Efficient, fast and inexpensive bioassay to monitor benthic microalgae toxicity: Application to Ostreopsis species.Aquat Toxicol. 2020 Jun; 223:105485.AT
Even though HPLC-MS is commonly used to quantify the toxin content of Ostreopsis spp. cells, there is a need to develop easy-to-use toxicological tests to set thresholds during Ostreopsis spp. blooms. The crustacean Artemia has been widely used to evaluate the presence and toxicity of chemicals and biological contaminants and we anticipated that it could also be useful to test Ostreopsis spp. toxicity. Its relevance was first assessed by investigating the variability of the toxic effects among Ostreopsis spp. strains and throughout the dinoflagellate life cycle in combination with chemical analyses of the toxinic content by UHPLC-HRMS. After testing the toxicity of fractions prepared from Ostreopsis spp. cells, the known ova- and paly-toxins were not the only toxic metabolites to Artemia franciscana, indicating that other toxic compounds synthesized by Ostreopsis spp. still remain to be identified. To extend the bioassay to in situ monitoring, the toxicity of the benthic microalgal consortium was tested during a natural bloom of Ostreopsis cf. ovata in the NW Mediterranean Sea. The results highlight the accuracy and sensitivity of the ecotoxicological assay with Artemia franciscana to assess the toxicity of Ostreopsis spp. blooms.