Service provider: SZN
Funding source: ASSEMBLE Plus*

Sanda Skejić and Jasna Arapov, from the Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries in Croatia, used Marine Organism Taxonomy (MOTax) Unit at Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn (SZN) as part of the ASSEMBLE Plus project. MOTax is a specialised counselling centre which exploits advanced resources, skills and expertise that are available at SZN for the taxonomy and identification of various groups of marine organisms. 

‘EMBRC Italy provided us with a great opportunity to improve our knowledge of the potentially toxic marine diatom genus Pseudo-nitzschia’, the two researchers said. ‘Our project's main objectives were to apply molecular analyses for species identification and to analyse the fine ultrastructural morphological characteristics using a Transmission Electron Microscope.

Pseudo-nitzschia species are commonly present in the phytoplankton community in the Adriatic Sea, and their morphological and molecular characterisation is important due to their ability to produce neurotoxin domoic acid.

Thanks to SZN’s Marine Organism Taxonomy facility we managed to determine isolated strains successfully. With the guidance of our host’s expertise, we learned how to introduce new molecular technics in our laboratory.  We are grateful for their help and support, a friendly atmosphere, and for making our staying pleasant and useful’. 

*ASSEMBLE Plus is an EMBRC-coordinated programme funded by Horizon 2020 under grant agreement number 730984