Journal of Ocean University of China

, Volume 13, Issue 6, pp 941–950 | Cite as

HPLC pigment profiles of 31 harmful algal bloom species isolated from the coastal sea areas of China

  • Shuxia Liu
  • Peng Yao
  • Zhigang Yu
  • Dong Li
  • Chunmei Deng
  • Yu Zhen


Chemotaxonomy based on diagnostic pigments is now a routine tool for macroscopic determination of the composition and abundance of phytoplankton in various aquatic environments. Since the taxonomic capability of this method depends on the relationships between diagnostic pigments and chlorophyll a of classified groups, it is critical to calibrate it by using pigment relationships obtained from representative and/or dominant species local to targeted investigation area. In this study, pigment profiles of 31 harmful algal bloom (HAB) species isolated from the coastal sea areas of China were analyzed with high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Pigment compositions, cellular pigment densities and ratios of pigments to chlorophyll a were determined and calculated. Among all these species, 25 kinds of pigments were detected, of which fucoxanthin, peridinin, 19′-butanoyloxyfucoxanthin, 19′-hexanoyloxyfucoxanthin, violaxanthin, and antheraxanthin were diagnostic pigments. Cellular pigment density was basically independent of species and environmental conditions, and therefore was recommended as a bridge to compare the results of HPLC-CHEMTAX technique with the traditional microscopy method. Pigment ratios of algal species isolated from the coast of China, especially the diagnostic pigment ratios, were higher than those from other locations. According to these results, pigment ratio ranges of four classes of phytoplankton common off the coast of China were summarized for using in the current chemotaxonomic method. Moreover, the differences of pigments ratios among different species under the same culturing conditions were consistent with their biological differences. Such differences have the potential to be used to classify the phytoplankton below class, which is meaningful for monitoring HABs by HPLC-CHEMTAX.

Key words

harmful algal bloom species high performance liquid chromatography chemotaxonomy cellular pigment density pigment ratios 


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Ocean University of China and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shuxia Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Peng Yao
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
  • Zhigang Yu
    • 1
    • 4
  • Dong Li
    • 1
    • 5
  • Chunmei Deng
    • 6
  • Yu Zhen
    • 7
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Marine Chemistry Theory and TechnologyMinistry of EducationQingdaoP. R. China
  2. 2.Ocean CollegeZhejiang UniversityHangzhouP. R. China
  3. 3.Qingdao Collaborative Innovation Center of Marine Science and TechnologyQingdaoP. R. China
  4. 4.Institute of Marine Organic GeochemistryOcean University of ChinaQingdaoP. R. China
  5. 5.College of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringOcean University of ChinaQingdaoP. R. China
  6. 6.Key Laboratory of Marine Spill Oil Identification and Damage Assessment TechnologyState Oceanic AdministrationQingdaoP. R. China
  7. 7.Key Laboratory of Marine Environment and EcologyMinistry of EducationQingdaoP. R. China

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