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Aquatic Microbial Ecology

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AME 17:301-310 (1999)  -  doi:10.3354/ame017301

On the presence of Phalacroma rotundatum in the southern Adriatic Sea (Italy)

Carmela Caroppo1,*, Roberta Congestri2,**, Milena Bruno2

1Institute for the Study of Coastal Ecosystems, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Via Pola 4, I-71010 Lesina (FG), Italy
2Laboratory of Environmental Hygiene, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, I-00161 Rome, Italy
Present addresses:
*Istituto Sperimentale Talassografico, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Via Roma 3, I-74100 Taranto, Italy. E-mail:
**Department of Biology, University of Rome 'Tor Vergata', Via della Ricerca Scientifica, I-00133 Rome, Italy

ABSTRACT: The genus Dinophysis sensu lato is often involved in episodes of Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning (DSP) contaminations and human intoxications. To date, several species of this genus have shown toxin production in the laboratory; however, it is likely that many others could have this capability. Phalacroma rotundatum (Claparède & Lachmann) Kofoid & Michener, allocated by some authors to the genus Dinophysis, is a non-photosynthetic species, which has the potential to produce okadaic acid and its derivatives DTX-1 and DTX-2. This species was observed for the first time along the southern Adriatic coast of Puglia (Italy) during a 2 yr monitoring program on potentially toxic phytoplankton. P. rotundatum dynamics was studied in relation to hydrobiological conditions; its seasonal changes appeared rather independent from chemico-physical factors, but were significantly associated with those of phytoflagellates. A toxicity test (Microtox system) on P. rotundatum cells proved negative.

KEY WORDS: Phalacroma rotundatum · Phytoflagellates · Hydrobiological factors · DSP · Adriatic Sea

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