Scholin, C. Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, scholin@mbari.org
Marin, R. Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, maro@mbari.org
Miller, P. Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, pemiller@mbari.org
Doucette, G. NOAA, greg.doucette@noaa.gov
Powell, C. NOAA, christine.powell@noaa.gov

 
A BLOOM OF PSEUDO-NITZSCHIA AUSTRALIS IN MONTEREY BAY, CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATED WITH DOMOIC ACID PRODUCTION AND SEA LION MORTALITY
 
From mid to end of May of 1998 a nearly monospecific bloom of Pseudo-nitzschia australis occurred in Monterey Bay, California. Cells were detected in near real-time using species-specific DNA probes applied in whole cell and cell homogenate formats, and these results were confirmed using scanning electron microscopy. Pseudo-nitzschia australis was also observed in stomachs of anchovies collected at the time of the bloom. Domoic acid (DA), a neuroexcitatory compound linked to a human illness known as amnesic shellfish poisoning, was detected in plankton and anchovy samples using a variety of methods including receptor binding assay, HPLC and mass spectroscopy. Coincident with the bloom, sea lions suffered neurological dysfunction, now attributed to DA poisoning, which led to sickness and death of a number of animals. This is the first record of marine mammal illness and mortality linked to a documented outbreak of DA. This presentation summarizes the chronology of the bloom, the physical and chemical oceanographic setting within which the bloom occurred, the transfer of toxin through the food web, and the methods used to detect the toxin as well as the cells producing it.
 
Day: Thursday, Feb. 4
Time: Poster
Location: Sweeney Center
 
Code: SS42TH1461S