Antonella Penna

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The marine dinoflagellate genus Alexandrium includes a number of species which produce neurotoxins responsible for paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP), which in humans may cause muscular paralysis, neurological symptoms, and, in extreme cases, death. A. minutum is the most widespread toxic PSP species in the western Mediterranean basin. The monitoring of(More)
Microalgae are considered one of the best candidates for biofuel production due to their high content in neutral lipids, therefore, an accurate quantification of these lipids in microalgae is fundamental for the identification of the better candidates as biodiesel source. Nile red is a fluorescent dye widely employed for the quantification of neutral lipids(More)
Phytoplankton populations can display high levels of genetic diversity that, when reflected by phenotypic variability, may stabilize a species response to environmental changes. We studied the effects of increased temperature and CO(2) availability as predicted consequences of global change, on 16 genetically different isolates of the diatom Skeletonema(More)
BACKGROUND We describe the development and validation of a new quantitative real time PCR (qrt-PCR) method for the enumeration of the toxic benthic dinoflagellate Ostreopsis cf. ovata in marine environment. The benthic Ostreopsis sp. has a world-wide distribution and is associated during high biomass proliferation with the production of potent(More)
The harmful dinoflagellate Ostreopsis cf. ovata has been causing toxic events along the Mediterranean coasts and other temperate and tropical areas, with increasing frequency during the last decade. Despite many studies, important biological features of this species are still poorly known. An integrated study, using different microscopy and molecular(More)
A number of species belonging to the genus Alexandrium are among the main toxic microalgae responsible for Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs). The monitoring of coastal waters for the presence of these microalgae is essential to identify correlations between cell abundances and environmental factors that regulate bloom dynamics. In the attempt to improve the(More)
The toxin-producing microbial species Alexandrium minutum has a wide distribution in the Mediterranean Sea and causes high biomass blooms with consequences on the environment, human health and coastal-related economic activities. Comprehension of algal genetic differences and associated connectivity is fundamental to understand the geographical scale of(More)
A molecular PCR-based assay was developed and applied to macrophyte and seawater samples containing mixed microphytobenthic and phytoplanktonic assemblages, respectively, in order to detect toxic Ostreopsis species in Mediterranean Sea. The specificity and sensitivity of the molecular PCR assay were assessed with both plasmidic and genomic DNA of the target(More)
Currently, the benthic dinoflagellate Ostreopsis cf. ovata represents a serious concern to human health in the whole Mediterranean basin due to the production of palytoxin congeners, a putative palytoxin and ovatoxins (ovatoxin-a, -b, -c, -d/-e), listed among the most potent marine toxins. High resolution liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (HR LC-MS)(More)
Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs), mainly caused by dinoflagellates and diatoms, have great economic and sanitary implications. An important contribution for the comprehension of HAB phenomena and for the identification of risks related to toxic algal species is given by the monitoring programs. In the microscopy-based monitoring methods, harmful species are(More)