Overview

Comprehensive Description

Although individuals from this species can exist on their own they tend to form chains (2, 4 or 8 individuals long). Cells are armoured, semicircular (longer in width than length), anterio-posteriorly compressed, with a rounded apex and a slightly concave antapex. The apical pore plate (po) houses the characteristic fishhook shaped foramen. A. catenalla has yellow green to orange-brown chloroplasts and a U-shaped nucleus (Whedon & Kofoid 1936). Forms a resting cyst as part of it?s lifecycle.
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Distribution

Exists in most of the earths temperate seas including the Mediterranean were it?s numbers are rapidly increasing (Penna et al. 2005)
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Ecology

Habitat

Depth range based on 9 specimens in 1 taxon.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 2 - 2
 
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Alexandrium Catenella

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Alexandrium Catenella

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 5
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Barcode data: Alexandrium catenella

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Alexandrium catenella

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 4
Specimens with Barcodes: 7
Species With Barcodes: 1
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Conservation

Management

Toxicity

Produces PSPs, c1-c4, saxitoxins, gonyautoxins (Fukuyo et al. 1985; Taylor et al. 1995) and possibly even icthyotoxins (Ogata & Kodama 1986).
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Wikipedia

Alexandrium catenella

Alexandrium catenella is a dinoflagellate.[1] It is among the group of Alexandrium species that produce toxins that cause paralytic shellfish poisoning, and is a cause of red tide.[2] These organisms have been found in the west coast of North America, Japan, Australia, and parts of South Africa.

Alexandrium catenella can occur in single cells (similar to A. fundyense), but more often they are seen in short chains of 2, 4, or 8 cells. The organism is typically 20–25 µm in length and 25–32 µm in width. The cells are compressed both in the anterior and posterior ends of this specimen. Alexandrium has two flagella that enable it to swim. While one flagellum encircles the cell causing the cell the rotate and move forward, the other extends behind the cell and controls the direction. In some instances, these organisms can appear like small trains moving in the water under a microscope.

The dinoflagellate produces saxitoxin, which is a highly potent neurotoxin. If consumed, this toxin can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP).[3] By ingesting saxitoxin, humans can suffer from numbness, ataxia, incoherence, and in extreme cases respiratory paralysis and death. The toxin was discovered in 1927 in central California. Shellfish poisoning affected over a hundred humans, and now saxitoxin is recognized as one of the most deadly algal toxins.

These algal blooms have caused severe disruptions in the fisheries of these waters, and have caused filter-feeding shellfish in affected waters to become poisonous for human consumption. Because of this, A. catenella is categorized as a Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) species. While in some areas the causes of HABs appears to be completely natural, in others, they appear to be a result of human activity, which is often coastal water pollution and over-fertilization.

Some important limiting factors include growth that is stimulated by the supply of ammonia and inorganic nitrogen. The optimal growth conditions for A. catenella include a cool temperature of around 17 to 23 °C, a medium light illumination of 3500 to 4000 lux, and a high salinity of around 26 to 32 percent.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Alexandrium catenella". Olympic Region harmful algal bloom. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  2. ^ "Alexandrium catenella". red-tide.org. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  3. ^ "Alexandrium spp.". Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  • Adachi, Masao; Saka, Yoshihiko; Ishida, Yuzaburo (1996). "Identification of the toxic dinoflagellates Alexandrium catenella and A. tamarense (Dinophyceae) using DNA probes and whole-cell hybridization". Journal of phycology 32 (6): 1049–1052. 

Further reading[edit]

Mackenzie, Lincoln (Oct 2014). "Grazing on a toxic Alexandrium catenella bloom by the lobster krill Munida gregaria (Decapoda: Galatheoidea: Munididae)". Harmful Algae 39: 161–164. Retrieved 10 February 2015. 

A. Diaz, Patricio; Molinet, Carlos; Seguel, Miriam; Diaz, Manuel; Labra, Gissela; I. Figueroa, Rosa (December 2014). "Coupling planktonic and benthic shifts during a bloom of Alexandrium catenella in southern Chile: Implications for bloom dynamics and recurrence". Harmful Algae 40: 9–22. Retrieved 13 February 2015. 

Yong, Zhang; Shu-Fei, Zhang; Lin, Lin (6 August 2012). "Comparative Transcriptome Analysis of a Toxin-Producing Dinoflagellate Alexandrium catenella and Its Non-Toxic Mutant". Marine Drugs 12 (11): 5698–5718. doi:10.3390/md12115698. 

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