University Of Tasmania

File(s) under permanent embargo

Paralytic shellfish toxin uptake, tissue distribution, and depuration in the southern rock lobster Jasus edwardsii Hutton

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 14:02 authored by Alison TurnbullAlison Turnbull, Malhi, N, Andreas SegerAndreas Seger, Harwood, T, Jolley, J, Quinn FitzgibbonQuinn Fitzgibbon, Gustaaf HallegraeffGustaaf Hallegraeff

Up to 13.6 mg STX.2HCl equiv. kg−1 of paralytic shellfish toxins (PST) have been found in the hepatopancreas of Southern Rock Lobster, Jasus edwardsii, on the east coast of Tasmania. Blooms of the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium catenella have been reported in this region since 2012. Experimental work was undertaken to improve the understanding of the uptake and depuration mechanisms involved. Adult male lobsters were fed highly toxic mussels (6 mg STX.2HCl equiv. kg−1) sourced from the impacted area. The apparent feed intake of the lobster was positively correlated to increasing PST levels in the hepatopancreas. Toxins accumulated rapidly in the hepatopancreas reaching a maximum of 9.0 mg STX.2HCl equiv. kg−1, then depurated at a rate of 7% per day once toxic fed was removed. However, PST were not detected at significant levels in the haemolymph of these animals. Notable increases occurred in the relative amount of several PST analogues in the hepatopancreas, including GTX2&3, C1&2 and several decarbomoyl toxins in comparison to the profile observed in contaminated mussel feed. The concentration of PST in lobster antennal glands was two orders of magnitude lower than concentrations found in the hepatopancreas. This is the first report of PST in lobster antennal glands which, along with the gills, represent possible excretion routes for PST. Implications for biotoxin risk monitoring are: lobsters will continue to feed during bloom periods and high concentrations of PST can occur; animal collection should be frequent at the start of a bloom in case of a rapid accumulation of PST; and non-lethal sampling is not possible as haemolymph PST levels do not reflect what is in the hepatopancreas.


Fisheries Research & Development Corporation


Publication title

Harmful Algae



Article number









Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Elsevier Science Bv

Place of publication


Rights statement

Crown Copyright © 2020 Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Wild caught rock lobster