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Mar. Drugs 2017, 15(2), 33; doi:10.3390/md15020033

Recent Trends in Marine Phycotoxins from Australian Coastal Waters

Climate Change Cluster (C3), University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2007, Australia
Cawthron Institute, The Wood, Nelson 7010, New Zealand
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 December 2016 / Accepted: 29 January 2017 / Published: 9 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Neurotoxins)
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Phycotoxins, which are produced by harmful microalgae and bioaccumulate in the marine food web, are of growing concern for Australia. These harmful algae pose a threat to ecosystem and human health, as well as constraining the progress of aquaculture, one of the fastest growing food sectors in the world. With better monitoring, advanced analytical skills and an increase in microalgal expertise, many phycotoxins have been identified in Australian coastal waters in recent years. The most concerning of these toxins are ciguatoxin, paralytic shellfish toxins, okadaic acid and domoic acid, with palytoxin and karlotoxin increasing in significance. The potential for tetrodotoxin, maitotoxin and palytoxin to contaminate seafood is also of concern, warranting future investigation. The largest and most significant toxic bloom in Tasmania in 2012 resulted in an estimated total economic loss of~AUD$23M, indicating that there is an imperative to improve toxin and organism detection methods, clarify the toxin profiles of species of phytoplankton and carry out both intra‐ and inter‐species toxicity comparisons. Future work also includes the application of rapid, real‐time molecular assays for the detection of harmful species and toxin genes. This information, in conjunction with a better understanding of the life histories and ecology of harmful bloom species, may lead to more appropriate management of environmental, health and economic resources. View Full-Text
Keywords: harmful  algae;  ciguatoxins;  paralytic  shellfish  toxins;  okadaic  acid;  domoic  acid;  palytoxins; karlotoxins; tetrodotoxin; maitotoxin; palytoxin harmful  algae;  ciguatoxins;  paralytic  shellfish  toxins;  okadaic  acid;  domoic  acid;  palytoxins; karlotoxins; tetrodotoxin; maitotoxin; palytoxin

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Ajani, P.; Harwood, D.T.; Murray, S.A. Recent Trends in Marine Phycotoxins from Australian Coastal Waters. Mar. Drugs 2017, 15, 33.

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