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A new collection of Alexandrium cultures available at CCAP

CCAP is privileged to host a new collection of cultures of the potential shellfish toxin producing dinoflagellate Alexandrium (Halim), now available for purchase. This collection was generated during a three year research project performed by Marine Scotland Marine Laboratory, Aberdeen, funded by the Scottish Government and the EC 6th Framework project SPIES-DETOX. A total of 33 Alexandrium cultures were generated from water and sediment samples collected around the Scottish coast (see map). These include 9 cultures of A. tamarense (Group I), 16 cultures of A. tamarense (Group III), 4 cultures of A. ostenfeldii, 3 cultures of A. minutum and 1 culture of A. tamutum [1, 2].

Toxin analysis of the A. tamarense (Group I) isolates by LC-MS-MS, revealed the profiles to be dominated by the potent carbamate toxins STX, NEO, GTX-4, GTX-3 and the N-sulfocarbamoyl toxins GTX-5 and C2. Some A. ostenfeldii cultures were shown to produce both PSP toxins and spirolides, while others produced only spirolides. A. tamarense (Group III), A. tamutum and A. minutum were not observed to produce toxins under the incubation conditions used. Molecular analysis of the LSU was performed on a selection of these cultures [1,2] with sequences submitted to GENBANK.


The Alexandrium cultures are now available to the international scientific community. Supplementary information e.g. Genbank accession numbers can now be found in our strain list. Fluorescent images of the thecal plate structure are also available upon request from Dr Eileen Bresnan at the Aberdeen laboratory.

Marine Scotland Marine Laboratory and the Scottish Association for Marine Science are continuing their investigations into the ecology of Alexandrium in Scottish waters through a NERC funded Ph.D. studentship and a Scottish Government funded research project.

For further information about these cultures please contact CCAP.


These cultures were generated under the Scottish Government ROAME AE1193 and the EC 6th Framework Programme project SPIES-DETOX (030270-2)


1. C. Collins, J. Graham, L. Brown, E. Bresnan, J-P. Lacaze and E. A. Turrell (2009), J. Phycol, 45, 692 – 703.

2. L. Brown, E. Bresnan, J. Graham, J-P. Lacaze, E. A. Turrell and C. Collins (Submitted), Eur. J. Phycol.

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