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New knowledge on distribution and abundance of toxic microalgal species and related toxins in the Northwestern Black Sea
Dzhembekova, N.; Moncheva, S.; Slabakova, N.; Zlateva, I.; Nagai, S.; Wietkamp, S.; Wellkamp, M.; Tillmann, U.; Krock, B. (2022). New knowledge on distribution and abundance of toxic microalgal species and related toxins in the Northwestern Black Sea. Toxins 14(10): 685.
In: Toxins. Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI): Basel. ISSN 2072-6651; e-ISSN 2072-6651, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Author keywords
    Toxic microalgae, light microscopy, metabarcoding, phycotoxins, Black Sea

Authors  Top 
  • Dzhembekova, N.
  • Moncheva, S., more
  • Slabakova, N.
  • Zlateva, I.
  • Nagai, S.
  • Wietkamp, S.
  • Wellkamp, M.
  • Tillmann, U.
  • Krock, B.

    Numerous potentially toxic plankton species commonly occur in the Black Sea, and phycotoxins have been reported. However, the taxonomy, phycotoxin profiles, and distribution of harmful microalgae in the basin are still understudied. An integrated microscopic (light microscopy) and molecular (18S rRNA gene metabarcoding and qPCR) approach complemented with toxin analysis was applied at 41 stations in the northwestern part of the Black Sea for better taxonomic coverage and toxin profiling in natural populations. The combined dataset included 20 potentially toxic species, some of which (Dinophysis acuminata, Dinophysis acuta, Gonyaulax spinifera, and Karlodinium veneficum) were detected in over 95% of the stations. In parallel, pectenotoxins (PTX-2 as a major toxin) were registered in all samples, and yessotoxins were present at most of the sampling points. PTX-1 and PTX-13, as well as some YTX variants, were recorded for the first time in the basin. A positive correlation was found between the cell abundance of Dinophysis acuta and pectenotoxins, and between Lingulodinium polyedra and Protoceratium reticulatum and yessotoxins. Toxic microalgae and toxin variant abundance and spatial distribution was associated with environmental parameters. Despite the low levels of the identified phycotoxins and their low oral toxicity, chronic toxic exposure could represent an ecosystem and human health hazard.

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