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Seasonal distribution of Gambierdiscus spp. in Wakasa Bay, the Sea of Japan, and antagonistic relationships with epiphytic pennate diatoms

Nakada, Mitsutaka, Hatayama, Yuki, Ishikawa, Akira, Ajisaka, Tetsuro, Sawayama, Shigeki, Imai, Ichiro
Harmful algae 2018 v.76 pp. 58-65
Bacillariophyceae, Gambierdiscus, allelopathy, ciguatera, epiphytes, macroalgae, monitoring, nutrients, phylogeny, poisonous algae, risk, risk assessment, salinity, seawater, toxicity, water temperature, Sea of Japan
The occurrence of the ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) causative Gambierdiscus spp. was confirmed in the Sea of Japan for the first time in 2009. This paper reports seasonal distribution of Gambierdiscus spp. and epiphytic diatoms in the Sea of Japan. Monitoring results suggested an antagonistic interaction in abundances between epiphytic diatoms and the dinoflagellate Gambierdiscus spp. Allelopathic effects of diatoms were considered to be involved in the competitive phenomenon. Therefore it is hypothesized that cell densities of epiphytic pennate diatoms on macroalgae are a novel determinant affecting the abundance of Gambierdiscus spp. other than sea water temperature, salinity and nutrients. Monitorings of the abundance of epiphytic diatoms would lead us to predict the occurrences of Gambierdiscus spp. blooms in the CFP area, and thereby the CFP risk assessments would be developed. Phylogenetic analyses indicated that Gambierdiscus spp. in the Sea of Japan belonged to Gambierdiscus sp. type 2 which was reported to be non-toxic. Nevertheless, based on morphological characteristics, at least two types of Gambierdiscus spp. were found in the Sea of Japan. It is needed to test the toxicity of the both types of Gambierdiscus recognized in the present study for evaluation of the probability of CFP outbreak risks in the Sea of Japan in the future.