The prevalence of benthic dinoflagellates associated with ciguatera fish poisoning in the central Red Sea

Daniela Catania, Mindy L. Richlen, Yim Ling Mak, Steve L. Morton, Elizabeth H. Laban, Yixiao Xu, Donald M. Anderson, Leo Lai Chan, Michael L. Berumen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


This study confirms the presence of the toxigenic benthic dinoflagellates Gambierdiscus belizeanus and Ostreopsis spp. in the central Red Sea. To our knowledge, this is also the first report of these taxa in coastal waters of Saudi Arabia, indicating the potential occurrence of ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) in that region. During field investigations carried out in 2012 and 2013, a total of 100 Turbinaria and Halimeda macroalgae samples were collected from coral reefs off the Saudi Arabian coast and examined for the presence of Gambierdiscus and Ostreopsis, two toxigenic dinoflagellate genera commonly observed in coral reef communities around the world. Both Gambierdiscus and Ostreopsis spp. were observed at low densities (
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)206-216
Number of pages11
JournalHarmful Algae
StatePublished - Sep 9 2017

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: Funding for this work was provided in part by NOAA NOS (Cooperative Agreement NA11NOS4780060, NA11NOS4780028 to MLR and DMA) and by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) baseline research funds to M.L.B. Additional support was provided by the Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 41376119, 41506137, 41276110, 41306173) and Research Grant Council (C1012-15G), and Guangxi Natural Science Foundation (2015GXNSFCA139003 and 2016GXNSFBA380037), We thank the staff of the KAUST Coastal and Marine Resources Core Lab as well as Dream Divers for logistic assistance. We also thank William Bass, Jesse Cochran, Hugo Harrison, Mehreen Mughal, and Karie Holtermann for field and laboratory assistance, Camrin Braun for help on the GIS images, and María Lecanda for help with editing the SEM images. We thank Stein Kaartvedt and Burton Jones for discussion and comments on earlier versions of the manuscript, and two anonymous editors for their review and constructive critique. This is ECOHAB publication #868.[SS]


Dive into the research topics of 'The prevalence of benthic dinoflagellates associated with ciguatera fish poisoning in the central Red Sea'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this