Variation in brevetoxin and brevenal content among clonal cultures of Karenia brevis may influence bloom toxicity. Academic Article uri icon


  • Karenia brevis, the major harmful algal (HA) species in the Gulf of Mexico, produces a suite of brevetoxins and brevenal, a nontoxic brevetoxin antagonist. K. brevis growth is reported to be optimum at oceanic conditions, yet blooms are most problematic in coastal waters. Differences in growth rate, total brevetoxin production, brevetoxin profiles and brevenal production were evaluated among eight K. brevis clones grown at salinities of 35 and 27, but otherwise identical conditions. All measured parameters varied significantly among clones and the individual responses to decreased salinity varied as well. At 27, growth rates of four clones increased (Wilson, TXB3, SP1 and SP2), but decreased in three others (TXB4, SP3 and NBK) as compared to 35. Total brevetoxin cellular concentration varied up to approximately ten-fold among clones. For most clones (5 of 8), no significant difference in total toxin production between salinity treatments was observed; however, there was a shift in brevetoxin profiles to a higher proportion of PbTx-1 vs. PbTx-2 (in 7 of 8 clones). Brevenal production decreased in the majority of the clones (6 of 8) when grown at a salinity of 27. Results suggest that K. brevis produces more PbTx-1 and less brevenal in lower salinity waters.

published proceedings

  • Toxicon

author list (cited authors)

  • Errera, R. M., Bourdelais, A., Drennan, M. A., Dodd, E. B., Henrichs, D. W., & Campbell, L.

citation count

  • 38

complete list of authors

  • Errera, Reagan M||Bourdelais, A||Drennan, MA||Dodd, EB||Henrichs, DW||Campbell, L

publication date

  • February 2010