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Mar Biotechnol (NY). 2005 Sep-Oct;7(5):506-14. Epub 2005 Jul 5.

Species-specific detection and quantification of toxic marine dinoflagellates Alexandrium tamarense and A. catenella by Real-time PCR assay.

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  • 1Laboratory of Marine Microbiology, Division of Applied Biosciences, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan.


A Real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was designed and evaluated for rapid detection and quantification of the toxic dinoflagellates Alexandrium catenella and A. tamarense, which cause paralytic shellfish poisoning. Two sets of PCR primers and fluorogenic probes targeting these two species were derived from the sequence of 28S ribosomal DNA. PCR specificity was examined in closely related Alexandrium spp. and many other microalgae. A. catenella-specific primers and probe detected the PCR amplification only from A. catenella strains, and nonspecific signals were not detected from any microalgae. Also, A. tamarense-specific primers and probe also detected the targeted species, suggesting the strict species specificity of each PCR. This assay could detect one cell of each species, showing its high sensitivity. Moreover, using the developed standard curves, A. tamarense and A. catenella could be quantified in agreement with the quantification by optical microscopy. The performance characteristics of species specificity, sensitivity, and rapidity suggest that this method is applicable to the monitoring of the toxic A. tamarense and A. catenella.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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