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Mar. Drugs 2010, 8(1), 59-79; doi:10.3390/md8010059
Review

Effects of Marine Toxins on the Reproduction and Early Stages Development of Aquatic Organisms

1,2,* , 2
,
1,2
 and
2
1 Faculty of Sciences, Porto University, Rua do Campo Alegre, 4169-007 Porto, Portugal 2 Marine and Environmental Research Center, CIIMAR, CIMAR-LA, Rua dos Bragas, 289, 4050-123 Porto, Portugal
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 December 2009 / Revised: 4 January 2010 / Accepted: 18 January 2010 / Published: 19 January 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Bioactive Compounds Acting on Animal Reproduction)
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Abstract

Marine organisms, and specially phytoplankton species, are able to produce a diverse array of toxic compounds that are not yet fully understood in terms of their main targets and biological function. Toxins such as saxitoxins, tetrodotoxin, palytoxin, nodularin, okadaic acid, domoic acid, may be produced in large amounts by dinoflagellates, cyanobacteria, bacteria and diatoms and accumulate in vectors that transfer the toxin along food chains. These may affect top predator organisms, including human populations, leading in some cases to death. Nevertheless, these toxins may also affect the reproduction of aquatic organisms that may be in contact with the toxins, either by decreasing the amount or quality of gametes or by affecting embryonic development. Adults of some species may be insensitive to toxins but early stages are more prone to intoxication because they lack effective enzymatic systems to detoxify the toxins and are more exposed to the toxins due to a higher metabolic growth rate. In this paper we review the current knowledge on the effects of some of the most common marine toxins on the reproduction and development of early stages of some organisms.
Keywords: marine toxins; reproduction; larval development; early stages marine toxins; reproduction; larval development; early stages
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.

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Vasconcelos, V.; Azevedo, J.; Silva, M.; Ramos, V. Effects of Marine Toxins on the Reproduction and Early Stages Development of Aquatic Organisms. Mar. Drugs 2010, 8, 59-79.

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