Alexandrium tamarense

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Alexandrium tamarense
Scientific classification
(unranked): SAR
(unranked): Alveolata
Phylum: Dinoflagellata
Class: Dinophyceae
Order: Gonyaulacales
Suborder: Gonyaulaceae
Genus: Alexandrium
Species: A. tamarense
Binomial name
Alexandrium tamarense

Alexandrium tamarense is a species of dinoflagellates known to produce saxitoxin, a neurotoxin which causes the human illness clinically known as paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP). Multiple species of phytoplankton are known to produce saxitoxin, including at least 10 other species from the genus Alexandrium.

Recent molecular work shows that this species belongs to the Alexandrium tamarense complex (Atama complex, including A. tamarense, Alexandrium fundyense, Alexandrium catenella) and that none of the three original morphospecies designations forms monophyletic groups in the present SSU-based and previous LSU-based[1] phylogenetic trees, i.e. these species designations are invalid.[2]


  1. ^ Lilly, E. L.; Halanych, K. M.; Anderson, D. M. (2007). "Species boundaries and global biogeography of theAlexandrium tamarensecomplex (Dinophyceae)1". Journal of Phycology. 43 (6): 1329–1338. doi:10.1111/j.1529-8817.2007.00420.x. 
  2. ^ Miranda, L. N.; Zhuang, Y.; Zhang, H.; Lin, S. (2012). "Phylogenetic analysis guided by intragenomic SSU rDNA polymorphism refines classification of "Alexandrium tamarense" species complex". Harmful Algae. 16: 35–48. doi:10.1016/j.hal.2012.01.002. 

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