First record of the dynamics of domoic acid producing Pseudo-nitzschia spp. in Indonesian waters as a function of environmental variability

Sem Likumahua*, Karin Boer, de, Bernd Krock, Tomas Nieuwenhuizen, Willem M. Tatipatta, Salomy Hehakaya, La Imu, Malik S. Abdul, Eduard Moniharapon, Anita Buma

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

5 Citaten (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


Within the past few decades, harmful algal blooms (HABs) have occurred frequently in Indonesian waters, resulting in environmental degradation, economic loss and human health problems. So far, HAB related studies mainly addressed ecological traits and species distribution, yet toxin measurements were virtually absent for Indonesian waters. The aim of the present study was to explore variability of the potentially toxic marine diatom genus Pseudo-nitzschia, as well as its neurotoxin domoic acid as a function of environmental conditions in Ambon Bay, eastern Indonesia. Weekly phytoplankton samples, oceanographic (CTD, nutrients) and meteorological (precipitation, wind) parameters were analyzed at 5 stations in the bay during the dry and wet seasons of 2018. Liquid chromatography – tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS) was used to detect particulate DA (pDA). Vegetative cells of Pseudo-nitzschia spp. and pDA were found in 98.6% and 51.4% of the samples, respectively. pDA levels were low, yet detected throughout the campaign, implying that Ambon Bay might potentially be subject to amnesic shellfish poisoning. The highest levels of both Pseudo-nitzschia spp. cell abundance and pDA were found in the wet season, showing a strong positive correlation between both parameters, compared to the dry season, (r = 0.87 and r = 0.66 (p < 0.01), respectively). Statistical analyses revealed that temperature and mixed layer depth positively correlated with Pseudo-nitzschia spp. and pDA during the dry season, while ammonium showed positive correlations in both seasons. This study represents the first successful investigation of the presence and variability of Pseudo-nitzschia spp. and its neurotoxin DA in Indonesian waters.
Originele taal-2English
TijdschriftHarmful Algae
StatusPublished - dec-2019

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