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Abstract

PCR and fluorescent in situ hybridization probes were used to assay for the presence of the dinoflagellate Pfiesteria piscicida in 170 estuarine water samples collected from New York to northern Florida. 20% of samples tested positive for the presence of P. piscicida, including sites where fish kills due to Pfiesteria have occurred and sites where there was no historical evidence of such events. The results extend the known range of P. piscicida northward to Long Island, New York. The results also suggest that P. piscicida is common, and normally benign, inhabitatant of estuarine waters of the eastern US.

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