Physiological and molecular responses of bivalves to toxic dinoflagellates

C Manfrin, G De Moro, V Torboli, P Venier, A Pallavicini, M Gerdol
2012 Invertebrate Survival Journal  
Dinoflagellates and other microalgae can produce a wide spectrum of toxic molecules, which are the main responsible of shellfish poisoning syndromes. During seasonal harmful algal blooms (HABs), many filter-feeding marine invertebrates, including bivalve molluscs, can accumulate phycotoxins at extremely high levels, thus representing a serious threat to human health. Furthermore, HABs also have a severe impact on the aquaculture sector due to the forced prolonged closure of large harvesting
more » ... arge harvesting areas. Although the targets and mechanism of action of many phycotoxins have been extensively studied on vertebrate model organisms, so far just a little attention has been focused on their effects on marine invertebrates. Here we provide an overview about the molecular response of marine bivalves to phycotoxins, with a particular focus on toxins produced by dinoflagellates. Even though large-scale genomic and proteomic approaches on molluscs are still hindered by the limited molecular knowledge of these organisms, a few studies exploiting the most recent technological advances provide promising perspectives for a better comprehension of the mechanisms involved in shellfish toxicity and for the identification of molecular markers of contamination.
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