HPLC pigment profiles of 31 harmful algal bloom species isolated from the coastal sea areas of China
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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 wordsharmful algal bloom species high performance liquid chromatography chemotaxonomy cellular pigment density pigment ratios
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