Harmful Algae (HARMFUL ALGAE)

Publisher: Elsevier

Journal description

This new journal will provide a forum to promote knowledge of harmful microalgae, including cyanobacteria, as well as monitoring, management and control of these organisms. Both original research and review papers will be considered. Papers dealing with the following aspects of harmful microalgae and cyanobacteria in marine and fresh waters will be considered: the distribution, life histories and taxonomy of harmful microalgae; the physiology and toxicology of harmful microalgae; harmful microalgal bloom ecology; trophic, socio-economic, public health and aquacultural impacts of harmful microalgal bloom events; occurrence, methods of detection and chemical structure of toxins in harmful microalgae, cyanobacteria, foodwebs and seafood; factors controlling toxin production, biosynthesis and chemical ecology.

Current impact factor: 3.34

Impact Factor Rankings

2015 Impact Factor Available summer 2015
2013 / 2014 Impact Factor 3.339
2012 Impact Factor 2.901
2011 Impact Factor 3.083
2010 Impact Factor 4.28
2009 Impact Factor 2.5
2008 Impact Factor 2.688
2007 Impact Factor 2.397
2006 Impact Factor 2.46
2005 Impact Factor 2.709

Impact factor over time

Impact factor

Additional details

5-year impact 3.95
Cited half-life 4.60
Immediacy index 0.99
Eigenfactor 0.01
Article influence 0.91
Website Harmful Algae website
Other titles Harmful algae (Online)
ISSN 1568-9883
OCLC 50177604
Material type Document, Periodical, Internet resource
Document type Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details


  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
  • Conditions
    • Pre-print allowed on any website or open access repository
    • Voluntary deposit by author of authors post-print allowed on authors' personal website, arXiv.org or institutions open scholarly website including Institutional Repository, without embargo, where there is not a policy or mandate
    • Deposit due to Funding Body, Institutional and Governmental policy or mandate only allowed where separate agreement between repository and the publisher exists.
    • Permitted deposit due to Funding Body, Institutional and Governmental policy or mandate, may be required to comply with embargo periods of 12 months to 48 months .
    • Set statement to accompany deposit
    • Published source must be acknowledged
    • Must link to journal home page or articles' DOI
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • Articles in some journals can be made Open Access on payment of additional charge
    • NIH Authors articles will be submitted to PubMed Central after 12 months
    • Publisher last contacted on 18/10/2013
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Microcystins (MCs) comprise a group of cyclic heptapeptide toxins that share a common backbone and have two variable l-amino acids that yield at least 21 known analogs of varying potency. These hepatotoxins and potential tumor promoters are produced by certain cyanobacteria, including Microcystis aeruginosa. The cyanobacterium M. aeruginosa blooms in freshwater lakes and can potentially co-occur with other species such as Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, which is targeted and harvested for the production of dietary supplements known as blue-green algae (BGA). BGA supplements are currently marketed in the U.S. and internationally as a product that may elevate mood, increase energy, and alleviate attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. However, the potential for BGA dietary supplements to be contaminated with MCs is of concern, and there are currently no validated methods for detection of MCs in these products. This research focused on establishing screening methods for toxic Microcystis and MCs in BGA supplements. A DNA-based method employing polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used as a prescreening tool to evaluate the dietary supplements and to detect the presence of toxin genes (i.e., presence of toxic Microcystis). A rapid, sensitive surface plasmon resonance (SPR) biosensor, directed towards recognition of all MC forms, was also developed and validated. This improved SPR biosensor incorporates a commercial Adda-group antibody (Ab) that has the capacity for broader recognition of MCs than previously developed sensors for BGA supplements that rely solely on an arginine-reactive Ab and can quantitate MC levels down to 0.24 ng/mL (equivalent to 0.24 μg per gram of BGA supplement) in less than 10 min. Such a rapid, quantitative screening method may allow for further surveillance of BGA products to assist risk assessment efforts, establishment of regulatory guidance levels, and response to potential consumer complaints related to BGA products. The PCR technique and SPR biosensor may be used in concert as prescreening and screening tools, respectively or individually, thereby limiting the number of samples that must be evaluated with confirmatory methods.
    Harmful Algae 07/2015; 47. DOI:10.1016/j.hal.2015.05.001
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    ABSTRACT: High quality of coastal water is critical to marine ecosystems, marine fisheries, public health, and aquatic environment. Specially, bio-toxin derived from toxic microalgae is currently threatening many coastal countries. Therefore, development of rapid and sensitive methods for the detection of toxin-producing microalgae is necessary for warning of water quality. In this paper, we established a novel method for rapid and sensitive detection of Amphidinium carterae by hyperbranched rolling circle amplification (HRCA). The partial large subunit rDNA (LSU D1–D2) of A. carterae was sequenced to design species-specific padlock probe (PLP). The PLP-coupled with two amplification primers were employed for HRCA. The optimized HRCA conditions were as follows: padlock concentration, 20 pM; ligation temperature, 65 °C; ligation time, 15 min; amplification temperature, 61 °C; and amplification time, 15 min. The developed HRCA was confirmed to be specific for A. carterae by tests with other algae. The sensitivity of HRCA was 100-fold higher than regular PCR, exhibiting a detection limit of 1 fg/μL representing 283 copies for the recombinant plasmid containing the target LSU D1–D2, and 1 cell for target species. Finally, a simplified protocol was applied to the simulated field and environmental materials, and exhibited a good performance. The whole detection could be completed within 1.5 h, displaying a repeated detection limit of 1 cell. The positive HRCA results could be visualized through coloration reaction by adding the fluorescent dye SYBR Green I to the amplification products. The HRCA provides a useful tool to quickly screen large sample sets for A. carterae, as well as other toxic species.
    Harmful Algae 07/2015; 47. DOI:10.1016/j.hal.2015.05.012
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    ABSTRACT: Members of the Alexandrium tamarense species complex are some of the most important toxigenic dinoflagellates and are also widely distributed along the coast of China. A. tamarense and another well-known toxic raphidophycean alga, Chattonella marina, are usually found in the same sea areas, sometimes at the same place and time. In this study, under laboratory co-culture conditions, we found that most of the 15 A. tamarense strains from the South China Sea and the East China Sea had significant inhibition on the growth of C. marina, while most of the A. tamarense strains were inhibited to various extents by C. marina. These results suggest that there is a complex reciprocal inhibitory effect between A. tamarense and C. marina, which might be caused by their allelopathic potency, the intrinsic growth rate of the algal species and the sensitivity of the target alga to the allelochemicals, etc. However, no strict correlations were observed between the allelopathic actions and the geographical distribution. The allelopathic potency observed in co-culture did not correlate with the hemolytic activity of the extracellular toxins obtained by the solvent extraction method (p > 0.05) but did correlate with the hemolytic activity obtained by the dialysis method (p < 0.01). These results indicate that various strains of A. tamarense could produce diverse hemolytic substances with different compositions and properties, which might be responsible for the variability in A. tamarense allelopathic action.
    Harmful Algae 07/2015; 47. DOI:10.1016/j.hal.2015.05.008
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    ABSTRACT: Toxic microalgae currently pose a great threat to human health, ecosystem, fishery, tourism, and aquaculture along the Chinese coast. The detection of toxic microalgae by routinely monitoring natural waters is necessary to provide timely mitigation. Therefore, an effective, simultaneous detection protocol should be established for the simple, rapid, and accurate identification of causative algae. This study developed and evaluated a reverse dot blot assay (RDBA) combined with a low-density membrane-based DNA array for the rapid and simultaneous detection of toxic microalgae that are commonly distributed along the Chinese coast. The large subunit rDNA D1–D2 regions of the target species were first sequenced to design taxonomic probes. Probe specificity was validated by performing a cross-reactivity test with dot blot hybridization. The tailed probes were immobilized onto a nylon membrane to prepare a low-density DNA array for RDBA. The established detection procedure involved DNA extraction, biotin (Bio)-labeling of objective sequences by multiple polymerase chain reaction (M-PCR), RDBA, coloration, and judgment of hybridization by the naked eye. Bio-labeled primer-based labeling proved to be an economical and effective method to prepare Bio-labeled PCR products for RDBA. The detection limits of RDBA using the M-PCR-labeling products from DNA templates prepared by different methods were also compared, and a kit-based DNA extraction method displayed the lowest detection limit of 0.5 cells. Simulation results showed that RDBA can recover all target species and was not affected by background DNA. RDBA was proven effective, specific, and sensitive for the simultaneous detection of toxic microalgae in the field samples. Therefore, this method may be used in the field monitoring of natural samples.
    Harmful Algae 07/2015; 47:86-96. DOI:10.1016/j.hal.2015.06.003
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    ABSTRACT: Microcystis is a globally distributed cyanobacterium that forms dense surface scums in eutrophic freshwater bodies and is also capable of producing potent liver toxins (microcystins). Although it is not commonly observed in riverine environments, high concentrations of Microcystis cells – and microcystins – have been observed on a recurring basis in recent years throughout the Klamath River system (Oregon/California). In this study, a variety of genetic approaches were used to assess the connectivity of Microcystis populations found throughout the Klamath River. In 2012, samples were collected bi-weekly from 16 sites spanning the entire system, including all five reservoirs and Upper Klamath Lake. A newly designed QPCR assay targeting a conserved region within the c-phycocyanin β-subunit gene (cpcB) was used along with a microcystin synthetase gene (mcyE) targeting QPCR assay to quantify the spatiotemporal patterns of total and toxigenic Microcystis. These data were compared with traditional metrics, such as microscopic cell counts and analytical toxin measurements, and the public health implications are discussed. Overall, Microcystis was a minor constituent of the phytoplankton community above Copco and Iron Gate Reservoirs, although it was highly prolific within these reservoirs and our data indicate that most of these populations originate internally. Spatiotemporal variations in the proportional abundances of a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), identified by 454 deep sequencing of the cpcBA genes, was used to fingerprint Iron Gate Reservoir as the source of downriver Microcystis assemblages. Throughout the study period, the Microcystis populations remained highly toxic, with total microcystin concentrations ranging from 165 μg/L in Copco Reservoir to 3.6 μg/L within the lower estuary (0.8 km from the Pacific Ocean). These results demonstrate that large quantities of intact and toxic Microcystis cells can withstand passage through hydroelectric installations and transport over distances exceeding 300 km. This finding emphasizes that public health risk assessments should consider the impact of cyanobacterial blooms even when they originate in distant upstream locations within a watershed.
    Harmful Algae 06/2015; 46. DOI:10.1016/j.hal.2015.05.007
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    ABSTRACT: The planktonic phototrophic dinoflagellate Alexandrium pohangense sp. nov. isolated from the coastal waters off Korea is described from living and fixed cells by light and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). DNA sequence data were collected from the small subunit (SSU), the large subunit (LSU), internal transcribed spacer regions (ITS1 and ITS2), and 5.8S of the ribosomal DNA (rDNA). The SSU and LSU rDNA sequences of the new dinoflagellate were 4-7% and 14-17%, respectively, different from those of Alexandrium minutum, Alexandrium ostenfeldii, Alexandrium tamutum, Alexandrium margalefii, and Alexandrium pseudogonyaulax, the most closely related species. In addition, the 5.8S rDNA sequence of the new dinoflagellate was also 12% different from those of A. minutum, A. ostenfeldii, A. tamutum, and Alexandrium peruvianum. In a phylogenetic tree based on LSU rDNA sequences, A. pohangense formed a clade with A. margalefii, and this clade was clearly distinct from the clade of A. minutum, Alexandrium diversaporum, A. tamutum, Alexandrium leei, A. ostenfeldii, and Alexandirum andersoni. Moreover, in a phylogenetic tree based on SSU rDNA sequences, A. pohangense was positioned at the base of the clade containing A. leei and A. diversaporum. Morphological analysis showed that A. pohangense has a Kofoidian plate formula of Po, 4′, 6′′, 6c, 8s, 5′′′, and 2′′′′, which confirmed its assignment to the genus Alexandrium. This dinoflagellate has a wide rectangular 1′ plate, the upper left side of which is slightly bent, protruding, and touching the 2′ plate, unlike A. margalefii, which has a wide rectangular 1′ plate that does not touch the 2′ plate, or A. pseudogonyaulax and Alexandrium camurascutulum, which have a narrower elongated pentagonal 1′ plate that touches the 2′ plate. Furthermore, the 1′ plate of A. pohangense meets the 1′′ plate as a straight vertical line, whereas that of A. camurascutulum meets the 1′′ plate as an inclined line because it is lifted by the intrusion of the 1′′ plate. In addition, A. pohangense had a relatively small ventral pore whose majority was located on the 4′ plate, unlike A. margalefii or A. pseudogonyaulax, which have a relatively large ventral pore whose majority is located on the 1′ plate. Furthermore, A. pohangense had pores of two different sizes on the cell surface, unlike A. margalefii and A. pseudogonyaulax, which have similar pores of only one size. On the basis of morphological and phylogenetic criteria, it is proposed that this is a new species of the genus Alexandrium.
    Harmful Algae 06/2015; 46:49-61. DOI:10.1016/j.hal.2015.05.004
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    ABSTRACT: The bloom-forming dinoflagellate Akashiwo sanguinea is commonly observed in estuarine and coastal waters around the world. Annually recurrent blooms of this species have been observed in the coastal waters of China, particularly in the Sishili Bay, Yantai since 2004. However, limited studies have been conducted on the recurrence mechanism of A. sanguinea other than periodical monitoring of its population dynamics and associated environmental variables. Thus, to further explore the bloom and succession mechanisms of A. sanguinea in the field, we studied the effects of major nutritional components on the growth and encystment of A. sanguinea, as well as the effects of key environmental factors on the growth of A. sanguinea through a series of laboratory trials. Our results indicated that A. sanguinea was able to grow well within the temperature range of 20-25 °C, salinity range of 20 - 30, with the maximum laboratory irradiance of 78.14 μE m−2 s−1, and was able to survive and grow in low nutrient. However, lower concentrations of nutrients (e.g., nitrate, phosphate) and higher ammonium exerted different degrees of limiting effects on the growth of A. sanguinea, and induced 2.3-21.24% of vegetative cells to form resting cysts simultaneously in laboratory cultures. On the other hand, very limited or no cyst formation was observed in nutrient-replete or extremely low nutrient cultures, indicating the threshold effect of nutritional stress on the encystment of A. sanguinea. The physiological strategy of encystment of A. sanguinea in nutrient-limiting environment facilitates the survival and succession of A. sanguinea species in fluctuating seawaters, and provides seed sources for reoccurring algal blooms under favorable environmental conditions.
    Harmful Algae 06/2015; 46:62-70. DOI:10.1016/j.hal.2015.05.006
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    ABSTRACT: Considerable attention has been paid to anatoxin-a due to its severe neurotoxicity, and anatoxin-a biosynthesis gene cluster (ana) has recently been characterized in the Oscillatoria and Anabaena genera. To gain further insight into the genetic basis of anatoxin-a biosynthesis in cyanobacteria, the ana gene clusters of three Cuspidothrix issatschenkoi strains were sequenced. The ana gene arrangement patterns of C. issatschenkoi strains were identical and differed from those of Oscillatoria and Anabaena. A conserved section containing anaB through anaG was observed in these species. The ana genes of C. issatschenkoi strains were highly similar (95% to 100%), and were more similar to those of Anabaena (84% to 96%) than to those of Oscillatoria (82% to 90%) except anaA and orf1. Low similarities were observed for orf1 (67% to 77%) between C. issatschenkoi and Anabaena and Oscillatoria. The Orf1 sequences in anatoxin-a-producing C. issatschenkoi RM-6 and C. issatschenkoi LBRI48 were truncated at the N-terminal. The methyltransferase domain of AnaG in non-anatoxin-a-producing C. issatschenkoi CHABD3 was absent and transcription of anaG can be detected in this strain. All the C. issatschenkoi strains were clustered into an independent clade in the phylogenetic tree based on 16S rrn. In conclusion, the ana genes have experienced different degrees of sequence variations and loss of the ability to produce anatoxin-a in cyanobacterial strains may be due to deletion of ana genes.
    Harmful Algae 06/2015; 46:43-48. DOI:10.1016/j.hal.2015.05.005
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    ABSTRACT: The harmful dinoflagellate Cochlodinium polykrikoides is known to cause fish death by gill-clogging when its abundance exceeds approximately 1000 cells ml−1. Thus, red tides of this dinoflagellate have caused considerable loss in the aquaculture industry worldwide. Typhoons carrying strong winds and heavy rains may alter the process of red tide events. To investigate the effects of typhoons on C. polykrikoides red tides, daily variations in the abundance of C. polykrikoides, and wind speeds in three study areas in the South Sea of Korea were analyzed during the periods of C. polykrikoides red tides and the passage of 14 typhoons during 2012–2014. The typhoons differentially affected Cochlodinium red tides during the study period, and the daily maximum wind speed generated by the typhoon was critical. Four typhoons with daily maximum wind speeds of >14 m s−1 eliminated Cochlodinium red tides, while three typhoons with daily maximum wind speed of 5–14 m s−1 only lowered the abundance. However, other typhoons with daily maximum wind speeds of <5 m s−1 had no marked effect on the Cochlodinium abundance. Therefore, typhoons may sometimes eliminate C. polykrikoides red tide events, or reduce cell abundances to a level that is not harmful to caged fish cultivated in aquaculture industries. Thus, typhoons should be considered when compiling red tide dynamics and fish-kill models.
    Harmful Algae 05/2015; 45. DOI:10.1016/j.hal.2015.04.001