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Literature Review of the Microalga Prymnesium parvum and its Associated Toxicity

Sean Watson, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, August 2001


Literature Cited

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The changing ecosystem of a shallow, brackish lake, Hickling Broad, Norfolk, U. K. II. Long-term trends in water chemistry and ecology and their implications for restoration of the lake. Freshwater Biology 29 (1): 141-165.
Bold, H. D. And M. J. Wynne. 1983.
Introduction to the algae, 2nd Ed. Prentice-Hall, Inc. Englewood Cliffs, NJ. pp. 417-428.
Chang, F. H. and K. G. Ryan. 1985.
Prymnesium calathiferum sp. nov. (Prymnesiophyceae), a new species isolated from Northland, New Zealand. Phycologia 24: 191-198.
Cheng, J. Y. and N. J. Antia. 1970.
Enhancement by glycerol of phototrophic growth of marine planktonic algae and its significance to the ecology of glycerol pollution. Journal of Fisheries Research Board Canada 27 (2): 335-346.
Chisholm, S. W. and L. E. Brand. 1981.
Persistence of cell division phasing in marine phytoplankton in continuous light after entrainment to light: dark cycles. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 51 (2-3): 107-118.
Cisneros, S. Fish Kills at Possum Kingdom and Granbury Under Investigation.
Texas Parks and Wildlife News Release, Feb. 1, 2001.
Cisneros, S. Update on Possum Kingdom and Granbury Fish Kills.
Texas Parks and Wildlife News Release, Feb. 9, 2001.
Comin, F. A. and X. Ferrer. 1978.
Mass development of the phytoflagellate Prymnesium parvum Carter (Haptophyceae) in a coastal lagoon in the Ebro Delta. Oecol. Aquat., no. 3: 207-210.
Dafni, Z., S. Ulitzur, and M. Shilo. 1972.
Influence of light and phosphate on toxin production and growth of Prymnesium parvum. Journal of General Microbiology 70: 199-207.
Dickson, D. M. J. and G. O. Kirst. 1987.
Osmotic adjustment in marine eukaryotic algae: The role of inorganic ions, quaternary ammonium, tertiary sulphonium and carbohydrate solutes. II. Prasinophytes and haptophytes. New Phytologist 106 (4): 657-666.
Dietrich, W. and K. J. Hesse. 1990.
Local fish kill in a pond at the German North Sea coast associated with a mass development of Prymnesium sp. Meeresforschung/Rep. Mar. Res., 33 (1): 104-106.
Droop, M. R. 1962.
Organic micronutrients. Pages 141-160 In: R. A. Lewin (ed). Physiology and Biochemistry of Algae. Academic Press, NY.
Finnish Environmental Administration. 2001.
Signs of sustainability- eutrophication. Finnish Environmental Administration Web page, (
Glass, J., G. Linam and J. Ralph. 1991.
The association of Prymnesium parvum with fish kills in Texas. Texas Parks and Wildlife Document. 8 pages.
Green, J. C., D. J. Hibberd, and R. N. Pienaar. 1982.
The taxonomy of Prymnesium (Prymnesiophyceae) including a description of a new cosmopolitan species, P. patellifera sp. nov., and further observations on P. parvum N. Carter. British Phycological Journal 17: 363-382.
Guillard R. R. L. and M. D. Keller. 1984.
Culturing dinoflagellates. In: Dinoflagellates, Spector D. L. (ed.). Academic, New York, pp. 391-442.
Guo, M., P. J. Harrison and F. J. R. Taylor. 1996.
Fish kills related to Prymnesium parvum N. Carter (Haptophyta) in the People's Republic of China. Journal of Applied Phycology 8 (2): 111-117.
Hallegraeff, G. M. 1992.
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Holdway, P. A., R. A. Watson and B. Moss. 1978.
Aspects of the ecology of Prymnesium parvum (Haptophyta) and water chemistry in the Norfolk Broads, England. Freshwater Biology 8 (4): 295-311.
Igarashi, T., M. Satake and T. Yasumoto. 1999.
Structures and partial stereochemical assignments for prymnesin-1 and prymnesin-2: potent hemolytic and ichthyotoxic glycosides isolated from the red tide alga Prymnesium parvum. Journal of the American Chemical Society 121 (37): 8499-8511.
James, T. and A. De La Cruz. 1989.
Prymnesium parvum Carter (Chrysophyceae) as a suspect of mass mortalities of fish and shellfish communities in western Texas. Texas Journal of Science 41 (4): 429-430.
Jochem, F. J. 1999.
Dark survival strategies in marine phytoplankton assessed by cytometric measurement of metabolic activity with fluorescein diacetate. Marine biology 135 (4): 721-728.
Johansson, N. and E. Graneli. 1999.
Influence of different nutrient conditions on cell density, chemical composition and toxicity of Prymnesium parvum (Haptophyta) in semi-continuous cultures. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 239 (2): 243-258.
Johnsen, T. M. and T. E. Lein. 1989.
Prymnesium parvum Carter (Prymnesiophyceae) in association with macroalgae in Ryfylke, Southwestern Norway. Sarsia 74 (4): 277-281.
Kaartvedt, S., T. M. Johnsen, D. L. Aksnes, U. Lie and H. Svendsen. 1991.
Occurrence of the toxic phytoflagellate Prymnesium parvum and associated fish mortality in a Norwegian fjord system. Canadina Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 48 (12): 2316-2323.
Kozakai, H., Y. Oshima, and T. Yasumoto. 1982.
Isolation and structural elucidation of hemolysin from the phytoflagellate Prymnesium parvum. Agric. Biol. Chem. 46 (1): 233-236.
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Prymnesium parvum and P. patelliferum (Haptophyta) - one species. Phycologia 38 (6): 541-543.
Larsen, A. and S. Bryant. 1998.
Growth rate and toxicity of Prymnesium parvum and Prymnesium patelliferum (Haptophyta) in response to changes in salinity, light and temperature. Sarsia 83 (5): 409-418.
Larsen, A., W. Eikrem and E. Paasche. 1993.
Growth and toxicity in Prymnesium patelliferum (Prymnesiophycea) isolated from Norwegian waters. Canadian Journal of Botany 71: 1357-1362.
Lee, R. E. 1980.
Phycology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 478 pp.
Lightfoot, S.
Golden Alga Wipes Out TPW Hatchery Striper Production. Texas Parks and Wildlife News Release, May 21, 2001.
Linam, G., J. Ralph and J. Glass. 1991.
Toxic blooms, an unusual algae threatens aquatic resources. Chihuahuan Desert Discovery. No. 28 (winter).
McLaughlin, J. J. A. 1958.
Euryhaline chrysomonads: nutrition and toxigenesis in Prymnesium parvum, with notes on Isochrysis galbana and Monochrysis lutheri. Journal of Protozoology 5 (1): 75-81.
Nygaard, K. And A. Tobiesen. 1993.
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of toxins secreted by algae. Biofizika 36 (1): 117-121.
Padan, E., D. Ginzburg and M. Shilo. 1967.
Growth and colony formation of the phytoflagellate Prymnesium parvum Carter on solid media. Journal of Protozoology 14 (3): 477-480.
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Growth and toxigenesis of the chrysomonad Prymnesium parvum as a function of salinity. Journal of Protozoology 17: 456-462.
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Interactions of prymnesin with erythrocyte membranes. Pages 265-295 In: D. F. Martin and G. M. Padilla (eds). Marine Pharmacognosy. Action of Marine Biotoxins at the Cellular Level. Academic Press, NY.
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Photoinactivation of ichthyotoxin from axenic cultures Prymnesium parvum Carter. Applied Microbiology 10 (3): 237-239.
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Pharmacology and mode of action of prymnesin. pp. 241-263 In: D. F. Martin and G. M. Padilla (eds). Cell biology: A Series of Monographs, Marine Pharmacognosy. Action of Marine Biotoxins at the Cellular Level. Academic Press, NY, NY.
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The B sub(12) vitamins and methionine in the metabolism of Prymnesium parvum. Journal of General Microbiology 31 (2): 203-209.
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Growth of Prymnesium parvum in the dark; note on the ichthyotoxin formation. Journal of Protozoology 12 (2): 246-250.
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Effect of illumination on ichthyotoxin in an axenic culture of Prymnesium parvum Carter. Journal of Protozoology 9 (1): 38-40.
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Shilo, M. and M. Aschner. 1953.
Factors governing the toxicity of cultures containing phytoflagellate Prymnesium parvum Carter. Journal of General Microbiology 8: 333-343.
Shilo, M. and M. Shilo. 1953.
Conditions which determine the efficiency of ammonium sulphate in the control of Prymnesium parvum in fish breeding ponds. Applied Microbiology 1: 330-333.
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The toxic principles of Ochromonas and related chrysomonadina. Verh. Internat. Verein. Limnol. 17: 778-783.
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Organic micronutrients. Pages 1171-188 In: R. A. Lewin (ed). Physiology and Biochemistry of Algae. Academic Press, NY.
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A sensitive assay system for determination of the ichthyotoxicity of Prymnesium parvum. Journal of General Microbiology 36 (2): 161-169.
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Wynne, D. and G. Y. Rhee. 1988.
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Aditional Information:

Would you like to know more?
The Biology of Golden Alga summarizes what we know about the alga and its toxins.

Where does golden alga fit compared to other single-celled organisms?
The Golden Alga Family Tree gives examples of and information about golden alga and other protists.

What does golden alga look like?
TPWD Golden Alga Images has photos of fish kills, golden algal cells, and short videos of live golden alga. These images may be used for noncommercial/educational purposes as long as TPWD is given credit and other site policies are followed.

Golden Alga Information Card: TPWD has collaborated with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and other entities to produce a golden alga information card. Download a PDF from the TCEQ website or request a free hard copy from TPWD at

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