Monday, 29 February 2016

Shellfish toxins


Domoic acid is a toxin naturally produced by species of algae belonging to thePseudo-nitzschia genus, particularly affecting shellfish. Scientists at the University of California, Santa Cruz, USA, investigated the toxin’s persistence in the marine life, long after the bloom had disappeared, and found that it had found its way into the muscle tissue of some commercial species of fish. Although the toxicity levels were well below regulated limits, being present in muscle tissue means it stays in the food web for much longer than if it was simply in the fish’s digestive system. These results could have implications in the seafood trade, and researchers will need to continue to monitor and predict when prolonged algal blooms occur.

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 Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle