Molecular probes and microarrays for the detection of toxic algae in the genera Dinophysis and Phalacroma (Dinophyta)

Marine Biology, Department of Biology, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1066, 0316, Oslo, Norway, .
Environmental Science and Pollution Research (Impact Factor: 2.83). 12/2012; Environmental Science and Pollution Research(20):6733 - 6750. DOI: 10.1007/s11356-012-1403-1
Source: PubMed


Dinophysis and Phalacroma species containing diarrheic shellfish toxins and pectenotoxins occur in coastal temperate waters all year round and prevent the harvesting of mussels during several months each year in regions in Europe, Chile, Japan, and New Zealand. Toxicity varies among morphologically similar species, and a precise identification is needed for early warning systems. Molecular techniques using ribosomal DNA sequences offer a means to identify and detect precisely the potentially toxic species. We designed molecular probes targeting the 18S rDNA at the family and genus levels for Dinophysis and Phalacroma and at the species level for Dinophysis acuminata, Dinophysis acuta, and Dinophysis norvegica, the most commonly occurring, potentially toxic species of these genera in Western European waters. Dot blot hybridizations with polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-amplified rDNA from 17 microalgae were used to demonstrate probe specificity. The probes were modified along with other published fluorescence in situ hybridization and PCR probes and tested for a microarray platform within the MIDTAL project ( The microarray was applied to field samples from Norway and Spain and compared to microscopic cell counts. These probes may be useful for early warning systems and monitoring and can also be used in population dynamic studies to distinguish species and life cycle stages, such as cysts, and their distribution in time and space.

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