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Tiny yet Toxic: Dinoflagellate Karlodinium veneficum

Relatively unknown and taxonomically confusing until the last few decades, the tiny but toxic dinoflagellate, Karlodinium veneficum, can produce dense blooms and fish-killing toxins. K. veneficum is a small chlorophyll-containing dinoflagellate that produces a suite of potent toxic compounds known as karlotoxins which kill fish as well as other organisms. K. veneficum has a mixed nutritional mode […]

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Environmental Variables Influence Toxic Ciguatera Algae Growth and Distribution

A new study describes optimal growth conditions for several species and strains of the benthic marine dinoflagellate Gambierdiscus and highlights how these species and strains respond differently to varying levels of salinity, light, and temperature. These environmental factors, along with suitable seafloor habitat, predict the geographic distribution of Gambierdiscus. Gambierdiscus is a genus of tropical and subtropical […]

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Ciguatoxin Detection Technology Transfer With French Polynesia

Researchers from the Institut Louis Malardè (ILM) in French Polynesia visited the NCCOS Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research (CCFHR) to gain expertise on working with Harmful Algal Bloom species. Dr. Mireille Chinain and Dr. Taiana Darius completed eleven days of training on the method and technique of cytotoxicity assays to detect ciguatoxins (CTXs) […]

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Technology Transfer Between NOAA and France Improve Caribbean Ciguatoxin Detection

A PhD candidate from the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea (IFREMER), Francesco Pisapia, is visiting the NCCOS Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research (CCFHR) for eleven weeks of intensive training on the method and technique of cytotoxicity assays to detect ciguatoxins (CTXs) and maitotoxins (MTXs) in fish tissue and cell cultures. […]

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Puget Sound Harmful Algal Blooms Linked to Seasonal Patterns and Survival Probability

In order to predict blooms and prevent undue economic loss of commercial shellfish in Puget Sound, NCCOS has sponsored research investigating the seasonal patterns and mechanisms of bloom formation of Alexandrium, a dinoflagellate that contaminates shellfish and causes paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) in humans. The study shows Alexandrium survives and spreads in Puget Sound in response to […]

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NCCOS Works to Track and Eliminate Freshwater Algal Toxins

A new study has documented the fate of microcystins—the most common of the freshwater blue-green algae toxins—and the challenges for monitoring them. The study is part of a larger NCCOS-sponsored project whose goal is to identify bacteria capable of degrading microcystins and to develop an affordable and efficient water filtration system to house such microorganisms. Microcystins inhibit and […]

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NCCOS Leads International Effort to Reduce Ciguatera Fish Poisoning

To reduce incidence of Ciguatera Fish Poisoning (CFP) and increase safety of seafood consumption around the world, scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) are leading international efforts to develop a global strategy to improve Ciguatera Fish Poisoning (CFP) monitoring and prediction. The strategy, endorsed by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, was one of […]

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Tenacity of Brown Tides Linked to Genetic Flexibility

The genetic flexibility of Aureococcus anophagefferens, the harmful alga responsible for “brown tides” off Long Island, allows it to thrive in conditions other algae cannot tolerate. NCCOS-sponsored scientists assessed this alga’s response to environmental stressors, such as low nutrients and low light, by looking at pieces of its RNA, which tell Aureococcus which proteins to […]

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