Comparison of two domoic acid-producing diatoms: a review

  • M. C. Villac
  • D. L. Roelke
  • T. A. Villareal
  • G. A. Fryxell
Conference paper
Part of the Developments in Hydrobiology book series (DIHY, volume 90)


In the past five years, awareness of domoic acid has increased from localized problems in Canada to outbreaks along both North American coasts. The phycotoxin domoic acid causes Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning (ASP) in humans and can be fatal. The known species of phytoplankton responsible for production of domoic acid include some pennate diatom species of the genus Nitzschia, sensu latu, which form stepped chains typical of the Pseudonitzschia. These diatoms are widely distributed, but their life histories and population dynamics are poorly understood. This review addresses histories of occurrences, morphology, geographical distributions, seasonal patterns, growth requirements, domoic acid production, and trophic interactions, with emphasis on a comparison of Pseudonitzschia pungens f. multiseries (Hasle) Hasle and Pseudonitzschia australis Frenguelli. Through continued research it will become possible to provide guidelines for regulatory agencies that protect both the consumer and the seafood industry.

Key words

Pseudonitzschia pungens f. multiseries Pseudonitzschia australis domoic acid neurotoxin amnesic shellfish poisoning 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. C. Villac
    • 1
  • D. L. Roelke
    • 1
  • T. A. Villareal
    • 2
  • G. A. Fryxell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of OceanographyTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  2. 2.Environmental Sciences, Boston Harbor CampusUniversity of MassachusettsBostonUSA

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