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Open AccessArticle

TTX-Bearing Planocerid Flatworm (Platyhelminthes: Acotylea) in the Ryukyu Islands, Japan

Department of Marine Science and Resources, Nihon University, Fujisawa, Kanagawa 252-0880, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Mar. Drugs 2018, 16(1), 37;
Received: 10 December 2017 / Revised: 28 December 2017 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 19 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tetrodotoxin)
Polyclad flatworms comprise a highly diverse and cosmopolitan group of marine turbellarians. Although some species of the genera Planocera and Stylochoplana are known to be tetrodotoxin (TTX)-bearing, there are few new reports. In this study, planocerid-like flatworm specimens were found in the sea bottom off the waters around the Ryukyu Islands, Japan. The bodies were translucent with brown reticulate mottle, contained two conical tentacles with eye spots clustered at the base, and had a slightly frilled-body margin. Each specimen was subjected to TTX extraction followed by liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry analysis. Mass chromatograms were found to be identical to those of the TTX standards. The TTX amounts in the two flatworm specimens were calculated to be 468 and 3634 μg. Their external morphology was found to be identical to that of Planocera heda. Phylogenetic analysis based on the sequences of the 28S rRNA gene and cytochrome-c oxidase subunit I gene also showed that both specimens clustered with the flatworms of the genus Planocera (Planocera multitentaculata and Planocera reticulata). This fact suggests that there might be other Planocera species that also possess highly concentrated TTX, contributing to the toxification of TTX-bearing organisms, including fish. View Full-Text
Keywords: flatworm; Planocera; planocerid; Polycladida; tetrodotoxin (TTX) flatworm; Planocera; planocerid; Polycladida; tetrodotoxin (TTX)
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Ueda, H.; Itoi, S.; Sugita, H. TTX-Bearing Planocerid Flatworm (Platyhelminthes: Acotylea) in the Ryukyu Islands, Japan. Mar. Drugs 2018, 16, 37.

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