Unravelling the Toxic Mechanisms Leading to Osmotic Distress in Fish Caused by the RaphidophyteChattonella Marina

Project: Research

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The toxic marine algaChattonella marina(Cm) has caused massive fish kills and great economic losses worldwide. Recently, the research team provided physiological and cytological evidence that Cm is able to induce osmotic distress and oxygen depletion in marine fish, eventually leading to fish kills. However, the toxic mechanisms leading to osmotic failure are unknown. Interestingly, the researchers’ preliminary study revealed that euryhaline fish, which can rapidly regulate their serum NaCI, are more tolerant to Cm than stenohaline species. This project sets out to (1) unravel the mechanisms leading to osmoregulatory failure induced by Cm, and (b) test the hypothesis that species susceptibility to Cm is determined, at least partly, by their ability to regulate serum NaCI levels. Experiments will be designed to compare the responses of osmoregulatory related physiological, biochemical, and cytological changes in Cm tolerant and Cm susceptible fish on exposure to Cm. Results of this study will provide important clues on the toxic mechanisms underlying fish kills by this red tide causative species, which has remained highly controversial and unresolved in the last two decades.


Project number7002234
Effective start/end date1/10/0725/03/09