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An integrative response by Mytilus chilensis to the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium catenella
Navarro, J.M.; Contreras, A.M. (2010). An integrative response by Mytilus chilensis to the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium catenella. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 157(9): 1967-1974.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Navarro, J.M.
  • Contreras, A.M.

    Physiological responses of Mytilus chilensis exposed to the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium catenella were measured over 21 days in the laboratory and were compared with control mussels not exposed to the dinoflagellate. Mussels were collected from culturing ropes at Yaldad Bay, southern Chile (43º08'S 73º44'W), in August 2004 and acclimated to laboratory conditions for one week prior to the experiment. After 8 days, the paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins (i.e. saxitoxin) in the tissues of exposed mussels exceeded safe levels for human consumption. Clearance rates, ingestion of organic matter, and absorption efficiency of exposed mussels were significantly lower than those of controls on day 0, but this was followed by an increase on day 3. The exposed mussels also increased their excretion rate over time, and this increase was significantly correlated with the accumulation of PSP toxins in their tissues. Oxygen consumption was not affected by the PSP toxins. The scope for growth (SFG) on day 0 was negative in exposed mussels, but it increased during the experiment. Although feeding activity and absorption efficiency were adversely affected during the first few days of exposure to PSP toxins from A. catenella in the laboratory, the M. chilensis cultured in Yaldad Bay may have evolved mechanisms that allow them to exploit the toxic dinoflagellate as a food source.

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