Off the coast of Washington state, surface waters predictably flow in a circle, trapping nutrients and plankton in the center and creating perfect conditions for Pseudo-nitzschia to produce domoic acid
. If waters carrying toxic Pseudo-nitzschia happen to break away from the center and flow to the coast, it can signal the end of the razor clam harvest for that year.
Effect of pH on growth and domoic acid
production by potentially toxic diatoms of the genera Pseudonitzschia and Nitzschia.
And yet, perhaps more than any of these other impacts, domoic acid
reminds us of our complex and pervasive influence on the world's oceans.
Bates (2012).Pseudo-nitzschia (Bacillariophyceae) species, domoic acid
and amnesic shellfish poisoning: revisiting previous paradigms.
Other marine mammal and bird mortalities have been reported in multiple states; domoic acid
has not been confirmed as the primary cause of death, although the toxin has been detected in recovered birds.
Agardh) Kutzing, with toxicity still questioned as only a strain from Canada was found to produce domoic acid
, while other strains were nontoxic , appeared to be constant in the lagoon waters also in the inner areas .
Pennate diatom Nitzschia pungens as the primary source of domoic acid
, a toxin in shellfish from eastern Prince Edward Island, Canada.
Epidemiology of Domoic Acid
poisoning in Brown Pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) and Brandt's Cormorants (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) in California.
BACKGROUND: Fetal poisoning of California sea lions (CSLs; Zalophus californianus) has been associated with exposure to the algal toxin domoic acid
. These same sea lions accumulate a mixture of persistent environmental contaminants including pesticides and industrial products such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs).
Trick and his colleagues found the neurotoxin domoic acid
in samples of seawater from a site in the North Pacific, where iron-fertilization experiments have been conducted.
This naturally-produced biotoxin, domoic acid
, can accumulate in shellfish, crabs and some fish.
Other zoologists have had to rescue and eventually euthanize sea lions that have been poisoned by domoic acid
that for some reason is creeping through the water.