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Wenjiao TANG, Huixia GENG, Yanjuan XI, Qingchun ZHANG, Xuexi TANG, Rencheng YU. Mapping the resting cysts of dinoflagellate Alexandrium catenella along the coast of Qinhuangdao, China[J]. Journal of Oceanology and Limnology, 2022, 40(6): 2312-2321

Mapping the resting cysts of dinoflagellate Alexandrium catenella along the coast of Qinhuangdao, China

Wenjiao TANG1,2, Huixia GENG2,3,5, Yanjuan XI6, Qingchun ZHANG2,3,5, Xuexi TANG1,3, Rencheng YU2,3,4,5
1 College of Marine Life Science, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266003, China;
2 CAS Key Laboratory of Marine Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266071, China;
3 Key Laboratory for Marine Ecology and Environmental Science, Pilot National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology(Qingdao), Qingdao 266237, China;
4 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
5 Center for Ocean Mega-Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266071, China;
6 Hebei Academy of Ocean and Fishery Science, Qinhuangdao 066200, China
Dinoflagellate Alexandrium catenella is a cosmopolitan bloom-forming species with complex life cycle, the formation and germination of resting cysts are critical for its bloom dynamics. In the coastal waters of Qinhuangdao, A. catenella has been identified as the major causative agent for paralytic shellfish poisoning, but there is little knowledge concerning its resting cysts in this region. In this study, three surveys were carried out along the coast of Qinhuangdao from 2020 to 2021 to map the distribution of A. catenella resting cysts, using a quantitative PCR (qPCR) assay specific for A. catenella. The resting cysts were detected in surface sediments during all the three surveys, and their distribution patterns were similar. High abundance of resting cysts (maximum 1 300 cysts/g sediment (wet weight)) were found in a region (119.62°E-119.99°E, 39.67°N-39.98°N) northeast to the coastal waters of Qinhuangdao, where surface sediments were mainly composed of clay and silt (percentage above 50%). Prior to the formation of the A. catenella bloom in March 2021, the abundance of A. catenella vegetative cells in seawater had extremely significant positive correlation with the abundance of resting cysts in surface sediments, reflecting the important role of resting cysts in the initiation of A. catenella blooms. As far as we know, this is the first report on the distribution of A. catenella cysts along the coast of Qinhuangdao. The results will offer a sound basis for the future monitoring and mitigation of toxic A. catenella blooms and paralytic shellfish poisoning events in this region.
Key words:    harmful algal bloom (HAB)|Alexandrium catenella|resting cyst|paralytic shellfish toxin (PST)|Qinhuangdao   
Received: 2022-04-14   Revised:
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