Yessotoxin (YTX) is a marine polyether toxin that was first isolated in 1986 from the scallop Patinopecten yessoensis. Subsequently, it was reported that YTX is produced by the dinoflagellates Protoceratium reticulatum, Lingulodinium polyedrum and Gonyaulax spinifera. YTXs have been associated with diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) because they are often simultaneously extracted with DSP toxins, and give positive results when tested in the conventional mouse bioassay for DSP toxins. However, recent evidence suggests that YTXs should be excluded from the DSP toxins group, because unlike okadaic acid (OA) and dinophyisistoxin-1 (DTX-1), YTXs do not cause either diarrhea or inhibition of protein phosphatases . In spite of the increasing number of molecular studies focused on the toxicity of YTX, the precise mechanism of action is currently unknown. Since the discovery of YTX, almost forty new analogues isolated from both mussels and dinoflagellates have been characterized by NMR or LC-MS/MS techniques. These studies indicate a wide variability in the profile and the relative abundance of YTXs in both, bivalves and dinoflagellates. This review covers current knowledge on the origin, producer organisms and vectors, chemical structures, metabolism, biosynthetic origin, toxicological properties, potential risks to human health and advances in detection methods of YTXs.