A review of the molecular evidence for ballast water introduction of the toxic dinoflagellates
Gymnodinium catenatum and the Alexandrium 'tamarensis complex' to Australiasia
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Bolch, CJS and de Salas, MF, A review of the molecular evidence for ballast water introduction of the toxic dinoflagellates
Gymnodinium catenatum and the Alexandrium 'tamarensis complex' to Australiasia, Harmful Algae, 6, (4) pp. 465-485. ISSN 1568-9883 (2007) [Refereed Article]
The potential of ballast water to act as a major introduction vector for toxic dinoflagellates and other phytoplankton is beyond doubt; however, evidence that links the suspected introduced species with a source population is less convincing, especially without supporting historical and biochemical data, or consideration of palaeobiogeographical scenarios that may explain current species distributions. This paper presents new molecular data based on LSU-rDNA and rDNA-ITS sequences that demonstrate an unequivocal and recent link between Temperate Asian and Australasian populations of the toxic dinoflagellates Gymnodinium catenatum and toxic strains of the Alexandrium "tamarensis complex". We integrate our data with supporting evidence from historical distribution records, sediment dating studies, toxin profiles, mating studies and previous molecular studies. We contrast the observed patterns of genetic and biochemical variation with those expected from various palaeobiogeographical scenarios explaining the evolution and natural dispersal of both species. While definitive proof is impossible, the total evidence indicates that these toxic dinoflagellates were introduced to Australasia during the past 100 years, most probably via ballast water from bulk-cargo shipping from Japan and/or south-east Asia. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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