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Toxins 2015, 7(2), 255-273; doi:10.3390/toxins7020255

No Evidence for a Culturable Bacterial Tetrodotoxin Producer in Pleurobranchaea maculata (Gastropoda: Pleurobranchidae) and Stylochoplana sp. (Platyhelminthes: Polycladida)

1
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Waikato, Private Bag 3105, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand
2
Cawthron Institute, Nelson 7042, New Zealand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Luis M. Botana
Received: 3 December 2014 / Accepted: 20 January 2015 / Published: 28 January 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Marine and Freshwater Toxins)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [800 KB, uploaded 28 January 2015]   |  

Abstract

Tetrodotoxin (TTX) is a potent neurotoxin found in the tissues of many taxonomically diverse organisms. Its origin has been the topic of much debate, with suggestions including endogenous production, acquisition through diet, and symbiotic bacterial synthesis. Bacterial production of TTX has been reported in isolates from marine biota, but at lower than expected concentrations. In this study, 102 strains were isolated from Pleurobranchaea maculata (Opisthobranchia) and Stylochoplana sp. (Platyhelminthes). Tetrodotoxin production was tested utilizing a recently developed sensitive method to detect the C9 base of TTX via liquid chromatography—mass spectrometry. Bacterial strains were characterized by sequencing a region of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene. To account for the possibility that TTX is produced by a consortium of bacteria, a series of experiments using marine broth spiked with various P. maculata tissues were undertaken. Sixteen unique strains from P. maculata and one from Stylochoplana sp. were isolated, representing eight different genera; Pseudomonadales, Actinomycetales, Oceanospirillales, Thiotrichales, Rhodobacterales, Sphingomonadales, Bacillales, and Vibrionales. Molecular fingerprinting of bacterial communities from broth experiments showed little change over the first four days. No C9 base or TTX was detected in isolates or broth experiments (past day 0), suggesting a culturable microbial source of TTX in P. maculata and Stylochoplana sp. is unlikely. View Full-Text
Keywords: Tetrodotoxin; bacteria; liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry; Pleurobranchaea maculata; Stylochoplana sp. Tetrodotoxin; bacteria; liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry; Pleurobranchaea maculata; Stylochoplana sp.
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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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MDPI and ACS Style

Salvitti, L.R.; Wood, S.A.; McNabb, P.; Cary, S.C. No Evidence for a Culturable Bacterial Tetrodotoxin Producer in Pleurobranchaea maculata (Gastropoda: Pleurobranchidae) and Stylochoplana sp. (Platyhelminthes: Polycladida). Toxins 2015, 7, 255-273.

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