Species Account of Marine Diatoms of the Genus Pseudo-nitzschia in San Pedro Bay, Philippines


Leni G. Yap-Dejeto1*, Takuo Omura2, Genneline F. Cinco1, Marjorie M. Cobacha1, and Yasuwo Fukuyo2
1Division of Natural Science and Mathematics
University of the Philippines Visayas-Tacloban College,
Magsaysay Ave., Tacloban City
2Asian Natural Environmental Science Center, The University of Tokyo,
Yayoi 1-1-1, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8657 Japans
corresponding author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Phytoplankton samples were collected by bucket, 20 µm mesh size plankton net and Van Dorn water sampler in San Pedro Bay, Leyte, Philippines from December 2006 to May 2008. Acid-washed valves of Pseudo-nitzschia were observed and critically identified using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The following species were identified: Pseudo-nitzschia brasiliana, P. caciantha, P. micropora, P. pseudodelicatissima, and P. pungens. Morphometric measurements of valves and descriptions of species are included herein. P. pungens was the most abundant species encountered in this study with maximum density at 3.5 × 104 cells·L-1 during February 2007. This is the first taxonomic account at the species level of this genus in Philippine waters.



The genus Pseudo-nitzschia was separated from Nitzschia by Peragallo in 1908 (Peragallo and Peragallo 1897-1908). There are about 37 species within this genus (Lelong et al. 2012), but it was only in 1994 that half of the species were transferred from Nitzschia to Pseudo-nitzschia (Hasle 1994). The interest of this genus was prompted by an amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP) incident in Prince Edward Island, Canada in 1987, when more than 100 people were hospitalized and at least three elderly patients died as a result of ingesting mussels contaminated with domoic acid (DA) (Bates et al. 1989). The species that produced the toxin is now identified as Pseudo-nitzschia multiseries. Domoic acid is a neurotoxin causing gastrointestinal and neurological illnesses that are sometimes fatal in humans. .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .





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