Home > Explore Data & Reports > Gambierdiscus species exhibit different epiphytic behaviors toward a variety of macroalgal hosts

Citation:

Rains, L.K., and M.L. Parsons. 2015. Gambierdiscus species exhibit different epiphytic behaviors toward a variety of macroalgal hosts. Harmful Algae, 49:29-39. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hal.2015.08.005

Data/Report Type:

Sponsored Research

Description

Ciguatera fish poisoning is a common form of seafood poisoning caused by toxins (ciguatoxins) that accumulate in demersal (reef) food webs. The precursors of ciguatoxins are produced by dinoflagellates of the genus Gambierdiscus, and enter the food web via herbivory and detritivory. The Gambierdiscus genus was recently revised and new research on the physiology and ecology of the revised species is needed. While it has been demonstrated that Gambierdiscus spp. are predominately epiphytic, the variability in epiphytic behavior among the various Gambierdiscus species is not known. Five Gambierdiscus species isolated from the Greater Caribbean Region were the focus of this study (G. belizeanus, G. caribaeus, G. carolinianus, G. carpenteri, and G. yasumotoi). Cells of Gambierdiscus were grown in wells with algae fragments from eight different macroalgal host genera (Acanthophora, Caulerpa, Dasya, Derbesia, Dictyota, Laurencia, Polysiphonia, and Ulva) where the epiphytic behavior and growth of the different Gambierdiscus species were monitored over 29 days. The results of this experiment demonstrate that epiphytic behavior (growth and attachment) differs among the Gambierdiscus species toward the various macroalgal hosts. Results tended to be specific to Gambierdiscus – host pairings with few commonalities in the way a particular Gambierdiscus species interacted across hosts or how the various Gambierdiscus species responded to a particular host. The Gambierdiscus – host pairings that resulted in the highest growth and attachment combinations were examined in terms of known cellular toxicity and host palatability to determine which pairings could represent the most likely vectors for the transfer of ciguatoxins (or precursors) into the demersal food web. Two pairings, Gambierdiscus belizeanus – Polysiphonia and G. belizeanus – Dictyota, best met these criteria, providing a hypothetical approach to better focus sampling and monitoring efforts on such potential vectors in the benthic environment.

Note to readers with disabilities: Some scientific publications linked from this website may not conform to Section 508 accessibility standards due to the complexity of the information being presented. If you need assistance accessing this electronic content, please contact the lead/corresponding author, Primary Contact, or nccos.webcontent@noaa.gov.

Explore Similar Data/Reports
NCCOS-with-tag-to-side-bld

NCCOS delivers ecosystem science solutions for stewardship of the nation’s ocean and coastal resources, in direct support of NOS priorities, offices, and customers, and to sustain thriving coastal communities and economies.

National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science
1305 East West Highway, Rm 8110
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: (240) 533-0300 / Fax: (301) 713-4353
Email: nccos.webcontent@noaa.gov

    Sign Up for Our Quarterly Newsletter