Toxicity of polyunsaturated aldehydes of diatoms to Indo-Pacific bioindicator organismEchinometra mathaei

Davide Sartori, Andrea Gaion
  • Drug and Chemical Toxicology, May 2015, Taylor & Francis
  • DOI: 10.3109/01480545.2015.1041602

Toxicity of aldehydes to sea urchin Echinometra mathaei

What is it about?

Nowadays little is known about the sensitivity of Indo-Pacific species of sea urchin to polyunsaturated aldehydes, chemical compounds thought to be involved in the defensive strategy of phytoplankton. In this study, the effect of three short chain aldehydes, 2,4-decadienal (DD), 2,4-octadienal (OD) and 2,4-heptadienal (HD), normally found in many diatoms, was evaluated on larval development of E. mathaeiembryos. Aldehydes affected larval development in a dose-dependent manner, in particular HD>OD>DD.

Why is it important?

In comparison with studies reported in literature, contrasting results were observed during our tests; therefore, an increasing toxic effect was registered with decreasing the chain length of aldehydes. This work could provide new insights in the development of new toxicological assays toward most sensitive species.


Dr Andrea Gaion
South Devon College

Seasonal variability of diatoms popuation represents a key aspect in ocean ecology, for both the important rate of CO2 fixation and dissolved and particulate organic matter production (DOM and POM) consequent to zooplanktonic grazing activity. To understand the role of active chemical compounds, such as aldehydes, is fundamental in a continuously changing environment.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Andrea Gaion