Fate and Effects of Gymnodinium breve Toxins in the Marine Environment, Phase 1

EPA Grant Number: R826307
Title: Fate and Effects of Gymnodinium breve Toxins in the Marine Environment, Phase 1
Investigators: Steidinger, Karen A. , Tester, Patricia A. , Tomas, Carmelo R.
Institution: Florida Department of Environmental Protection
EPA Project Officer: Hiscock, Michael
Project Period: January 15, 1998 through January 14, 1999
Project Amount: $33,000
RFA: Harmful Algal Blooms (1997) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Aquatic Ecosystems , Water , Ecosystems


(1) Determine the longevity of toxins in the environment by optimizing the enzyme- linked immuno-absorbent assay (ELISA) for the detection of brevetoxins in sea water and sediments; (2) Provide experimental data prior to field testing on copepod grazing of Gymnodinium breve, chronic lethal concentrations, retention and depuration of toxins, influence on egg production, hatching success, and naupliar survival. Both objectives address Phase 1 of a multi-year program to investigate fate and effects of brevetoxins in the marine environment.


(1) Optimize the existing at-sea ELISA technique (Tomas and Baden, 1994) including collection and storage of samples for subsequent laboratory processing for brevetoxins; test the recovery of spiked brevetoxins in sea water frozen for analysis as well as from coarse- and fine-grain sediment samples with known brevetoxin (spiked) concentrations; (2a) Under laboratory culture conditions with controls and replicates, determine grazing rates of Acartia tonsa on four concentrations of G. breve 5x103 to 5x106 cells . liter-1; freeze samples for later toxin analysis; (2b) Withdraw food after 24 hours and substitute nontoxic prey; freeze subsamples of a time series (t=0, t=1, etc.) for later determination of toxins; (2c) Determine egg production, hatching success, and naupliar survival (to N2) on 2a and 2b; culture, grazing, and reproductive approaches follow Turner and Tester (1989), Turner et al. (in press); (2d) Mix prey items based on total cell volume and determine grazing rates on G. breve to observe for selectivity; later toxin analysis on individual copepods will utilize the sensitive (0.10 femtogram) technique of micellar electrokinetic capillary chromatography and laser-induced fluorescence detection (MEKC-LIF) of Shea (1997).

Expected Results:

(1) A quantitative ELISA technique to detect brevetoxins in sea water and sediments using normal and frozen water samples; (2) Experimental background data on the effects of different cell concentrations of G. breve on the survival and reproductive success of the copepod Acartia tonsa and the accumulation and depuration of toxins over time.

Supplemental Keywords:

marine, estuary, harmful algal blooms, red tides, ecological effects, population effects, perturbations, trophic transfer of phycotoxins, longevity and stability of phycotoxins, conversion of phycotoxins, oceanography, analytical method, Gulf of Mexico, seafood safety, public health risk., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Waste, Water, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Contaminated Sediments, Ecosystem/Assessment/Indicators, Ecosystem Protection, Oceanography, Ecological Effects - Environmental Exposure & Risk, algal blooms, Ecology and Ecosystems, Ecological Indicators, chromatography, copecod grazing, enzyme linked immuno-absorbent assay, fate, marine ecosystem, ecological exposure, brevetoxins, culture collection, contaminated sediment, harmful algal blooms, biotoxin risk, Gymnodinium breve toxins, trophic transfer of phycotoxins, Gulf of Mexico

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final