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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 317:57-65 (2006)  -  doi:10.3354/meps317057

Lack of accumulation of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins in the tintinnid ciliate Favella taraikaensis feeding on the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium tamarense

T. Kamiyama*, T. Suzuki

Tohoku National Fisheries Research Institute, Fisheries Research Agency, 3-27-5, Shinhama, Shiogama, Miyagi 985-0001, Japan

ABSTRACT: To clarify the fate of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins in planktonic food webs, toxin contents of the planktonic ciliate Favella taraikaensis feeding on Alexandrium tamarense and of the surrounding seawater were examined in laboratory experiments using high-performance liquid chromatography fluorometric detection. During 5 or 6 d incubation periods in 3 replicate experiments, F. taraikaensis actively ingested A. tamarense and reached 8 to 17-fold initial density values. At the end of the incubation, the toxin concentration of the suspension consisting mostly of F. taraikaensis, which had increased by feeding on A. tamarense, was much lower than that of A. tamarense cells. The toxin content of pure F. taraikaensis, which was analyzed based on 165 to 200 individuals of F. taraikaensis directly taken from the suspension, was also lower than the cellular toxicity of A. tamarense. Toxin concentration in filtrates of the F. taraikaensis suspension was significantly higher than that in filtrates of the suspension containing only A. tamarense. Furthermore, the total toxin concentration in the F. taraikaensis suspension (particulates plus the filtrate) was almost equivalent to that in the A. tamarense suspension in each trial. We conclude that the PSP toxins of A. tamarense are not accumulated in F. taraikaensis over 24 h in the course of predator–prey interactions, and the toxins are rapidly excreted from the cell body of the ciliate.

KEY WORDS: Ciliate · Grazing · Alexandrium tamarense · PSP · Accumulation

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