Characterization of Dinophysis spp. (Dinophyceae, Dinophysiales) from the mid-Atlantic region of the United States1. Academic Article uri icon


  • Due to the increasing prevalence of Dinophysis spp. and their toxins on every US coast in recent years, the need to identify and monitor for problematic Dinophysis populations has become apparent. Here, we present morphological analyses, using light and scanning electron microscopy, and rDNA sequence analysis, using a ~2-kb sequence of ribosomal ITS1, 5.8S, ITS2, and LSU DNA, of Dinophysis collected in mid-Atlantic estuarine and coastal waters from Virginia to New Jersey to better characterize local populations. In addition, we analyzed for diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) toxins in water and shellfish samples collected during blooms using liquid-chromatography tandem mass spectrometry and an invitro protein phosphatase inhibition assay and compared this data to a toxin profile generated from a mid-Atlantic Dinophysis culture. Three distinct morphospecies were documented in mid-Atlantic surface waters: D. acuminata, D. norvegica, and a "small Dinophysis sp." that was morphologically distinct based on multivariate analysis of morphometric data but was genetically consistent with D. acuminata. While mid-Atlantic D. acuminata could not be distinguished from the other species in the D. acuminata-complex (D. ovum from the Gulf of Mexico and D. sacculus from the western Mediterranean Sea) using the molecular markers chosen, it could be distinguished based on morphometrics. Okadaic acid, dinophysistoxin 1, and pectenotoxin 2 were found in filtered water and shellfish samples during Dinophysis blooms in the mid-Atlantic region, as well as in a locally isolated D. acuminata culture. However, DSP toxins exceeded regulatory guidance concentrations only a few times during the study period and only in noncommercial shellfish samples.

published proceedings

  • J Phycol

altmetric score

  • 3.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Wolny, J. L., Egerton, T. A., Handy, S. M., Stutts, W. L., Smith, J. L., Whereat, E. B., ... Deeds, J. R.

citation count

  • 13

complete list of authors

  • Wolny, Jennifer L||Egerton, Todd A||Handy, Sara M||Stutts, Whitney L||Smith, Juliette L||Whereat, Edward B||Bachvaroff, Tsvetan R||Henrichs, Darren W||Campbell, Lisa||Deeds, Jonathan R

publication date

  • January 2020