The Major Enzyme Involved With Toxins Causing Whale Death From Algal Blooms Containing Saxitoxin
Saxitoxin is a potent neurotoxin produced by certain dinoflagellates, which bloom in response to various environmental conditions. These blooms are a major cause of whale death due to bioaccumulation of toxins in their bodies. While saxitoxin is the primary toxin responsible, several enzymes are believed to be involved in its production and toxicity. In particular, the saxitoxin synthetase (STX) gene family is one of the major enzymes in this process. A 2019 study conducted by the Royal Society of Chemistry suggested that STX is responsible for the formation of saxitoxin and other toxic analogues (Kumar et al., 2019). The study further highlighted how STX produces the toxin within the dinoflagellate cells and how it is then released into the environment. Moreover, the authors concluded that STX is critical for the formation and toxicity of the toxin, and understanding the genes involved in its production could help mitigate the risk of algal blooms and the subsequent whale deaths (Kumar et al., 2019). Cont…
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