AB 26:27-31 (2017)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00671

Preliminary observations of caulerpin accumulation from the invasive Caulerpa cylindracea in native Mediterranean fish species

S. Felline1,*, E. Mollo2, A. Cutignano2, L. Grauso2, F. Andaloro3, L. Castriota3, P. Consoli3, M. Falautano3, M. Sinopoli3, A. Terlizzi4,5

1Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Biologiche ed Ambientali, Università del Salento, CoNISMa, 73100 Lecce, Italy
2Istituto di Chimica Biomolecolare, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, 80078 Pozzuoli, Italy
3Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale (ISPRA), 98143 Palermo, Italy
4Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita, Università degli Studi di Trieste, CoNISMa, 34127 Trieste, Italy
5Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, 80121 Napoli, Italy
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Recent studies have shown that the Mediterranean white sea bream Diplodus sargus includes the invasive green alga Caulerpa cylindracea in its diet, with consequent metabolic and enzymatic alterations. As a result of this novel alimentary habit, the bioactive algal red pigment caulerpin has been detected in its tissues. However, this may not be an isolated case: other fish species have also been reported to feed on C. cylindracea, although the possible accumulation of caulerpin in their tissues has not yet been investigated. In this report, we analysed stomach contents and caulerpin levels in the native sparid species Spondyliosoma cantharus, Sarpa salpa, and Diplodus vulgaris, and in the scarid Sparisoma cretense, along with the Lessepsian siganid Siganus luridus. C. cylindracea was found in the stomachs of all but one fish species, the exception being S. cretense, in which prey items could not be determined due to the high degree of digestion. Chemical analysis of fish tissues revealed that only S. cantharus and S. salpa accumulated caulerpin, while no traces of the compound were detected in the other species. Despite intense research efforts on natural products obtained from C. cylindracea, a complete picture of the impacts caused by fish including this alga in their diet has not been elucidated. The identification of caulerpin in other Mediterranean native fish suggests a need for further research in order to assess the possible transfer of such molecules to humans through seafood consumption.

KEY WORDS: Invasive species · Bioaccumulation · Alien metabolites · Food webs · Mediterranean

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Cite this article as: Felline S, Mollo E, Cutignano A, Grauso L and others (2017) Preliminary observations of caulerpin accumulation from the invasive Caulerpa cylindracea in native Mediterranean fish species. Aquat Biol 26:27-31. https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00671

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