Production of domoic acid (DA) by the pennate diatom Pseudo-nitzschia multiseries is associated with physiological stress caused by silicate (Si) and/or phosphate (P) limitation. Such limitation may promote DA synthesis by (1) reducing primary metabolic activity, thus making available necessary precursors, high energy compounds, and cofactors, and (2) favoring the expression of genes involved in the biosynthesis of this toxin. In the case of Si and P-limitation, DNA synthesis and the progression through the cell division cycle are slowed, perhaps prolonging or arresting the cells in the stage of the division cycle which is most conducive to DA production. However, N-limitation results in an insuf®cient pool of cellular free N, which restricts synthesis of this nitrogenous toxin. A continuous supply of photophosphorylated high-energy intermediates (e.g., ATP and NADPH) is necessary for DA synthesis. In order to better understand the mechanism(s) of DA production, more studies are needed to elucidate: (1) the details of the biosynthetic pathway, (2) the regulation of enzymes involved in the pathway, (3) the relation between DA synthesis and the cell division cycle, (4) the cellular compartmentalization of DA biosynthesis, and (5) other environmental factors that may trigger DA production. Finally, these studies should be extended to include toxigenic Pseudo-nitzschia species other than P. multiseries, to con®rm the commonality of these mechanisms.