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Toxicon. 2003 Sep;42(3):301-6.

The use of a brine shrimp (Artemia salina) bioassay to assess the toxicity of diatom extracts and short chain aldehydes.

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  • 1School of Marine Science and Technology, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Ridley Building, Claremont Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, UK.


Water soluble algal extracts, the aldehydes 2E,4E-decadienal, decanal, undecanal and the fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) were assayed for toxicity to hatching success and larval mortality of the brine shrimp Artemia salina. Both crude cellular extracts of the diatoms Skeletonema costatum and Nitzschia commutata and the diatom-derived short chain aldehyde decadienal were found to inhibit hatching success of A. salina cysts in a dose-dependent manner. Decadienal also significantly affected larval mortality rates in 24 and 72 h exposure incubations. The Artemia hatching success assay was the least sensitive of the three (EC50=3.94 microg ml(-1)). A greater sensitivity was observed for the 72 h compared with the 24 h exposure trials (EC50 for 24h=2.14, 72 h=0.023 microg ml(-1)). Decanal did not significantly affect survival or hatching success at the concentrations tested. Undecanal and EPA showed a limited toxic effect in naupliar mortality trials. We suggest that 72 h Artemia exposure trials represent an acceptable bioassay for diatom toxicity where alternative bioassays are unavailable.

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