Farmed greenlip abalone Haliotis laevigata were fed commercial seaweed-based food pellets or feed pellets supplemented with 8 × 10 5 Alexandrium minutum dinoflagellate cells g -1 (containing 12 ± 3.0 μg STX-equivalent 100 g -1, which was mainly GTX-1,4) every second day for 50 days. Exposure of abalone to PST supplemented feed for 50 days did not affect behaviour or survival but saw accumulation of up to 1.6 μg STX-equivalent 100 g -1 in the abalone foot tissue (muscle, mouth without oesophagus and epipodial fringe), which is ∼50 times lower than the maximum permissible limit (80 μg 100 g -1 tissue) for PSTs in molluscan shellfish. The PST levels in the foot were reduced to 0.48 μg STX-equivalent 100 g -1 after scrubbing and removal of the pigment surrounding the epithelium of the epipodial fringe (confirmed by both HPLC and LC-MS/MS). Thus, scrubbing the epipodial fringe, a common procedure during commercial abalone canning, reduced PST levels by ∼70%. Only trace levels of PSTs were detected in the viscera (stomach, gut, heart, gonad, gills and mantle) of the abalone. A toxin reduction of approximately 73% was observed in STX-contaminated abalone held in clean water and fed uncontaminated food over 50 days. The low level of PST uptake when abalone were exposed to high numbers of A. minutum cells over a prolonged period may indicate a low risk of PSP poisoning to humans from the consumption of H. laevigata that has been exposed to a bloom of potentially toxic A. minutum in Australia. Further research is required to establish if non-dietary accumulation can result in significant levels of PSTs in abalone.
- Epipodial fringe
- Paralytic shellfish poisoning