akashiwo cells and in cell-free suspensions of blooms, but not in the cell-free medium of batch cultures. This may be explained by the
hypothesis that the haemolytic agents of raphidophytes are located in certain intracellular compartments, and leakage or release of these haemolytic agents from algal cells occurs Selleck ABT 737 only as a consequence of cell damage and does not take place during normal growth ( Kuroda et al., 2005 and Ling and Trick, 2010). This hypothesis is also supported by our results, indicating that the haemolytic activity of a cell-free suspension of bloom samples increased with decreasing Heterosigma cell numbers in the bloom, reaching its maximum when the bloom began to collapse. Given that a concentration of 3 μg saponin ml− 1 induced 50% haemolysis in the present ZD1839 purchase study (data not shown), the haemolytic activities of Saudi H. akashiwo blooms (3.64–4.92 × 104 cells ml− 1)
and batch cultures (5.97–6.03 × 104 cells ml− 1) are in accordance with the ranges reported for raphidophytes in other studies. Ling & Trick (2010) found that 50% haemolysis was observed for sonicated extracts of H. akashiwo at concentrations of 1.5–6 × 104 cells ml− 1 and 2.5 μg ml− 1 saponin. For Fibrocapsa japonica, the EC50 values ranged between 1.7–6.3 × 104 cells ml− 1 ( de Boer et al. 2004) and 0.4–1.9 × 104 cells ml− 1 ( de Boer et al. 2009) at EC50 of 4.5 μg ml− 1 saponin as a reference. The present study also revealed a higher haemolytic activity in bloom extracts than in batch culture extracts of H. akashiwo. This finding could be due to the exposure of the bloom to many stresses such as salinity and nutrient limitation in the natural Clomifene environment, which induces the algal cells to produce more toxins, as reported in previous studies (Ono et al. 2000, Haque and Onoue, 2002 and de Boer et al., 2004). This is in contrast to the cells of batch cultures, which mostly grow under optimal conditions. Furthermore, the haemolytic activity, particularly of methanol extracts, differed significantly among bloom samples collected at different periods from Saudi coastal waters during the present study. Interestingly, the highest haemolytic activity
(low EC50) was associated with lower salinities and higher nutrient concentrations. These results are in accordance with previous studies regarding the negative correlation between salinity increase and toxin production by H. akashiwo ( Haque & Onoue 2002) and F. japonica ( de Boer et al. 2004). On the other hand, the correlation of haemolytic activity of Heterosigma blooms with nutrient concentrations contrasts with the results of many studies stating that toxin production is induced by nutrient limitation in dinoflagellates ( Anderson et al., 1990 and Simonsen et al., 1995), H. akashiwo ( Bruyant et al. 2005) and prymnesiophytes ( Johansson and Granéli, 1999a and Johansson and Granéli, 1999b). However, our results coincide with those obtained by de Boer et al.