Home pagePress monitoringWarning Lights Mark Shellfish That Aren't Safe To Eat

Warning Lights Mark Shellfish That Aren't Safe To Eat

Date: 22.12.2010 


A new kind of marker developed by chemists at the University of California, San Diego, and reported in the journal ChemComm makes it easier to see if shellfish are filled with toxin-producing organisms.

Mussels and oysters accumulate single-celled marine creatures called dinoflagellates in their digestive systems as they filter seawater for food. Usually dinoflagellates are harmless, but sometimes they produce dangerous toxins. The trick is figuring out when.

Scientists think symbiotic bacteria that live on the surface of dinoflagellates probably help synthesize the toxins, but no one is sure how. Professor Michael Burkart's group took a different approach. They set up a system to add a fluorescent tag to an enzyme that makes one kind of toxin, okadaic acid, but with a twist. By handing the tag to a the molecule that turns the enzyme on, they ensured that only those parts of cells that are capable of making the toxin would glow.



Original Paper:

Carolina P. Reyes, James J. La Clair, Michael D. Burkart. Metabolic probes for imaging endosymbiotic bacteria within toxic dinoflagellates. Chemical Communications, 2010; 46 (43): 8151 DOI: 10.1039/C0CC02876B





  • BC AV CR
  • Budvar
  • CAVD
  • CZBA
  • Eco Tend
  • Envisan Gem
  • Gentrend
  • JAIP
  • Jihočeská univerzita
  • Madeta
  • Forestina