Detection of the phycotoxin pectenotoxin-2 in waters around King George Island, Antarctica

Bernd.Krock [ at ]


In order to set a base line for the observation of planktonic community changes due to global change, protistan plankton sampling in combination with phycotoxin measurements and solid phase adsorption toxin tracking (SPATT) was performed in two bays of King George Island (KGI) in January 2013 and 2014. In addition, SPATT sampling was performed in Potter Cove during a one-year period from January 2014 until January 2015. Known toxigenic taxa were not firmly identified in plankton samples but there was microscopical evidence for background level presence of Dinophysis spp. in the area. This was consistent with environmental conditions during the sampling periods, especially strong mixing of the water column and low water temperatures that do not favor dinoflagellate proliferations. Due to the lack of significant abundance of thecate toxigenic dinoflagellate species in microplankton samples, no phycotoxins were found in net tow samples. In contrast, SPATT sampling revealed the presence of dissolved pectenotoxin-2 (PTX-2) and its hydrolyzed form PTX-2 seco acid in both bays and during the entire one-year sampling period. The presence of dissolved PTX in coastal waters of KGI is strong new evidence for the presence of PTX-producing species, i.e., dinoflagellates of the genus Dinophysis in the area. The presence of phycotoxins and their respective producers, even at the low background concentrations found in this study, may be the seed of possible proliferations of these species under changing environmental conditions. Furthermore, phycotoxins can be used as chemotaxonomic markers for a very specific group of plankton thus allowing to track the presence of this group over time.

Item Type
Primary Division
Primary Topic
Publication Status
Eprint ID
DOI 10.1007/s00300-020-02628-z

Cite as
Krock, B. , Schloss, I. R. , Trefault, N. , Tillmann, U. , Hernando, M. , Deregibus, D. , Antoni, J. , Almandoz, G. O. and Hoppenrath, M. (2020): Detection of the phycotoxin pectenotoxin-2 in waters around King George Island, Antarctica , Polar Biology, 43 (3), pp. 263-277 . doi: 10.1007/s00300-020-02628-z

[thumbnail of Krock_2020.pdf]

Download (1MB) | Preview

Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Geographical region

Research Platforms


Funded by

Edit Item Edit Item