Effects of inorganic and organic nitrogen and phosphorus on the growth and toxicity of two Alexandrium species from Hong Kong

Jie XU, Alvin Y. T. HO, Lei HE, Kedong YIN, Craig HUNG, Nicola CHOI, Paul K. S. LAM, Shiu Sun Rudolf WU, Donald M. ANDERSON, Paul J. HARRISON

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26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The effects of three nitrogen (N) and two phosphorus (P) inorganic and organic forms on the growth, toxin content and composition, toxin production, and chemical composition of Alexandrium catenella and Alexandrium tamarense isolated from coastal waters of Hong Kong were determined. The toxin production rate and cellular toxin content for A. catenella were at least 10-fold higher than A. tamarense. The highest net production rate (R tox) of the two Alexandrium species was generally achieved in the exponential phase. However, the highest cellular toxin content occurred in the stationary phase in all cultures, partly due to the enhancement of cell volume caused by P limitation, except for urea grown cultures where cellular toxin content remained low throughout the growth stage. For A. catenella, NH 4 induced the highest growth rate (0.59d -1), toxin production rate (μ tox, 1.0μmolL -1d -1; R tox, 2.5pmolcell -1d -1) and cellular toxin content (2.8pmolcell -1) among the three nitrogen sources regardless of inorganic and organic P. The form of phosphorus had limited effect on A. catenella. In contrast, the response of A. tamarense to different forms of nitrogen and phosphorus was more complex. NH 4 induced the highest cellular toxin content (445fmolcell -1), while NO 3 yielded the highest toxin production rate (μ tox, 0.71nmolL -1d -1; R tox, 140fmolcell -1d -1) and urea produced the highest growth rate (0.57d -1). For A. tamarense, the highest toxin production rate occurred under organic phosphorus. The relationship between toxin accumulation and the form of nitrogen varied with the phosphorus source. A. catenella cultures grown on NO 3 and NH 4 have about 80-90% C1/2 toxins and 5-15% GTX 1/4 toxins compared to 65-75% C1/2 toxins and 25-35% GTX 1/4 toxins in cultures grown on urea. Our results suggest that during summer when Alexandrium uses NH 4 from local sewage effluent as its preferred nitrogen source, it might become more toxic in combination with episodically occurring P limitation in Hong Kong waters. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-97
JournalHarmful Algae
Volume16
Early online date17 Feb 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012

Citation

Xu, J., Ho, A. Y. T., He, L., Yin, K., Hung, C., Choi, N., . . . Harrison, P. J. (2012). Effects of inorganic and organic nitrogen and phosphorus on the growth and toxicity of two Alexandrium species from Hong Kong. Harmful Algae, 16, 89-97. doi: 10.1016/j.hal.2012.02.006

Keywords

  • Alexandrium
  • Cell volume
  • Gonyautoxins
  • Nutrients
  • Paralytic shellfish toxins
  • Toxic dinoflagellates
  • Urea

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