Canary Islands (NE Atlantic) as a biodiversity "hotspot" of Gambierdiscus: Implications for future trends of ciguatera in the area
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AuthorsRodríguez, F. (Francisco); Fraga, S. (Santiago); Ramilo-Rivero, M.I. (María Isabel); Rial, P. (Pilar); Figueroa, R.I. (Rosa Isabel); Riobó, P. (Pilar); Bravo, I. (Isabel)
In the present study the geographical distribution, abundance and composition of Gambierdiscus was described over a 600 km longitudinal scale in the Canary Islands. Samples for cell counts, isolation and identification of Gambierdiscus were obtained from five islands (El Hierro, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote). Average densities of Gambierdiscus spp. between 0 and 2200 cells g−1 blot dry weight of macrophyte were recorded. Morphological (light microscopy and SEM techniques) and molecular analyses (LSU and SSU rDNA sequencing of cultures and single cells from the field) of Gambierdiscus was performed. Five Gambierdiscus species (G. australes, G. caribaeus, G. carolinianus, G. excentricus and G. silvae), together with a new putative species (Gambierdiscus ribotype 3) were identified. These results suggest that some cases of CFP in the region could be associated with the accumulation of ciguatoxins in the marine food web acquired from local populations of Gambierdiscus. ...