Pseudo-nitzschia Peragallo (Bacillariophyceae) diversity and domoic acid accumulation in tuberculate cockles and sweet clams in M’diq Bay, Morocco

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Abstract

The diversity of Pseudo-nitzschia (Bacillariophyceae) and accumulation of the neurotoxin domoic acid (DA) in two types of shellfish; tuberculate cockles (Acanthocardia tuberculata) and sweet clams (Challista chione) was explored in M’diq Bay,Morocco during 2007. The highest abundances of Pseudo-nitzschia were found during the period from March to October, with peaks occurring in May and September. Toxin analysis showed an accumulation of domoic acid in shellfish sampled during spring and autumn. The maximum toxin concentration was 4.9 mg DAg-1 of the whole tissue recorded in sweet clam during spring. Using transmission electron microscopy, thirteen Pseudo-nitzschia species were identified, eight of which are known as producers of domoic acid: P. multistriata, P. cuspidata, P. galaxiae, P. multiseries, P. pseudodelicatissima, P. pungens var. aveirensis, P. calliantha and P. fraudulenta. The five non- toxic species observed were P. subpacifica, P. arenysensis, P. dolorosa, P. subfraudulenta, and P. cf. caciantha

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