Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Latitudinal Variation in the Toxicity and Sexual Compatibility of Alexandrium catenella Strains From Southern Chile

Version 1 : Received: 4 November 2021 / Approved: 5 November 2021 / Online: 5 November 2021 (12:57:35 CET)

How to cite: Rodríguez-Villegas, C.; Díaz, P.; Riobó, P.; E. Rossignoli, A.; Rodríguez, F.; Loures, P.; M. Baldrich, Á.; Varela, D.; Sandoval, A.; I. Figueroa, R. Latitudinal Variation in the Toxicity and Sexual Compatibility of Alexandrium catenella Strains From Southern Chile. Preprints 2021, 2021110122 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202111.0122.v1). Rodríguez-Villegas, C.; Díaz, P.; Riobó, P.; E. Rossignoli, A.; Rodríguez, F.; Loures, P.; M. Baldrich, Á.; Varela, D.; Sandoval, A.; I. Figueroa, R. Latitudinal Variation in the Toxicity and Sexual Compatibility of Alexandrium catenella Strains From Southern Chile. Preprints 2021, 2021110122 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202111.0122.v1).

Abstract

The bloom-forming toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium catenella was first detected in Southern Chile (39.5–55°S) 50 years ago and is responsible for most of the area’s cases of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP). Given the complex life history of A. catenella, which includes benthic sexual cysts, in this study we examined the potential link between latitude, toxicity, and sexual compatibility. Nine clones isolated from Chilean Patagonia were used in self- and out-crosses in all possible combinations (n=45). The effect of latitude on toxicity, reproductive success indexes, and cyst production was also determined. Although the toxin profiles were similar for all strains, consisting of C1, C2, GTX4, GTX1, GTX3, and NeoSTX, a latitudinal gradient was determined for their proportions (%) and content per cell (pg cell−1), with the more toxic strains occurring in the north (−40.6°S). Reproductive success also showed a latitudinal tendency and was lower in the north. None of the self-crosses yielded resting cysts. Rather, the production of resting cysts was highest in pairings of clones separated by distances of 1000–1650km. Our results contribute to a better understanding of PSP outbreaks in the region and demonstrate the importance of resting cysts in fueling new toxic events. They also provide additional evidence that the introduction of strains from neighboring regions is a cause for concern.

Keywords

Dinoflagellate; Saxitoxins; Mating systems; Resting cysts; PSP outbreak; Chilean Patagonia

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