different to the type culture of Az. polongum. Moreover, the size and shape of the median intercalary plate was slightly different and very variable in the Pacific population, and occurred in about equal abundance in quadra- (i.e., in contact with four other plates) or in penta-configuration (i.e., in contact with five other plates), a feature not reported for the type culture of Az. polongum. Liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry revealed no AZA above detection level in the bloom sample, indicating that the Peruvian Az. polongum can be regarded as a non-AZA producer.

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Tillmann, U. , Sánchez-Ramires, S. , Krock, B. and Bernales-Jiménez, A. (2017): A bloom of Azadinium polongum in coastal waters off Peru , Revista de Biología Marina y Oceanografía, 52 (3), pp. 591-610 .

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