Gonyaulax monilata: population growth and development of toxicity in cultures.
MetadataShow full item record
The development of three 8-liter and four 12-liter cultures of the photosynthetic dinoflagellate Gonyaulax monilata was followed for 4 months. Weekly estimates were made of population levels of this chain-forming flagellate, along with incidence of cells in chains and toxicity to fish. Guppies (Lebistes reticulatus) were used to assay toxicity. Populations reached a peak when cultures were 3-5 weeks old, declined during weeks 6-10, and tended to stabilize thereafter thru the 17th (final week). The percentage of cells in chains was related to the slope of the population curve; rapidly increasing populations had the highest proportion of long chains, suggesting that incidence of chains is an index of the growth phase in G. monilata. Peak toxicity was not reached until culture populations had been steadily declining for a month, indicating that most toxin is released by autolysis. The reproducibility of culture population and toxicity levels recommend the methods used for future studies.