Toxicity effects of hydrophilic algal lysates from Coolia tropicalis on marine medaka larvae (Oryzias melastigma)

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • Priscilla T.Y. Leung
  • Veronica T.T. Lam
  • Paul K.S. Lam


Original languageEnglish
Article number105787
Journal / PublicationAquatic Toxicology
Online published23 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


Coolia tropicalis is a species of benthic and epiphytic toxic algae, which can produce phycotoxins that intoxicate marine fauna. In this study, the potential toxic effects of C. tropicalis on fish were investigated using larval marine medaka (Oryzias melastigma) as a model to evaluate fish behavior, physiological performance, and stress-induced molecular responses to exposure to two sublethal concentrations (LC10 and LC20) of hydrophilic algal lysates. Exposure to C. tropicalis lysates inhibited swimming activity, activated spontaneous undirected locomotion, altered nerve length ration, and induced early development abnormalities, such as shorter eye diameter, body as well as axon length. Consistent with these abnormalities, changes in the expression of genes associated with apoptosis (CASPASE-3 and BCL-2), the inflammatory response (IL-1β and COX-2), oxidative stress (SOD), and energy metabolism (ACHE and VHA), were also observed. This study advances our understanding of the mechanisms of C. tropicalis toxicity in marine fish in the early life stages and contributes to future ecological risk assessments of toxic benthic dinoflagellates.

Research Area(s)

  • Apoptosis, Developmental toxicity, Marine medaka, Swimming activity, Toxic dinoflagellate