The relationship between <i>Pseudo-nitzschia</i> (Peragallo) and domoic acid in Scottish shellfish

TitleThe relationship between Pseudo-nitzschia (Peragallo) and domoic acid in Scottish shellfish
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsBresnan, E, Fryer, RJ, Fraser, S, Smith, N, Stobo, L, Brown, N, Turrell, E
JournalHarmful Algae
Pagination193 - 202
Date Published2017/03/01
ISBN Number1568-9883
KeywordsDomoic acid, Scotland

The diatom genus Pseudo-nitzschia (Peragallo) associated with the production of domoic acid (DA), the toxin reposnsible for amnesic shellfish poisoning, is abundant in Scottish waters. A two year study examined the relationship between Pseudo-nitzschia cells in the water column and DA concentration in blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) at two sites, and king scallops (Pecten maximus) at one site. The rate of DA uptake and depuration differed greatly between the two species with M. edulis whole tissue accumulating and depurating 7μg g−1 (now expressed as mg kg−1) per week. In contrast, it took 12 weeks for DA to depurate from P. maximus gonad tissue from a concentration of 68μg g−1 (now mg kg−1) to <20μg g−1 (now mg kg‐1). The DA depuration rate from P. maximus whole tissue was <5% per week during both years of the study. Correlations between the Pseudo-nitzschia cell densities and toxin concentrations were weak to moderate for M. edulis and weak for P. maximus. Seasonal diversity on a species level was observed within the Pseudo-nitzschia genus at both sites with more DA toxicity associated with summer/autumn Pseudo-nitzschia blooms when P. australis was observed in phytoplankton samples. This study reveals the marked difference in DA uptake and depuration in two shellfish species of commercial importance in Scotland. The use of these shellfish species to act as a proxy for DA in the environment still requires investigation.

Short TitleHarmful Algae