Accumulation and biotransformation dynamics of the neurotoxic complex, saxitoxin, in different life stages of Ostrea chilensis.


Instituto de Ciencias Marinas y Limnológicas, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile; Centro Fondap de Investigación Dinámica de Ecosistemas Marinos de Altas Latitudes (IDEAL), Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile. Electronic address: [Email]


The neurotoxic complex saxitoxin, is a group of marine toxins that historically has significantly impacted human health and the ability to utilize marine resources. A steady increase in the distribution and intensity of Alexandrium catenella blooms in Chile, and around the world, has caused major ecological and socioeconomic impacts, putting this type of dinoflagellate, and its toxicity, in the spotlight. Ostrea chilensis is a commercially and ecologically important resource harvested from wild populations and farmed in centers of southern Chile, where it is exposed to large harmful algal blooms of the type that can cause paralysis in humans. This study contributes to our understanding about the transfer of toxins from A. catenella cells to juvenile and adult Ostrea chilensis by tracking transformations of the neurotoxic complex until it reaches its most stable molecular form in the intracellular environment of O. chilensis tissues. These biotransformations are different in O. chilensis juveniles and adults, indicating a differentiated response for these two life stages of this bivalve species. These studies can be used for similar analyses in other ecologically and commercially important species of filter feeding organisms, providing greater understanding of the specific interactions of bivalves in scenarios of toxic dinoflagellate proliferations (e.g. A. catenella blooms).


Alexandrium catenella,Biotransformation,Bivalve,Neurotoxic complex,Ostrea chilensis,Saxitoxin,

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