Phylogenetic relationships of Pseudo-nitzschia subpacifica (Bacillariophyceae) from the Mexican Pacific, and its production of domoic acid in culture
Pseudo-nitzschia is a cosmopolitan genus, some species of which can produce domoic acid (DA), a neurotoxin responsible for the Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning (ASP). In this study, we identified P. subpacifica for the first time in Todos Santos Bay and Manzanillo Bay, in the Mexican Pacific using SEM and molecular methods. Isolates from Todos Santos Bay were cultivated under conditions of phosphate sufficiency and deficiency at 16°C and 22°C to evaluate the production of DA. This toxin was detected in the particulate (DAp) and dissolved (DAd) fractions of the cultures during the exponential and stationary phases of growth of the cultures. The highest DA concentration was detected during the exponential phase grown in cells maintained in P-deficient medium at 16°C (1.14 ± 0.08 ng mL-1 DAd and 4.71 ± 1.11 × 10−5 ng cell-1 of DAp). In P-sufficient cultures DA was higher in cells maintained at 16°C (0.25 ± 0.05 ng mL-1 DAd and 9.41 ± 1.23 × 10−7 ng cell-1 of DAp) than in cells cultured at 22°C. Therefore, we confirm that P. subpacifica can produce DA, especially under P-limited conditions that could be associated with extraordinary oceanographic events such as the 2013–2016 "Blob" in the northeastern Pacific Ocean. This event altered local oceanographic conditions and possibly generated the presence of potential harmful species in areas with economic importance on the Mexican Pacific coast.