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Sample records for cyanobacterial toxins

  1. Neurotoxic cyanobacterial toxins.

    PubMed

    Aráoz, Rómulo; Molgó, Jordi; Tandeau de Marsac, Nicole

    2010-10-01

    Worldwide development of cyanobacterial blooms has significantly increased in marine and continental waters in the last century due to water eutrophication. This phenomenon is favoured by the ability of planktonic cyanobacteria to synthesize gas vesicles that allow them to float in the water column. Besides, benthic cyanobacteria that proliferate at the bottom of lakes, rivers and costal waters form dense mats near the shore. Cyanobacterial massive proliferation is of public concern regarding the capacity of certain cyanobacterial strains to produce hepatotoxic and neurotoxic compounds that can affect public health, human activities and wild and stock animals. The cholinergic synapses and voltage-gated sodium channels constitute the targets of choice of cyanobacterial neurotoxins. Anatoxin-a and homoanatoxin-a are agonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Anatoxin-a(s) is an irreversible inhibitor of acetylcholinesterase. Saxitoxin, kalkitoxin and jamaicamide are blockers of voltage-gated sodium channels, whereas antillatoxin is an activator of such channels. Moreover the neurotoxic amino acid l-beta-N-methylamino-l-alanine was shown to be produced by diverse cyanobacterial taxa. Although controversial, increasing in vivo and in vitro evidence suggest a link between the ingestion of l-beta-N-methylamino-l-alanine and the development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/Parkinsonism-dementia complex, a neurodegenerative disease. This paper reviews the occurrence of cyanobacterial neurotoxins, their chemical properties, mode of action and biosynthetic pathways. PMID:19660486

  2. Cyanobacterial toxins: risk management for health protection.

    PubMed

    Codd, Geoffrey A; Morrison, Louise F; Metcalf, James S

    2005-03-15

    This paper reviews the occurrence and properties of cyanobacterial toxins, with reference to the recognition and management of the human health risks which they may present. Mass populations of toxin-producing cyanobacteria in natural and controlled waterbodies include blooms and scums of planktonic species, and mats and biofilms of benthic species. Toxic cyanobacterial populations have been reported in freshwaters in over 45 countries, and in numerous brackish, coastal, and marine environments. The principal toxigenic genera are listed. Known sources of the families of cyanobacterial toxins (hepato-, neuro-, and cytotoxins, irritants, and gastrointestinal toxins) are briefly discussed. Key procedures in the risk management of cyanobacterial toxins and cells are reviewed, including derivations (where sufficient data are available) of tolerable daily intakes (TDIs) and guideline values (GVs) with reference to the toxins in drinking water, and guideline levels for toxigenic cyanobacteria in bathing waters. Uncertainties and some gaps in knowledge are also discussed, including the importance of exposure media (animal and plant foods), in addition to potable and recreational waters. Finally, we present an outline of steps to develop and implement risk management strategies for cyanobacterial cells and toxins in waterbodies, with recent applications and the integration of Hazard Assessment Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles. PMID:15737680

  3. Cyanobacterial toxins: risk management for health protection

    SciTech Connect

    Codd, Geoffrey A.; Morrison, Louise F.; Metcalf, James S

    2005-03-15

    This paper reviews the occurrence and properties of cyanobacterial toxins, with reference to the recognition and management of the human health risks which they may present. Mass populations of toxin-producing cyanobacteria in natural and controlled waterbodies include blooms and scums of planktonic species, and mats and biofilms of benthic species. Toxic cyanobacterial populations have been reported in freshwaters in over 45 countries, and in numerous brackish, coastal, and marine environments. The principal toxigenic genera are listed. Known sources of the families of cyanobacterial toxins (hepato-, neuro-, and cytotoxins, irritants, and gastrointestinal toxins) are briefly discussed. Key procedures in the risk management of cyanobacterial toxins and cells are reviewed, including derivations (where sufficient data are available) of tolerable daily intakes (TDIs) and guideline values (GVs) with reference to the toxins in drinking water, and guideline levels for toxigenic cyanobacteria in bathing waters. Uncertainties and some gaps in knowledge are also discussed, including the importance of exposure media (animal and plant foods), in addition to potable and recreational waters. Finally, we present an outline of steps to develop and implement risk management strategies for cyanobacterial cells and toxins in waterbodies, with recent applications and the integration of Hazard Assessment Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles.

  4. Formation and Control of Cyanobacterial Toxins

    EPA Science Inventory

    This presentation will cover the formation of harmful algal blooms and the control of their toxins. Data will be presented from current ORD projects on the treatment of cyanobacterial toxins through drinking water treatment facilities. The results will demonstrate that current c...

  5. Cyanobacterial Toxin Degrading Bacteria: Who Are They?

    PubMed Central

    Kormas, Konstantinos Ar.; Lymperopoulou, Despoina S.

    2013-01-01

    Cyanobacteria are ubiquitous in nature and are both beneficial and detrimental to humans. Benefits include being food supplements and producing bioactive compounds, like antimicrobial and anticancer substances, while their detrimental effects are evident by toxin production, causing major ecological problems at the ecosystem level. To date, there are several ways to degrade or transform these toxins by chemical methods, while the biodegradation of these compounds is understudied. In this paper, we present a meta-analysis of the currently available 16S rRNA and mlrA (microcystinase) genes diversity of isolates known to degrade cyanobacterial toxins. The available data revealed that these bacteria belong primarily to the Proteobacteria, with several strains from the sphingomonads, and one from each of the Methylobacillus and Paucibacter genera. Other strains belonged to the genera Arthrobacter, Bacillus, and Lactobacillus. By combining the ecological knowledge on the distribution, abundance, and ecophysiology of the bacteria that cooccur with toxic cyanobacterial blooms and newly developed molecular approaches, it is possible not only to discover more strains with cyanobacterial toxin degradation abilities, but also to reveal the genes associated with the degradation of these toxins. PMID:23841072

  6. DEVELOPMENT OF A HUMAN BIOMARKER FOR CYANOBACTERIAL TOXINS- MICROCYSTINS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Increasingly, cyanobacterial blooms are being reported worldwide due to several factors: eutrophication, climate change, and potentially greater scientific awareness and detection. During 1996, an outbreak of fatal cyanobacterial toxin intoxications occurred among a group of dia...

  7. Health Risk Assessment for Cyanobacterial Toxins in Seafood

    PubMed Central

    Mulvenna, Vanora; Dale, Katie; Priestly, Brian; Mueller, Utz; Humpage, Andrew; Shaw, Glen; Allinson, Graeme; Falconer, Ian

    2012-01-01

    Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) are abundant in fresh, brackish and marine waters worldwide. When toxins produced by cyanobacteria are present in the aquatic environment, seafood harvested from these waters may present a health hazard to consumers. Toxicity hazards from seafood have been internationally recognised when the source is from marine algae (dinoflagellates and diatoms), but to date few risk assessments for cyanobacterial toxins in seafood have been presented. This paper estimates risk from seafood contaminated by cyanobacterial toxins, and provides guidelines for safe human consumption. PMID:22690165

  8. Removal of cyanobacterial toxins by sediment passage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gruetzmacher, G.; Boettcher, G.; Chorus, I.; Bartel, H.

    2003-04-01

    Cyanbacterial toxins ("Cyanotoxins") comprise a wide range of toxic substances produced by cyanobacteria ("blue-green algae"). Cyanobacteria occur in surface water word wide and can be found in high concentrations during so-called algal blooms when conditions are favourable (e.g. high nutrient levels, high temperatures). Some cyanobacteria produce hepato- or neurotoxins, of which the hepatotoxic microcystins are the most common in Germany. The WHO guideline value for drinking water was set at 1 μg/L. However, maximum concentrations in surface water can reach 25 mg/L, so that a secure method for toxin elimination has to be found when this water is used as source water for drinking water production. In order to assess if cyanotoxins can be removed by sediment passage the German Federal Environmental Agency (UBA) conducted laboratory- and field scale experiments as well as observations on bank filtration field sites. Laboratory experiments (batch- and column experiments for adsorption and degradation parameters) were conducted in order to vary a multitude of experimental conditions. These experiments were followed by field scale experiments on the UBA's experimental field in Berlin. This plant offers the unique possibility to conduct experiments on the behaviour of various agents - such as harmful substances - during infiltration and bank filtration under well-defined conditions on a field scale, and without releasing these substances to the environment. Finally the development of microcystin concentrations was observed between infiltrating surface water and a drinking water well along a transsecte of observation wells. The results obtained show that infiltration and bank filtration normally seem to be secure treatment methods for source water contaminated by microcystins. However, elimination was shown to be difficult under the following circumstances: - dying cyanobacterial population due to insufficient light and / or nutrients, low temperatures or application of

  9. APTAMER CAPTURE AND OPTICAL INTERFEROMETRIC DETECTION OF CYANOBACTERIAL TOXINS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Cyanobacterial toxins have been identified as a health risk in source and finished waters passing through drinking water utilities in the United States. In this project, a rapid, sensitive and field usable sensor based on an aptamer modified planar waveguide interferometric se...

  10. Toxicological Review of Cyanobacterial Toxins: Cylindrospermopsin (External Review Draft)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The National Center for Environmental Assessment has prepared the Toxicological Reviews of Cyanobacterial Toxins: Anatoxin-a, Cylindrospermopsin and Microcystins (LR, RR, YR and LA) as a series of dose-response assessments to support the health assessment of unregulated contamina...

  11. Cyanobacterial toxins: biosynthetic routes and evolutionary roots.

    PubMed

    Dittmann, Elke; Fewer, David P; Neilan, Brett A

    2013-01-01

    Cyanobacteria produce an unparalleled variety of toxins that can cause severe health problems or even death in humans, and wild or domestic animals. In the last decade, biosynthetic pathways have been assigned to the majority of the known toxin families. This review summarizes current knowledge about the enzymatic basis for the production of the hepatotoxins microcystin and nodularin, the cytotoxin cylindrospermopsin, the neurotoxins anatoxin and saxitoxin, and the dermatotoxin lyngbyatoxin. Elucidation of the biosynthetic pathways of the toxins has paved the way for the development of molecular techniques for the detection and quantification of the producing cyanobacteria in different environments. Phylogenetic analyses of related clusters from a large number of strains has also allowed for the reconstruction of the evolutionary scenarios that have led to the emergence, diversification, and loss of such gene clusters in different strains and genera of cyanobacteria. Advances in the understanding of toxin biosynthesis and evolution have provided new methods for drinking-water quality control and may inspire the development of techniques for the management of bloom formation in the future. PMID:23051004

  12. Toxicity and recovery in the pregnant mouse after gestational exposure to the cyanobacterial toxin, cylindrospermopsin.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Cylindrospermopsin (CYN) is a tricyclic alkaloid toxin produced by fresh water cyanobacterial species worldwide. CYN has been responsible for both livestock and human poisoning after oral exposure. This study investigated the toxicity of CYN to pregnant mice exposed during differ...

  13. Cyanobacterial toxins in New York and the lower Great Lakes ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Boyer, Gregory L

    2008-01-01

    Toxic cyanobacterial blooms are an increasing problem in the lower Laurentian Great Lakes. To better understand their occurrence and distribution, samples for particulate toxin analysis were collected from more than 140 New York Lakes including Lakes Erie, Champlain and Ontario. Microcystins were of most importance and were detected in nearly 50% of the samples. Anatoxin-a, cylindrospermopsin and the paralytic shellfish toxins occurred much less frequently (0-4%). The implications for the management of cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms are discussed. PMID:18461769

  14. DEVELOPMENT OF A HUMAN BIOMARKER FOR CYANOBACTERIAL TOXINS-MICROCYSTINS

    EPA Science Inventory

    This study will determine if a commercially- available enzyme linked immunosorbant assay (ELISA) designed to detect microcystins in water can be used to detect microcystins in human serum and liver. Increasingly, cyanobacterial blooms are being reported worldwide due to several...

  15. Chronic effects of cyanobacterial toxins on Daphnia magna and their offspring.

    PubMed

    Dao, Thanh Son; Do-Hong, Lan-Chi; Wiegand, Claudia

    2010-06-15

    The zooplankton grazer Daphnia magna endures living in water bodies up to moderate densities of cyanobacteria, such as Microcystis spp., known for producing toxic secondary metabolites. Although daphnids are affected via decreased food filtering, inhibition of digestive proteases and lethality, development of tolerance against cyanobacterial toxins has also been observed. Aim of our study was to investigate in detail chronic effects of cyanobacterial toxins, with emphasis on microcystin, on D. magna. The animals were exposed chronically for two generations to either microcystin-LR in 5 or 50 microg L(-1), or to cyanobacterial crude extract containing the same amount of total microcystin, starting at neonate stadium. Survival, growth, maturation and fecundity were observed for the first generation during two months. In the offspring survival, maturation, and growth were followed for the first week. Low concentration of microcystin-LR slightly affected the growth and reproduction of parent daphnids. Survivorship decreased during chronic exposure with increasing microcystin concentration. Age to maturity of the offspring increased and their survival decreased after parent generation was exposed to the toxin, even if the offspring were raised in control medium. Besides, cessation of the eggs/embryos was observed and malformation of neonates caused by cyanobacterial toxins was firstly recorded. PMID:20132836

  16. Effect of ozonation on the removal of cyanobacterial toxins during drinking water treatment.

    PubMed Central

    Hoeger, Stefan J; Dietrich, Daniel R; Hitzfeld, Bettina C

    2002-01-01

    Water treatment plants faced with toxic cyanobacteria have to be able to remove cyanotoxins from raw water. In this study we investigated the efficacy of ozonation coupled with various filtration steps under different cyanobacterial bloom conditions. Cyanobacteria were ozonated in a laboratory-scale batch reactor modeled on a system used by a modern waterworks, with subsequent activated carbon and sand filtration steps. The presence of cyanobacterial toxins (microcystins) was determined using the protein phosphatase inhibition assay. We found that ozone concentrations of at least 1.5 mg/L were required to provide enough oxidation potential to destroy the toxin present in 5 X 10(5 )Microcystis aeruginosa cells/mL [total organic carbon (TOC), 1.56 mg/L]. High raw water TOC was shown to reduce the efficiency of free toxin oxidation and destruction. In addition, ozonation of raw waters containing high cyanobacteria cell densities will result in cell lysis and liberation of intracellular toxins. Thus, we emphasize that only regular and simultaneous monitoring of TOC/dissolved organic carbon and cyanobacterial cell densities, in conjunction with online residual O(3) concentration determination and efficient filtration steps, can ensure the provision of safe drinking water from surface waters contaminated with toxic cyanobacterial blooms. PMID:12417484

  17. THE CYANOBACTERIAL TOXIN, CYLINDROSPERMOPSIN, INDUCES FETAL TOXICITY IN THE MOUSE AFTER EXPOSURE LATE IN GESTATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Cylindrospermopsin (cyn) is a cyanobacterial toxin implicated in human and wildlife poisonings. We have completed studies investigating the potential of purified cyn to induce developmental toxicity in mammals. The teratology study involved intraperitoneal injections (8.0¿128ug/k...

  18. Toxicological Review of Cyanobacterial Toxins: Anatoxin-a (External Review Draft)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The National Center for Environmental Assessment has prepared the Toxicological Reviews of Cyanobacterial Toxins: Anatoxin-a, Cylindrospermopsin and Microcystins (LR, RR, YR and LA) as a series of dose-response assessments to support the health assessment of unregulated contamina...

  19. Toxicological Review of Cyanobacterial Toxins: Microcystins Lr, Rr, Yr and La (External Review Draft)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The National Center for Environmental Assessment has prepared the Toxicological Reviews of Cyanobacterial Toxins: Anatoxin-a, Cylindrospermopsin and Microcystins (LR, RR, YR and LA) as a series of dose-response assessments to support the health assessment of unregulated contamina...

  20. Impacts of Early-Stage Drinking Water Treatment on Cyanobacterial Toxin Release and Degradation

    EPA Science Inventory

    This presentation summarizes the impact of potassium permanganate application to suspensions of intact, toxin-producing cyanobacterial cells at pH 7 and 9, oxidant doses of 1, 2.5 and 5 mg/L, turbidities of 0.1, 5 and 20 NTU, and powdered activated carbon doses of 0 and 10 mg/L

  1. The Languages Spoken in the Water Body (or the Biological Role of Cyanobacterial Toxins)

    PubMed Central

    Kaplan, Aaron; Harel, Moshe; Kaplan-Levy, Ruth N.; Hadas, Ora; Sukenik, Assaf; Dittmann, Elke

    2012-01-01

    Although intensification of toxic cyanobacterial blooms over the last decade is a matter of growing concern due to bloom impact on water quality, the biological role of most of the toxins produced is not known. In this critical review we focus primarily on the biological role of two toxins, microcystins and cylindrospermopsin, in inter- and intra-species communication and in nutrient acquisition. We examine the experimental evidence supporting some of the dogmas in the field and raise several open questions to be dealt with in future research. We do not discuss the health and environmental implications of toxin presence in the water body. PMID:22529842

  2. CYANOBACTERIAL TOXINS AND 2005 ISOCHAB EXPOSURE ASSESSMENT WORKGROUP

    EPA Science Inventory

    The US EPA, Office of Research and Development, in collaboration with other US federal agencies, is leading the organization of an International Symposium on Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms on 6-10 September, 2005. The goal of this symposium is to develop a comprehensive nat...

  3. Toxin production in cyanobacterial mats from ponds on the McMurdo ice shelf, Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Hitzfeld, B C; Lampert, C S; Spaeth, N; Mountfort, D; Kaspar, H; Dietrich, D R

    2000-12-01

    Cyanobacteria are known to produce hepatotoxic substances, the functional and ecological role of these toxins, however, remains largely unclear. Toxic properties of cyanobacteria collected in Antarctica were investigated to determine whether toxin-producing species can also be found under these environmental conditions. Samples were collected from meltwater ponds on the McMurdo Ice Shelf, Antarctica in the summers of 1997 to 1999. These ponds are colonized by benthic algae and cyanobacterial mats. Oscillatoriales, Nodularia sp., and Nostoc sp. constituted the major taxa in freshwater ponds, while Nostoc sp. was missing from brackish and saline ponds. Samples were taken from either floating, submerged or benthic mats, and extracted for in vitro toxicity testing. The presence of toxins was determined by the phosphatase-inhibition assay and by high performance liquid chromatography. The cytotoxic properties of the extracts were investigated in hepatocytes determining 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide metabolism and trypan blue dye exclusion. The results show that all cyanobacterial extracts display phosphatase-inhibiting activity, of which approximately half had significantly greater than 50% inhibiting activity. The presence of nodularin and microcystin-LR was established by high performance liquid chromatography. Cytotoxic properties, independent of the phosphatase inhibiting activity, were also detected. Toxic strains of cyanobacteria can therefore also be found in Antarctica and this finding may lead to further insight into potential ecological roles of cyanobacterial phosphatase inhibiting toxins. PMID:10858513

  4. Dynamics of cyanobacteria and cyanobacterial toxins and their correlation with environmental parameters in Tri An Reservoir, Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Dao, Thanh-Son; Nimptsch, Jorge; Wiegand, Claudia

    2016-08-01

    This study evaluates the water quality from Tri An Reservoir, a drinking water supply for several million people in southern Vietnam, in terms of cyanobacterial biomass and their potent toxins, microcystins (MCs). Cyanobacteria, their toxins and environmental parameters were monitored monthly for 1 year (April 2008-March 2009) at six stations covering a transect through the reservoir. Dynamics of cyanobacterial abundance in relation to cyanobacterial biomass, toxins and environmental factors were investigated. Environmental variables from Tri An Reservoir favored algal and cyanobacterial development. However, cyanobacterial biomass and proportion varied widely, influenced by physical conditions, available nutrients and nutrient competition among the phytoplankton groups. Cyanobacterial biomass correlated slightly positively to temperature, pH and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5), but negatively to total inorganic nitrogen concentrations. During most of the sampling times, MC concentrations in the reservoir were quite low (≤0.07 μg L(-1) MC-LR equivalent), and presented a slight positive correlation to BOD5, total nitrogen:total phosphorus ratio and cyanobacterial biomass. However, in cyanobacterial scum samples, which now and then occurred in the reservoir, MC concentrations reached up to 640 μg g(-1) DW(-1). The occurrence of MC in the reservoir poses a risk to local residents who use the water daily for domestic purposes. PMID:27441865

  5. Feasibility study on production of a matrix reference material for cyanobacterial toxins.

    PubMed

    Hollingdale, Christie; Thomas, Krista; Lewis, Nancy; Békri, Khalida; McCarron, Pearse; Quilliam, Michael A

    2015-07-01

    The worldwide increase in cyanobacterial contamination of freshwater lakes and rivers is of great concern as many cyanobacteria produce potent hepatotoxins and neurotoxins (cyanotoxins). Such toxins pose a threat to aquatic ecosystems, livestock, and drinking water supplies. In addition, dietary supplements prepared from cyanobacteria can pose a risk to consumers if they contain toxins. Analytical monitoring for toxins in the environment and in consumer products is essential for the protection of public health. Reference materials (RMs) are an essential tool for the development and validation of analytical methods and are necessary for ongoing quality control of monitoring operations. Since the availability of appropriate RMs for cyanotoxins has been very limited, the present study was undertaken to examine the feasibility of producing a cyanobacterial matrix RM containing various cyanotoxins. The first step was large-scale culturing of various cyanobacterial cultures that produce anatoxins, microcystins, and cylindrospermopsins. After harvesting, the biomass was lyophilized, blended, homogenized, milled, and bottled. The moisture content and physical characteristics were assessed in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the production process. Toxin levels were measured by liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry and ultraviolet detection. The reference material was found to be homogeneous for toxin content. Stability studies showed no significant degradation of target toxins over a period of 310 days at temperatures up to +40 °C except for the anatoxin-a, which showed some degradation at +40 °C. These results show that a fit-for-purpose matrix RM for cyanotoxins can be prepared using the processes and techniques applied in this work. PMID:25929442

  6. Occurrence and elimination of cyanobacterial toxins in drinking water treatment plants

    SciTech Connect

    Hoeger, Stefan J.; Hitzfeld, Bettina C.; Dietrich, Daniel R

    2005-03-15

    Toxin-producing cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) are abundant in surface waters used as drinking water resources. The toxicity of one group of these toxins, the microcystins, and their presence in surface waters used for drinking water production has prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to publish a provisional guideline value of 1.0 {mu}g microcystin (MC)-LR/l drinking water. To verify the efficiency of two different water treatment systems with respect to reduction of cyanobacterial toxins, the concentrations of MC in water samples from surface waters and their associated water treatment plants in Switzerland and Germany were investigated. Toxin concentrations in samples from drinking water treatment plants ranged from below 1.0 {mu}g MC-LR equiv./l to more than 8.0 {mu}g/l in raw water and were distinctly below 1.0 {mu}g/l after treatment. In addition, data to the worldwide occurrence of cyanobacteria in raw and final water of water works and the corresponding guidelines for cyanobacterial toxins in drinking water worldwide are summarized.

  7. Photocatalytic degradation of cyanobacterial microcystin toxins in water.

    PubMed

    Shephard, G S; Stockenström, S; De Villiers, D; Engelbrecht, W J; Sydenham, E W; Wessels, G F

    1998-12-01

    The microcystins are hepatotoxins produced by a number of cyanobacterial species (blue green algae) in fresh water systems. The increasing eutrophication of natural waters has led to an increase in the incidence of algal blooms and the consequent increased risk of microcystin contamination of water resources. The removal of microcystins LR, YR and YA from contaminated water was investigated using an experimental laboratory-scale photocatalytic 'falling film' reactor in which an oxygen purge, UV radiation and semiconductor titanium dioxide (TiO2) catalyst were used to oxidatively decompose the microcystin pollutants. Preliminary studies, using algal extracts spiked into distilled water, indicated that the microcystins were rapidly decomposed in this reactor. The decomposition followed first order reaction kinetics with half-lives of less than 5 min with the reactor operating in a closed-loop mode. Reaction rates were strongly dependent on the amount of TiO2 catalyst (O-5 g/l), but only marginally influenced by a change in gas purge from oxygen to compressed air. The use of lake water, rather than distilled water, showed that this process is feasible in natural waters, although increased levels of catalyst (up to 5 g/l) were required to achieve comparable decomposition rates. PMID:9839673

  8. Potential developmental toxicity of anatoxin-a, a cyanobacterial toxin.

    PubMed

    Rogers, E H; Hunter, E S; Moser, V C; Phillips, P M; Herkovits, J; Muñoz, L; Hall, L L; Chernoff, N

    2005-01-01

    Some 2000 species of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) occur globally in aquatic habitats. They are able to survive under a wide range of environmental conditions and some produce potent toxins. Toxin production is correlated with periods of rapid growth (blooms) and 25%-70% of blooms may be toxic. Anatoxin-a is an alkaloid neurotoxin that acts as a potent neuro-muscular blocking agent at the nicotinic receptor. Acute toxicity, following consumption of contaminated water, is characterized by rapid onset of paralysis, tremors, convulsions and death. Human exposures may occur from recreational water activities and dietary supplements, but are primarily through drinking water. The current studies were conducted to examine the effect of in utero exposure on postnatal viability, growth and neurodevelopment, to evaluate the potential of in vitro embryotoxicity, and to explore the synergistic relationship between anatoxin-a and the algal toxin microcystin-LR by the oral route. The results of preliminary studies on amphibian toxicity are also reported. Time-pregnant mice received 125 or 200 microg kg(-1) anatoxin-a by intraperitoneal injection on gestation days (GD) 8-12 or 13-17. Pup viability and weight were monitored over a 6-day period. Maternal toxicity (decreased motor activity) was observed at 200 microg kg(-1) in both treatment periods. There were no significant treatment-related effects on pup viability or weight on postnatal day (PND) 1 or 6. The GD 13-17 pups were evaluated on PND 6, 12 and 20 for standard markers of neurodevelopmental maturation (righting reflex, negative geotaxis and hanging grip time). No significant postnatal neurotoxicity was observed. In vitro developmental toxicity was evaluated in GD 8 mouse embryos exposed to 0.1-25 microm anatoxin-a for 26-28 h. Perturbations in mouse yolk sac vasculature were noted from the 1.0 microm concentration in the absence of significant embryonic dysmorphology. Potential algal toxin synergism was tested in mice

  9. Determining important parameters related to cyanobacterial alkaloid toxin exposure

    SciTech Connect

    Love, A H

    2005-09-16

    Science-based decision making required robust and high-fidelity mechanistic data about the system dynamics and impacts of system changes. Alkaloid cyanotoxins have the characteristics to warrant consideration for their potential threat. Since insufficient information is available to construct a systems model for the alkaloid cyanotoxins, saxitoxins, anatoxins, and anatoxin-a(S), an accurate assessments of these toxins as a potential threat for use for intentional contamination is not possible. Alkaloid cyanotoxin research that contributed to such a model has numerous areas of overlap for natural and intentional health effects issues that generates dual improvements to the state of the science. The use of sensitivity analyses of systems models can identify parameters that, when determined, result in the greatest impact to the overall system and may help to direct the most efficient use of research funding. This type of modeling-assisted experimentation may allow rapid progress for overall system understanding compared to observational or disciplinary research agendas. Assessment and management of risk from intentional contamination can be performed with greater confidence when mechanisms are known and the relationships between different components are validated. This level of understanding allows high-fidelity assessments that do not hamper legitimate possession of these toxins for research purposes, while preventing intentional contamination that would affect public health. It also allows for appropriate response to an intentional contamination event, even if the specific contamination had not been previous considered. Development of science-based decision making tools will only improve our ability to address the new requirements addressing potential threats to our nation.

  10. Cyanobacterial Toxins as Allelochemicals with Potential Applications as Algaecides, Herbicides and Insecticides

    PubMed Central

    Berry, John P.; Gantar, Miroslav; Perez, Mario H.; Berry, Gerald; Noriega, Fernando G.

    2008-01-01

    Cyanobacteria (“blue-green algae”) from marine and freshwater habitats are known to produce a diverse array of toxic or otherwise bioactive metabolites. However, the functional role of the vast majority of these compounds, particularly in terms of the physiology and ecology of the cyanobacteria that produce them, remains largely unknown. A limited number of studies have suggested that some of the compounds may have ecological roles as allelochemicals, specifically including compounds that may inhibit competing sympatric macrophytes, algae and microbes. These allelochemicals may also play a role in defense against potential predators and grazers, particularly aquatic invertebrates and their larvae. This review will discuss the existing evidence for the allelochemical roles of cyanobacterial toxins, as well as the potential for development and application of these compounds as algaecides, herbicides and insecticides, and specifically present relevant results from investigations into toxins of cyanobacteria from the Florida Everglades and associated waterways. PMID:18728763

  11. Degradation Mechanism of Cyanobacterial Toxin Cylindrospermopsin by Hydroxyl Radicals in Homogeneous UV/H2O2 Process

    EPA Science Inventory

    The degradation of cylindrospermopsin (CYN), a widely distributed and highly toxic cyanobacterial toxin (cyanotoxin), remains poorly elucidated. In this study, the mechanism of CYN destruction by UV-254 nm/H2O2 advanced oxidation process (AOP) was investigated by mass spectrometr...

  12. A coagulation-powdered activated carbon-ultrafiltration--multiple barrier approach for removing toxins from two Australian cyanobacterial blooms.

    PubMed

    Dixon, Mike B; Richard, Yann; Ho, Lionel; Chow, Christopher W K; O'Neill, Brian K; Newcombe, Gayle

    2011-02-28

    Cyanobacteria are a major problem for the world wide water industry as they can produce metabolites toxic to humans in addition to taste and odour compounds that make drinking water aesthetically displeasing. Removal of cyanobacterial toxins from drinking water is important to avoid serious illness in consumers. This objective can be confidently achieved through the application of the multiple barrier approach to drinking water quality and safety. In this study the use of a multiple barrier approach incorporating coagulation, powdered activated carbon (PAC) and ultrafiltration (UF) was investigated for the removal of intracellular and extracellular cyanobacterial toxins from two naturally occurring blooms in South Australia. Also investigated was the impact of these treatments on the UF flux. In this multibarrier approach, coagulation was used to remove the cells and thus the intracellular toxin while PAC was used for extracellular toxin adsorption and finally the UF was used for floc, PAC and cell removal. Cyanobacterial cells were completely removed using the UF membrane alone and when used in conjunction with coagulation. Extracellular toxins were removed to varying degrees by PAC addition. UF flux deteriorated dramatically during a trial with a very high cell concentration; however, the flux was improved by coagulation and PAC addition. PMID:21227576

  13. Linking Cascading Effects of Fish Predation and Zooplankton Grazing to Reduced Cyanobacterial Biomass and Toxin Levels Following Biomanipulation

    PubMed Central

    Ekvall, Mattias K.; Urrutia-Cordero, Pablo; Hansson, Lars-Anders

    2014-01-01

    Eutrophication has been one of the largest environmental problems in aquatic ecosystems during the past decades, leading to dense, and often toxic, cyanobacterial blooms. In a way to counteract these problems many lakes have been subject to restoration through biomanipulation. Here we combine 13 years of monitoring data with experimental assessment of grazing efficiency of a naturally occurring zooplankton community and a, from a human perspective, desired community of large Daphnia to assess the effects of an altered trophic cascade associated with biomanipulation. Lake monitoring data show that the relative proportion of Daphnia spp. grazers in June has increased following years of biomanipulation and that this increase coincides with a drop in cyanobacterial biomass and lowered microcystin concentrations compared to before the biomanipulation. In June, the proportion of Daphnia spp. (on a biomass basis) went from around 3% in 2005 (the first year of biomanipulation) up to around 58% in 2012. During months when the proportion of Daphnia spp. remained unchanged (July and August) no effect on lower trophic levels was observed. Our field grazing experiment revealed that Daphnia were more efficient in controlling the standing biomass of cyanobacteria, as grazing by the natural zooplankton community never even compensated for the algal growth during the experiment and sometimes even promoted cyanobacterial growth. Furthermore, although the total cyanobacterial toxin levels remained unaffected by both grazer communities in the experimental study, the Daphnia dominated community promoted the transfer of toxins to the extracellular, dissolved phase, likely through feeding on cyanobacteria. Our results show that biomanipulation by fish removal is a useful tool for lake management, leading to a top-down mediated trophic cascade, through alterations in the grazer community, to reduced cyanobacterial biomass and lowered cyanobacterial toxin levels. This improved water

  14. Linking cascading effects of fish predation and zooplankton grazing to reduced cyanobacterial biomass and toxin levels following biomanipulation.

    PubMed

    Ekvall, Mattias K; Urrutia-Cordero, Pablo; Hansson, Lars-Anders

    2014-01-01

    Eutrophication has been one of the largest environmental problems in aquatic ecosystems during the past decades, leading to dense, and often toxic, cyanobacterial blooms. In a way to counteract these problems many lakes have been subject to restoration through biomanipulation. Here we combine 13 years of monitoring data with experimental assessment of grazing efficiency of a naturally occurring zooplankton community and a, from a human perspective, desired community of large Daphnia to assess the effects of an altered trophic cascade associated with biomanipulation. Lake monitoring data show that the relative proportion of Daphnia spp. grazers in June has increased following years of biomanipulation and that this increase coincides with a drop in cyanobacterial biomass and lowered microcystin concentrations compared to before the biomanipulation. In June, the proportion of Daphnia spp. (on a biomass basis) went from around 3% in 2005 (the first year of biomanipulation) up to around 58% in 2012. During months when the proportion of Daphnia spp. remained unchanged (July and August) no effect on lower trophic levels was observed. Our field grazing experiment revealed that Daphnia were more efficient in controlling the standing biomass of cyanobacteria, as grazing by the natural zooplankton community never even compensated for the algal growth during the experiment and sometimes even promoted cyanobacterial growth. Furthermore, although the total cyanobacterial toxin levels remained unaffected by both grazer communities in the experimental study, the Daphnia dominated community promoted the transfer of toxins to the extracellular, dissolved phase, likely through feeding on cyanobacteria. Our results show that biomanipulation by fish removal is a useful tool for lake management, leading to a top-down mediated trophic cascade, through alterations in the grazer community, to reduced cyanobacterial biomass and lowered cyanobacterial toxin levels. This improved water

  15. Cyanobacterial toxins: a qualitative meta-analysis of concentrations, dosage and effects in freshwater, estuarine and marine biota.

    PubMed

    Ibelings, Bas W; Havens, Karl E

    2008-01-01

    This paper reviews the rapidly expanding literature on the ecological effects of cyanobacterial toxins. The study employs a qualitative meta-analysis from the literature examining results from a large number of independent studies and extracts general patterns from the literature or signals contradictions. The meta-analysis is set up by putting together two large tables--embodying a large and representative part of the literature (see Appendix A). The first table (Table A.1) reviews the presence (concentrations) of different cyanobacterial toxins in the tissues of various groups of aquatic biota after exposure via different routes, experimentally in the lab or via natural routes in the environment. The second table (Table A.2) reviews the dose dependent effect of toxins on biota. The great majority of studies deal with the presence and effects of microcystin, especially of the MC-LR congener. Although this may partly be justified--MC-LR is an abundant and highly toxic protein--our review also emphasizes what is known about (i) other MC congeners (a number of studies showed a preferred accumulation of the less toxic variant MC-RR in animal tissues), (ii) nodularin (data on a range of biota from studies on the Baltic Sea), (iii) neurotoxins like anatoxin-a(s), which are conspicuously often present at times when mass mortalities of birds occur, (iv) a few studies on the presence and effects of cylindrospermposin, as well as (v) the first examples of ecological effects of newly identified bioactive compounds, like microviridin-J. Data were reorganized to assess to what extent bioconcentration (uptake and concentration of toxins from the water) or biomagnification (uptake and concentration via the food) of cyanobacterial toxins occurs in ecosystems. There is little support for the occurrence of biomagnification, and this reduces the risk for biota at higher trophic levels. Rather than biomagnification biodilution seems to occur in the foodweb with toxins being subject

  16. Guidelines for Design and Sampling for Cyanobacterial Toxin and Taste-and-Odor Studies in Lakes and Reservoirs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Graham, Jennifer L.; Loftin, Keith A.; Ziegler, Andrew C.; Meyer, Michael T.

    2008-01-01

    Cyanobacteria and associated toxins and taste-and-odor compounds are of increasing environmental concern. However, consistent guidelines for the development of studies assessing cyanobacterial toxins and taste-and-odor compounds presently are not available. This report provides guidance for the development of scientific studies of cyanobacteria and associated by-products in lakes and reservoirs. Topics include: background information on cyanobacteria, toxins, and taste-and-odor compounds; spatial and temporal considerations that are unique to the cyanobacteria in lakes and reservoirs; common study types, objectives, and approaches for studies of cyanobacteria and associated toxins and taste-and-odor compounds; general guidelines for collecting samples; and information on sample handling, preparation, processing, and shipping.

  17. TOXICITY AND RECOVERY IN THE PREGNANT MOUSE AFTER GESTATIONAL EXPOSURE TO THE CYANOBACTERIAL TOXIN, CYLINDROSPERMOPSIN

    PubMed Central

    Chernoff, N.; Rogers, E.H.; Zehr, R.D.; Gage, M.I.; Malarkey, D.E.; Bradfield, C. A.; Liu, Y.; Schmid, J.E.; Jaskot, R.H.; Richards, J.H.; Wood, C.R.; Rosen, M.B.

    2010-01-01

    Cylindrospermopsin (CYN) is a tricyclic alkaloid toxin produced by fresh water cyanobacterial species worldwide. CYN has been responsible for both livestock and human poisoning after oral exposure to CYN. This study investigated the toxicity of CYN to pregnant mice exposed during different segments of gestation. The course of recovery and individual responses to the toxin were evaluated. Adverse effects of CYN were monitored up to four weeks post dosing by clinical examination, histopathology, biochemistry, and gene expression. Exposure on gestational days (GD) 8–12 induced significantly more lethality than GD13–17 exposure. Periorbital, gastrointestinal and distal tail hemorrhages were seen in both groups. Serum markers indicative of hepatic injury (alanine amino transferase, aspartate amino transferase and sorbitol dehydrogenase) were increased in both groups; markers of renal dysfunction (blood urea nitrogen and creatinine) were elevated in the GD8–12 animals. Histopathology was observed in the liver (centrilobular necrosis) and kidney (interstitial inflammation) in groups exhibiting abnormal serum markers. The expression profiles of genes involved in ribosomal biogenesis, xenobiotic and lipid metabolism, inflammatory response and oxidative stress were altered 24 hours after the final dose. One week after dosing, gross, histological and serum parameters had returned to normal although increased liver/body weight ratio and one instance of gastrointestinal bleeding was found in the GD13–17 group. Gene expression changes persisted up to two weeks post dosing and returned to normal by four weeks. Responses of individual animals to CYN exposure indicated highly significant inter-animal variability within the treated groups. PMID:20936652

  18. Microcystins (cyanobacterial toxins) in surface waters of rural Bangladesh: pilot study.

    PubMed

    Welker, Martin; Khan, Saleha; Haque, Md Mahfuzul; Islam, Sirajul; Khan, Nurul Huda; Chorus, Ingrid; Fastner, Jutta

    2005-12-01

    In Bangladesh the exposure of millions of inhabitants to water from (shallow) tube wells contaminated with high geogenic loads of arsenic is a major concern. As an alternative to the costly drilling of deep wells, the return to the use of surface water as a source of drinking water is considered. In addition to the well-known hazards of water borne infectious diseases associated with the use of surface water, recently the potential public health implications of toxic cyanobacteria have been recognized. As a first step towards a risk assessment for cyanotoxins in Bangladesh surface waters, seston samples of 79 ponds were analysed in late summer 2002 for the presence of cyanobacteria and microcystins (MCYST), the most frequently detected cyanobacterial toxins worldwide. Microcystins could be detected in 39 ponds, mostly together with varying abundance of potentially microcystin-producing genera such as Microcystis, Planktothrix and Anabaena. Total microcystin concentrations ranged between <0.1 and > 1,000 microg l(-1), and more than half of the positive samples contained high concentrations of more than 10 microg l(-1). The results clearly show that concentrations of microcystins well above the provisional WHO guideline value of 1 microg l(-1) MCYST-LR can be frequently detected in Bangladesh ponds. Thus, an increasing use of surface water for human consumption introduces a risk of replacing one health hazard by another and therefore needs to be accompanied by cyanotoxin hazard assessments. PMID:16459839

  19. Nodularin, a cyanobacterial toxin, is synthesized in planta by symbiotic Nostoc sp.

    PubMed

    Gehringer, Michelle M; Adler, Lewis; Roberts, Alexandra A; Moffitt, Michelle C; Mihali, Troco K; Mills, Toby J T; Fieker, Claus; Neilan, Brett A

    2012-10-01

    The nitrogen-fixing bacterium, Nostoc, is a commonly occurring cyanobacterium often found in symbiotic associations. We investigated the potential of cycad cyanobacterial endosymbionts to synthesize microcystin/nodularin. Endosymbiont DNA was screened for the aminotransferase domain of the toxin biosynthesis gene clusters. Five endosymbionts carrying the gene were screened for bioactivity. Extracts of two isolates inhibited protein phosphatase 2A and were further analyzed using electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS)/MS. Nostoc sp. 'Macrozamia riedlei 65.1' and Nostoc sp. 'Macrozamia serpentina 73.1' both contained nodularin. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) HESI-MS/MS analysis confirmed the presence of nodularin at 9.55±2.4 ng μg-1 chlorophyll a in Nostoc sp. 'Macrozamia riedlei 65.1' and 12.5±8.4 ng μg-1 Chl a in Nostoc sp. 'Macrozamia serpentina 73.1' extracts. Further scans indicated the presence of the rare isoform [L-Har(2)] nodularin, which contains L-homoarginine instead of L-arginine. Nodularin was also present at 1.34±0.74 ng ml(-1) (approximately 3 pmol per g plant ww) in the methanol root extracts of M. riedlei MZ65, while the presence of [L-Har(2)] nodularin in the roots of M. serpentina MZ73 was suggested by HPLC HESI-MS/MS analysis. The ndaA-B and ndaF genomic regions were sequenced to confirm the presence of the hybrid polyketide/non-ribosomal gene cluster. A seven amino-acid insertion into the NdaA-C1 domain of N. spumigena NSOR10 protein was observed in all endosymbiont-derived sequences, suggesting the transfer of the nda cluster from N. spumigena to terrestrial Nostoc species. This study demonstrates the synthesis of nodularin and [L-Har(2)] nodularin in a non-Nodularia species and the production of cyanobacterial hepatotoxin by a symbiont in planta. PMID:22456448

  20. The cyanobacterial toxin, cylindrospermopsin, induces fetal toxicity in the mouse after exposure late in gestation.

    PubMed

    Rogers, E H; Zehr, R D; Gage, M I; Humpage, A R; Falconer, I R; Marr, M; Chernoff, N

    2007-05-01

    Cylindrospermopsin (cyn) is a cyanobacterial toxin implicated in human and wildlife poisonings. We have completed studies investigating the potential of purified cyn to induce developmental toxicity in mammals. The teratology study involved intraperitoneal injections (8.0-128 microg kg(-1)) on gestational days (GD) 8-12 with subsequent examination of term fetuses for viability, weight and morphological anomalies. Cyn was lethal to a significant portion of the dams receiving > or = 32 microg kg(-1). Surviving pregnant females were killed and fetuses removed for examination. Analysis indicates no adverse effects on litter size, fetal weight, or incidence of anomalies. Subsequently, 50 microg kg(-1) cyn was administered on GD 8-12 or 13-17. Animals were allowed to give birth and litters monitored for growth and viability. A reduction in litter size occurred in treated groups. Avg. pup wt. was only affected in the GD 13-17 group. GD 13-17 dams did not exhibit the toxicity noted in the GD 8-12 group but gave birth significantly earlier than controls. There was a significant number of dead GD 13-17 pups and incidences of blood in the gastrointestinal tract and hematomas in the tips of the tails in survivors. Pups were cross-fostered to control mothers in litters of 10. On postnatal days (PND) 5-6 there were no significant differences in weight gain or viability in GD 8-12 litters, while GD 13-17 litters had significantly reduced weight gain and viability. GD 13-17 exposed male pups still weighed significantly less than the controls after 15 months. PMID:17292934

  1. The Geographic Distribution of Liver Cancer in Canada Does Not Associate with Cyanobacterial Toxin Exposure

    PubMed Central

    Labine, Meaghan A.; Green, Chris; Mak, Giselle; Xue, Lin; Nowatzki, Janet; Griffith, Jane; Minuk, Gerald Y.

    2015-01-01

    Background: The incidence of liver cancer has been increasing in Canada over the past decade, as has cyanobacterial contamination of Canadian freshwater lakes and drinking water sources. Cyanotoxins released by cyanobacteria have been implicated in the pathogenesis of liver cancer. Objective: To determine whether a geographic association exists between liver cancer and surrogate markers of cyanobacterial contamination of freshwater lakes in Canada. Methods: A negative binomial regression model was employed based on previously identified risk factors for liver cancer. Results: No association existed between the geographic distribution of liver cancer and surrogate markers of cyanobacterial contamination. As predicted, significant associations existed in areas with a high prevalence of hepatitis B virus infection, large immigrant populations and urban residences. Discussion and Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that cyanobacterial contamination of freshwater lakes does not play an important role in the increasing incidence of liver cancer in Canada. PMID:26633441

  2. The Course of Toxicity in the Pregnant Mouse after Exposure to the Cyanobacterial Toxin, Cylindrospermopsin: Clinical Effects, Serum Chemistries, Hematology and Histopathology

    EPA Science Inventory

    Cylindrospermopsin (CYN) is a toxin produced by a wide variety of fresh water cyanobacterial species worldwide and induces significant adverse effects in both livestock and humans. This study investigated the course of CYN-induced toxicity in pregnant mice exposed during either t...

  3. Assessment of the mutagenic and genotoxic activity of cyanobacterial toxin beta-N-methyl-amino-L-alanine in Salmonella typhimurium.

    PubMed

    Novak, Matjaž; Hercog, Klara; Žegura, Bojana

    2016-08-01

    A neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (L-BMAA) is a non-protein amino acid produced by most cyanobacteria ubiquitously present in aquatic and terrestrial environments. Due to its global presence in surface waters, a widespread human exposure is possible and therefore this toxin represents a health risk for humans and animals. L-BMAA has been linked to the development of a variety of neurodegenerative diseases. Its neurotoxic activity has been extensively studied, while nothing is known on its genotoxic properties. In the present study we evaluated for the first time L-BMAA mutagenic potential using Ames assay on several Salmonella typhimurium strains (TA97a, TA98, TA100, TA102 and TA1535). The results showed that the toxin (up to 0.9 mg/plate) did not induce mutations without or with S9 metabolic activation. Its genotoxic activity was further studied with the SOS/umuC assay on S. typhimurium TA1535/pSK1002 and the results showed that it was not cytotoxic nor genotoxic for bacteria. The present study represents the first evidence that L-BMAA is not mutagenic nor genotoxic for bacteria even at concentrations much higher than those typically found in the environment. However, as most of the cyanobacterial toxins are not bacterial mutagens it is very important to further elucidate its genotoxic activity in eukaryotic cells. PMID:27137670

  4. Toxicological aspects of treatment to remove cyanobacterial toxins from drinking water determined using the heterozygous P53 transgenic mouse model.

    PubMed

    Senogles-Derham, P-J; Seawright, A; Shaw, G; Wickramisingh, W; Shahin, M

    2003-06-01

    The presence of toxic cyanobacteria in drinking water reservoirs renders the need to develop treatment methods for the 'safe' removal of their associated toxins. Chlorine has been shown to successfully remove a range of cyanotoxins including microcystins, cylindrospermopsin and saxitoxins. Each cyanotoxin requires specific treatment parameters, particularly solution pH and free chlorine residual. However, currently there has not been any investigation into the toxicological effect of solutions treated for the removal of these cyanotoxins by chlorine. Using the P53(def) transgenic mouse model male and female C57BL/6J hybrid mice were used to investigate potential cancer inducing effects from such oral dosing solutions. Both purified cyanotoxins and toxic cell-free extract cyanobacterial solutions were chlorinated and administered over 90 and 170 days (respectively) in drinking water. No increase in cancer was found in any treatment. The parent cyanotoxins, microcystins, cylindrospermopsin and saxitoxins were readily removed by chlorine. There was no significant increase in the disinfection by-products trihalomethanes or haloacetic acids, levels found were well below guideline values. Histological examination identified no effect of treatment solutions except male mice treated with chlorinated cylindrospermopsin (as a cell free extract). In this instance 40% of males were found to have fatty vacuolation in their livers, cause unknown. It is recommended that further toxicology be undertaken on chlorinated cyanobacterial solutions, particularly for non-genotoxic carcinogenic compounds, for example the Tg. AC transgenic mouse model. PMID:12875872

  5. Identification of Microcystis aeruginosa Peptides Responsible for Allergic Sensitization and Characterization of Functional Interactions between Cyanobacterial Toxins and Immunogenic Peptides

    PubMed Central

    Geh, Esmond N.; Ghosh, Debajyoti; McKell, Melanie; de la Cruz, Armah A.; Stelma, Gerard

    2015-01-01

    Background The cyanobacterium species Microcystis aeruginosa produces microcystin and an array of diverse metabolites believed responsible for their toxicity and/or immunogenicity. Previously, chronic rhinitis patients were demonstrated to elicit a specific IgE response to nontoxic strains of M. aeruginosa by skin-prick testing, indicating that cyanobacteria allergenicity resides in a non-toxin–producing component of the organism. Objectives We sought to identify and characterize M. aeruginosa peptide(s) responsible for allergic sensitization in susceptible individuals, and we investigated the functional interactions between cyanobacterial toxins and their coexpressed immunogenic peptides. Methods Sera from patients and extracts from M. aeruginosa toxic [MC(+)] and nontoxic [MC(–)] strains were used to test IgE-specific reactivity by direct and indirect ELISAs; 2D gel electrophoresis, followed by immunoblots and mass spectrometry (MS), was performed to identify the relevant sensitizing peptides. Cytotoxicity and mediator release assays were performed using the MC(+) and MC(–) lysates. Results We found specific IgE to be increased more in response to the MC(–) strain than the MC(+) strain. This response was inhibited by preincubation of MC(–) lysate with increasing concentrations of microcystin. MS revealed that phycocyanin and the core-membrane linker peptide are the responsible allergens, and MC(–) extracts containing these proteins induced β-hexosaminidase release in rat basophil leukemia cells. Conclusions Phycobiliprotein complexes in M. aeruginosa have been identified as the relevant sensitizing proteins. Our finding that allergenicity is inhibited in a dose-dependent manner by microcystin toxin suggests that further investigation is warranted to understand the interplay between immunogenicity and toxicity of cyanobacteria under diverse environmental conditions. Citation Geh EN, Ghosh D, McKell M, de la Cruz AA, Stelma G, Bernstein JA. 2015

  6. Accumulation and depuration of cyanobacterial paralytic shellfish toxins by the freshwater mussel Anodonta cygnea.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Paulo; Dias, Elsa; Franca, Susana; Pereira, Elisa; Carolino, Manuela; Vasconcelos, Vitor

    2004-07-14

    The increasing frequency by which the production of paralytic shellfish toxins (PST) by freshwater bloom-forming cyanobacteria is being noticed world-wide raises the possibility of PST bioaccumulation by freshwater mussels. This study evaluates PST accumulation and depuration by the freshwater mussel Anodonta cygnea exposed over a 14-day period to high densities (mean = 1.4 x 10(9) cells1(-1), S.D. = 0.29 x 10(9) cellsl(-1)) of the toxic cyanobacterium Aphanizomenon issatschenkoi (corresponding to a mean toxin concentration of 25.5 nmol PSTl(-1), S.D. = 9.9 nmol PSTl(-1)). Mussels were subsequently detoxified either by starvation or by feeding on the non-toxic green-algae Ankistodesmus falcatus. Filter feeding activity and toxin uptake by the mussels were followed by cell counting and toxin analysis in water samples taken before and after each daily water renewal. The accumulation and depuration of PST as well as the anatomical distribution of toxins were monitored throughout the experiment by HPLC analysis of mussel extracts. Mussels fed the toxic cyanobacterium removed on average 65.3% of cells and 40.36% of total PST daily provided. Daily rates of cell clearance (% of initial) were negatively correlated with the amounts of PST daily provided (but not with the amount of cells). This suggests a negative effect of toxins on the feeding behaviour of mussels. Small amounts of toxins could be detected in the mussels after the second day of exposure, reaching a maximum of 26 microg PST100 g(-1) by day 7. The viscera contained the greatest proportion of toxins (78%) at the start of the toxification. However, increasing amounts of PST were found in the remaining tissues (gills, mantle and foot) over time. Toxins detected in the mussel extracts were the same provided in the dietary A. issatschenkoi. Nevertheless, mussels showed a higher proportion of saxitoxin and decarbomoylsaxitoxin and a lower proportion of gonyautoxin-5 than the fed cyanobacterium. Similar depuration

  7. Cyanobacterial Cells and Toxins:Evaluating Source Water Trends and Propagation through Lake Erie Treatment Facilities

    EPA Science Inventory

    Harmful algal blooms (HABs), and their associated toxins, in fresh water lakes and reservoirs are drawing the attention of utilities and state regulators nation-wide. Recognizing the potential health and economic consequences, the US Environmental Protection Agency, in partnersh...

  8. subsection{Fate of the cyanobacterial toxin Microcystin-LR during bank filtration - column experiments and modelling}

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerstenberg, Karen; Nützmann, Gunnar

    2010-05-01

    Over the past several years there has been an increasing interest in microcystins and other cyanobacterial toxins in surface waters and oxic groundwater. Since these compounds are strong hepatotoxic agents their presence in surface water is undesirable and can especially cause health problems if the contaminated surface water is used for drinking water abstraction by bank filtration. During the subsurface sediment passage microcystins are biodegraded by adapted microorganisms in a co-metabolic way together with other compounds - a process which causes depletion of oxygen in the sediment and production of anoxic zones in the underground. Presence or absence of oxygen as electron acceptor for microbial energetic metabolism is a crucial factor for degradation. Up to now most studies focused on the fate of microcystin under oxic conditions. But if during bank filtration anoxic zones occur, these approaches cannot be used for description and prediction of transport and degradation processes of microcystin in bank filtration sites. For a better understanding of anoxic degradation of microcystins during subsurface sediment passage laboratory column experiments were designed to simulate the transport and degradation conditions in the aquifer. In small columns of about 20 cm length different cyanobacterial concentrations and potential electron acceptors are adjusted. The outflowing water was analyzed with respect to Microcystin-LR and the main ion concentrations. Transport and sorption parameters were investigated by flow experiments, and quantification of the main parameters was done by inverse modelling using a MATLAB inverse transport model. Flow and sorption experiments reconfirmed that Microcystin-LR does not tend to sorb to the sandy material. Considering the anoxic degradation behaviour of the toxin the redox state of the system was assumed to be the most important factor and therefore varied during the experiments by adding supplemental nitrate or nitrite. The

  9. The fate of the cyanobacterial toxin β-N-methylamino-L-alanine in freshwater mussels.

    PubMed

    Downing, Simoné; Contardo-Jara, Valeska; Pflugmacher, Stephan; Downing, Timothy Grant

    2014-03-01

    The cyanobacterial neurotoxin, β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA) has been suggested as a causative agent for certain neurodegenerative diseases. This cyanotoxin bioaccumulates in an array of aquatic organisms, in which it occurs as both a free amino acid and in a protein-associated form. This study was intended to investigate the environmental fate of BMAA by examining the metabolism of isotopically labeled BMAA in four freshwater mussel species. All species showed substantial uptake of BMAA from the culture media. Data showed no significant evidence for BMAA catabolism in any of the animals but did suggest metabolism via the reversible covalent modification of BMAA in freshwater mussels, a process that appears to be variable in different species. PMID:24507126

  10. Inactivation Kinetics of the Cyanobacterial Toxin Microcystin-LR by Free Chlorine

    EPA Science Inventory

    Worldwide, the increasing occurrence of toxins produced by cyanobacteria in water bodies used as source waters for drinking water has become an important public health issue. Microcystin-LR is one of the most commonly found cyanotoxins. A detailed evaluation of the free chlorine ...

  11. Immunoassays and Biosensors for the Detection of Cyanobacterial Toxins in Water

    PubMed Central

    Weller, Michael G.

    2013-01-01

    Algal blooms are a frequent phenomenon in nearly all kinds of fresh water. Global warming and eutrophication by waste water, air pollution and fertilizers seem to lead to an increased frequency of occurrence. Many cyanobacteria produce hazardous and quite persistent toxins, which can contaminate the respective water bodies. This may limit the use of the raw water for many purposes. The purification of the contaminated water might be quite costly, which makes a continuous and large scale treatment economically unfeasible in many cases. Due to the obvious risks of algal toxins, an online or mobile detection method would be highly desirable. Several biosensor systems have been presented in the literature for this purpose. In this review, their mode of operation, performance and general suitability for the intended purpose will be described and critically discussed. Finally, an outlook on current developments and future prospects will be given. PMID:24196435

  12. On the Chemistry, Toxicology and Genetics of the Cyanobacterial Toxins, Microcystin, Nodularin, Saxitoxin and Cylindrospermopsin

    PubMed Central

    Pearson, Leanne; Mihali, Troco; Moffitt, Michelle; Kellmann, Ralf; Neilan, Brett

    2010-01-01

    The cyanobacteria or “blue-green algae”, as they are commonly termed, comprise a diverse group of oxygenic photosynthetic bacteria that inhabit a wide range of aquatic and terrestrial environments, and display incredible morphological diversity. Many aquatic, bloom-forming species of cyanobacteria are capable of producing biologically active secondary metabolites, which are highly toxic to humans and other animals. From a toxicological viewpoint, the cyanotoxins span four major classes: the neurotoxins, hepatotoxins, cytotoxins, and dermatoxins (irritant toxins). However, structurally they are quite diverse. Over the past decade, the biosynthesis pathways of the four major cyanotoxins: microcystin, nodularin, saxitoxin and cylindrospermopsin, have been genetically and biochemically elucidated. This review provides an overview of these biosynthesis pathways and additionally summarizes the chemistry and toxicology of these remarkable secondary metabolites. PMID:20559491

  13. Neonatal exposure to the cyanobacterial toxin BMAA induces changes in protein expression and neurodegeneration in adult hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Karlsson, Oskar; Berg, Anna-Lena; Lindström, Anna-Karin; Hanrieder, Jörg; Arnerup, Gunnel; Roman, Erika; Bergquist, Jonas; Lindquist, Nils Gunnar; Brittebo, Eva B; Andersson, Malin

    2012-12-01

    The cyanobacterial toxin β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) has been proposed to contribute to neurodegenerative disease. We have previously reported a selective uptake of BMAA in the mouse neonatal hippocampus and that exposure during the neonatal period causes learning and memory impairments in adult rats. The aim of this study was to characterize effects in the brain of 6-month-old rats treated neonatally (postnatal days 9-10) with the glutamatergic BMAA. Protein changes were examined using the novel technique Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization (MALDI) imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) for direct imaging of proteins in brain cryosections, and histological changes were examined using immunohistochemistry and histopathology. The results showed long-term changes including a decreased expression of proteins involved in energy metabolism and intracellular signaling in the adult hippocampus at a dose (150 mg/kg) that gave no histopathological lesions in this brain region. Developmental exposure to a higher dose (460 mg/kg) also induced changes in the expression of S100β, histones, calcium- and calmodulin-binding proteins, and guanine nucleotide-binding proteins. At this dose, severe lesions in the adult hippocampus including neuronal degeneration, cell loss, calcium deposits, and astrogliosis were evident. The data demonstrate subtle, sometimes dose-dependent, but permanent effects of a lower neonatal dose of BMAA in the adult hippocampus suggesting that BMAA could potentially disturb many processes during the development. The detection of BMAA in seafood stresses the importance of evaluating the magnitude of human exposure to this neurotoxin. PMID:22872059

  14. Occupational and environmental hazard assessments for the isolation, purification and toxicity testing of cyanobacterial toxins

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Cyanobacteria can produce groups of structurally and functionally unrelated but highly potent toxins. Cyanotoxins are used in multiple research endeavours, either for direct investigation of their toxicologic properties, or as functional analogues for various biochemical and physiological processes. This paper presents occupational safety guidelines and recommendations for personnel working in field, laboratory or industrial settings to produce and use purified cyanotoxins and toxic cyanobacteria, from bulk harvesting of bloom material, mass culture of laboratory isolates, through routine extraction, isolation and purification. Oral, inhalational, dermal and parenteral routes are all potential occupational exposure pathways during the various stages of cyanotoxin production and application. Investigation of toxicologic or pharmacologic properties using in vivo models may present specific risks if radiolabelled cyanotoxins are employed, and the potential for occupational exposure via the dermal route is heightened with the use of organic solvents as vehicles. Inter- and intra-national transport of living cyanobacteria for research purposes risks establishing feral microalgal populations, so disinfection of culture equipment and destruction of cells by autoclaving, incineration and/or chlorination is recommended in order to prevent viable cyanobacteria from escaping research or production facilities. PMID:19925679

  15. Occupational and environmental hazard assessments for the isolation, purification and toxicity testing of cyanobacterial toxins.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Ian; Carmichael, Wayne W; Sadler, Ross; McGregor, Glenn B; Reardon, Karen; Eaglesham, Geoffrey K; Wickramasinghe, Wasantha A; Seawright, Alan A; Shaw, Glen R

    2009-01-01

    Cyanobacteria can produce groups of structurally and functionally unrelated but highly potent toxins. Cyanotoxins are used in multiple research endeavours, either for direct investigation of their toxicologic properties, or as functional analogues for various biochemical and physiological processes. This paper presents occupational safety guidelines and recommendations for personnel working in field, laboratory or industrial settings to produce and use purified cyanotoxins and toxic cyanobacteria, from bulk harvesting of bloom material, mass culture of laboratory isolates, through routine extraction, isolation and purification. Oral, inhalational, dermal and parenteral routes are all potential occupational exposure pathways during the various stages of cyanotoxin production and application. Investigation of toxicologic or pharmacologic properties using in vivo models may present specific risks if radiolabelled cyanotoxins are employed, and the potential for occupational exposure via the dermal route is heightened with the use of organic solvents as vehicles. Inter- and intra-national transport of living cyanobacteria for research purposes risks establishing feral microalgal populations, so disinfection of culture equipment and destruction of cells by autoclaving, incineration and/or chlorination is recommended in order to prevent viable cyanobacteria from escaping research or production facilities. PMID:19925679

  16. Supported liquid membrane-liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis of cyanobacterial toxins in fresh water systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mbukwa, Elbert A.; Msagati, Titus A. M.; Mamba, Bhekie B.

    Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are increasingly becoming of great concern to water resources worldwide due to indiscriminate waste disposal habits resulting in water pollution and eutrophication. When cyanobacterial cells lyse (burst) they release toxins called microcystins (MCs) that are well known for their hepatotoxicity (causing liver damage) and have been found in eutrophic lakes, rivers, wastewater ponds and other water reservoirs. Prolonged exposure to low concentrated MCs are equally of health importance as they are known to be bioaccumulative and even at such low concentration do exhibit toxic effects to aquatic animals, wildlife and human liver cells. The application of common treatment processes for drinking water sourced from HABs infested reservoirs have the potential to cause algal cell lyses releasing low to higher amounts of MCs in finished water. Trace microcystins in water/tissue can be analyzed and quantified using Liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS) following solid-phase extraction (SPE) sample clean-up procedures. However, extracting MCs from algal samples which are rich in chlorophyll pigments and other organic matrices the SPE method suffers a number of drawbacks, including cartridge clogging, long procedural steps and use of larger volumes of extraction solvents. We applied a supported liquid membrane (SLM) based technique as an alternative sample clean-up method for LC-ESI-MS analysis of MCs from both water and algal cells. Four (4) MC variants (MC-RR, -YR, -LR and -WR) from lyophilized cells of Microcystis aeruginosa and water collected from a wastewater pond were identified) and quantified using LC-ESI-MS following a SLM extraction and liquid partitioning step, however, MC-WR was not detected from water extracts. Within 45 min of SLM extraction all studied MCs were extracted and pre-concentrated in approximately 15 μL of an acceptor phase at an optimal pH 2.02 of the donor phase (sample). The highest

  17. Effects on growth and physiological parameters in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) grown in soil and irrigated with cyanobacterial toxin contaminated water.

    PubMed

    Pflugmacher, Stephan; Hofmann, Jeannette; Hübner, Bettina

    2007-12-01

    The present study investigates the germination and growth of Triticum aestivum exposed to two different microcystins (microcystin-LR [where the two variable places in the toxin molecule are leucine (L) and arginine (R) (MC-LR)] and microcystin-RR) and to cell-free cyanobacterial crude extract containing MC-LR. The concentration of the microcystins was set to 0.5 microg L(-1) and therefore is in the range of concentrations normally detected in the environment. In three experiments, the inhibition of germination, the inhibition of root and shoot development, photosynthesis, and activity of oxidative stress-response enzymes, such as glutathione-S-transferase, glutathione peroxidase, and glutathione reductase, were measured. All plants were placed in pots containing normal garden soil to investigate the effects of soil in the uptake of toxin by Triticum aestivum. The results showed clear effects on the morphology of roots and shoots, which were inhibited in exposures with cyanotoxins and crude extract. The inhibition of photosynthesis and the elevation of antioxidative-response enzymes indicate the generation of reactive oxygen species due to the exposure to the toxins resulting in oxidative stress for the plants. PMID:18020690

  18. SURFACTANT TEMPLATED SOL-GEL SYNTHESIS OF MESOPOROUS TIO2 PHOTOCATALYSTS AND THEIR APPLICATION IN THE DESTRUCTION OF CYANOBACTERIAL TOXINS

    EPA Science Inventory

    In the symposium, we will present the synthesis and properties of the mesoporous TIO2 films and membranes and fundamental and systematic study on the decomposition pathway of such biological toxins.

  19. Toxicity of microcystin-LR, a cyanobacterial toxin, to multiple life stages of the burrowing mayfly, Hexagenia, and possible implications for recruitment.

    PubMed

    Smith, Juliette L; Boyer, Gregory L; Mills, Edward; Schulz, Kimberly L

    2008-08-01

    Burrowing mayflies, genus Hexagenia, were extirpated from the major water bodies of North America in the early 1950s, paralleling an increase in eutrophication and organic pollution, and a decrease in dissolved oxygen concentrations. Burrowing mayflies recolonized the western basin of Lake Erie, but remain absent in other former habitats such as Oneida Lake, New York. Eutrophication is commonly associated with a shift in the phytoplankton community toward dominance by cyanobacteria, and therefore, one class of cyanobacterial toxins, microcystins, were investigated as a contributing factor to Hexagenia's eradication or as an impediment to recolonization. Laboratory experiments were conducted to determine if microcystin-LR (MC-LR) produced negative effects on Hexagenia at three points within its life cycle: egg, hatchling nymph (<24-h old, <1 mm total length), and pre-emergence nymph (>17 mm). Treatment concentrations ranged from the guideline set by the World Health Organization for drinking water (0.001 microg mL(-1)) to 0.1 microg mL(-1) for the egg experiment and 10 microg mL(-1) for the nymph trials. Eggs showed a delay in hatching and an altered distribution of hatching over the study period when submerged in 0.1 microg mL(-1) MC-LR (an elevated concentration representative of bloom scum). The 72-h (1.1 microg mL(-1)) and 96-h (0.049 microg mL(-1)) LC(50) values for hatchling nymphs exceeded typical bloom concentrations of North American lakes, (0.01 microg mL(-1)). Large nymphs were more tolerant of the toxin, as indicated by 100% survival over seven days exposure to 10 microg mL(-1), suggesting older larvae can withstand brief encounters with high microcystin levels for at least short periods of time. The sensitivity of young nymphs and eggs to MC-LR may have implications for the recruitment of the genus in water bodies with persistent summer cyanobacterial blooms. PMID:18246549

  20. Mesoporous nitrogen-doped TiO2 for the photocatalytic destruction of the cyanobacterial toxin microcystin-LR under visible light irradiation.

    PubMed

    Choi, Hyeok; Antoniou, Maria G; Pelaez, Miguel; De la Cruz, Armah A; Shoemaker, Jody A; Dionysiou, Dionysios D

    2007-11-01

    The presence of the harmful cyanobacterial toxins in water resources worldwide drives the development of an innovative and practical water treatment technology with great urgency. This study deals with two important aspects: the fabrication of mesoporous nitrogen-doped TiO2 (N-TiO2) photocatalysts and their environmental application for the destruction of microcystin-LR (MC-LR) under visible light. In a nanotechnological sol-gel synthesis method, a nitrogen-containing surfactant (dodecylammonium chloride) was introduced as a pore templating material for tailor-designing the structural properties of TiO2 and as a nitrogen dopant for its visible light response. The resulting N-TiO2 exhibited significantly enhanced structural properties including 2-8 nm mesoporous structure (porosity 44%) and high surface area of 150 m2/g. Red shift in light absorbance up to 468 nm, 0.9 eV lower binding energy of electrons in Ti 2p state, and reduced interplanar distance of crystal lattices proved nitrogen doping in the TiO2 lattice. Due to its narrow band gap at 2.65 eV, N-TiO2 efficiently degraded MC-LR under visible spectrum above 420 nm. Acidic condition (pH 3.5) was more favorable for the adsorption and photocatalytic degradation of MC-LR on N-TiO2 due to electrostatic attraction forces between negatively charged MC-LR and +6.5 mV charged N-TiO2. Even under UV light, MC-LR was decomposed 3-4 times faster using N-TiO2 than control TiO2. The degradation pathways and reaction intermediates of MC-LR were not directly related to the energy source for TiO2 activation (UV and visible) and nature of TiO2 (neat and nitrogen-doped). This study implies a strong possibility for the in situ photocatalytic remediation of contaminated water with cyanobacterial toxins and other toxic compounds using solar light, a sustainable source of energy. PMID:18044537

  1. The removal of endocrine disrupting compounds, pharmaceutically activated compounds and cyanobacterial toxins during drinking water preparation using activated carbon--a review.

    PubMed

    Delgado, Luis F; Charles, Philippe; Glucina, Karl; Morlay, Catherine

    2012-10-01

    This paper provides a review of recent scientific research on the removal by activated carbon (AC) in drinking water (DW) treatment of 1) two classes of currently unregulated trace level contaminants with potential chronic toxicity-pharmaceutically activate compounds (PhACs) and endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs); 2) cyanobacterial toxins (CyBTs), which are a group of highly toxic and regulated compounds (as microcystin-LR); and 3) the above mentioned compounds by the hybrid system powdered AC/membrane filtration. The influence of solute and AC properties, as well as the competitive effect from background natural organic matter on the adsorption of such trace contaminants, are also considered. In addition, a number of adsorption isotherm parameters reported for PhACs, EDCs and CyBTs are presented herein. AC adsorption has proven to be an effective removal process for such trace contaminants without generating transformation products. This process appears to be a crucial step in order to minimize PhACs, EDCs and CyBTs in finished DW, hence calling for further studies on AC adsorption removal of these compounds. Finally, a priority chart of PhACs and EDCs warranting further study for the removal by AC adsorption is proposed based on the compounds' structural characteristics and their low removal by AC compared to the other compounds. PMID:22885596

  2. Single and combined exposure to MC-LR and BMAA confirm suitability of Aegagropila linnaei for use in green liver systems(®)-A case study with cyanobacterial toxins.

    PubMed

    Contardo-Jara, Valeska; Kuehn, Sandra; Pflugmacher, Stephan

    2015-08-01

    The filamentous green algae Aegagropila linnaei was tested for its uptake capacity of the cyanobacterial toxins microcystin-LR (MC-LR) and β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA) in order to approve the suitability of its use in the Green Liver System(®). Uptake into the algae and toxin reduction in the medium were analyzed by LC-MS/MS after static exposure for one week to 20μgL(-1) MC-LR, 80μgL(-1) BMAA, and 20μgL(-1) MC-LR together with 80μgL(-1) BMAA, respectively. BMAA was effectively removed by A. linnaei within 5 days compared to only around 35% removal of the initial exposure concentration in the case of MC-LR, independent of the application mode, in single or in a mixture. However, differences were found for BMAA amounts taken up into the tissue in that it was higher if applied in combination with MC-LR. Additionally, physiological responses such as the activity of biotransformation enzyme glutathione S-transferase (GST), antioxidant enzymes peroxidase (POD) and catalase (CAT) as well as the development of the reactive oxygen species hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) were compared between the different treatment groups in order to determine possible harmful effects of the toxin exposure on the algae. In contrast to the toxin exposure to a single toxin with no significant enzymatic response, exposure to the toxin mixture provoked an immediate increase in GST and CAT activity after one day as well as after longer exposure for one week, hinting on an enhanced need for prevention against exposure derived reactive oxygen species as well as putative biotransformation attempts in a mixture exposure scenario. PMID:26037095

  3. Destruction of cyanobacterial toxin cylindrospermopsin by hydroxyl radicals and sulfate radicals using UV-254 nm activation of hydrogen peroxide, persulfate and peroxymonosulfate

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract: With increasing worldwide incidence of toxic cyanobacterial blooms in bodies of water, cylindrospermopsin (CYN) has become a significant concern to public health and water management officials. In this study, the removal of CYN by UV-254 nm-mediated advanced oxidation ...

  4. Ligand-binding assays for cyanobacterial neurotoxins targeting cholinergic receptors.

    PubMed

    Aráoz, Rómulo; Vilariño, Natalia; Botana, Luis M; Molgó, Jordi

    2010-07-01

    Toxic cyanobacterial blooms are a threat to public health because of the capacity of some cyanobacterial species to produce potent hepatotoxins and neurotoxins. Cyanobacterial neurotoxins are involved in the rapid death of wild and domestic animals by targeting voltage gated sodium channels and cholinergic synapses, including the neuromuscular junction. Anatoxin-a and its methylene homologue homoanatoxin-a are potent agonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Since the structural determination of anatoxin-a, several mass spectrometry-based methods have been developed for detection of anatoxin-a and, later, homoanatoxin-a. Mass spectrometry-based techniques provide accuracy, precision, selectivity, sensitivity, reproducibility, adequate limit of detection, and structural and quantitative information for analyses of cyanobacterial anatoxins from cultured and environmental cyanobacterial samples. However, these physicochemical techniques will only detect known toxins for which toxin standards are commercially available, and they require highly specialized laboratory personnel and expensive equipment. Receptor-based assays are functional methods that are based on the mechanism of action of a class of toxins and are thus, suitable tools for survey of freshwater reservoirs for cyanobacterial anatoxins. The competition between cyanobacterial anatoxins and a labelled ligand for binding to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors is measured radioactively or non-radioactively providing high-throughput screening formats for routine detection of this class of neurotoxins. The mouse bioassay is the method of choice for marine toxin monitoring, but has to be replaced by fully validated functional methods. In this paper we review the ligand-binding assays developed for detection of cyanobacterial and algal neurotoxins targeting the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and for high-throughput screening of novel nicotinic agents. PMID:20238109

  5. Quality measures of imaging mass spectrometry aids in revealing long-term striatal protein changes induced by neonatal exposure to the cyanobacterial toxin β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA).

    PubMed

    Karlsson, Oskar; Bergquist, Jonas; Andersson, Malin

    2014-01-01

    Many pathological processes are not directly correlated to dramatic alterations in protein levels. The changes in local concentrations of important proteins in a subset of cells or at specific loci are likely to play a significant role in disease etiologies, but the precise location might be unknown, or the concentration might be too small to be adequately sampled for traditional proteomic techniques. Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) is a unique analytical method that combines analysis of multiple molecular species and of their distribution in a single platform. As reproducibility is essential for successful biomarker discovery, it is important to systematically assess data quality in biologically relevant MALDI IMS experiments. In the present study, we applied four simple tools to study the reproducibility for individual sections, within-group variation, and between-group variation of data acquired from brain sections of 21 animals divided into three treatment groups. We also characterized protein changes in distinct regions of the striatum from six-month-old rats treated neonatally (postnatal days 9-10) with the cyanobacterial toxin β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA), which has been implicated in neurodegenerative diseases. The results showed that optimized experimental settings can yield high-quality MALDI IMS data with relatively low variation (14% to 15% coefficient of variance) that allow the characterization of subtle changes in protein expression in various subregions of the brain. This was further exemplified by the dose-dependent reduction of myelin basic protein in the caudate putamen and the nucleus accumbens of adult rats neonatally treated with BMAA (150 and 460 mg/kg). The reduction in myelin basic protein was confirmed through immunohistochemistry and indicates that developmental exposure to BMAA may induce structural effects on axonal growth and/or directly on the proliferation of oligodendrocytes

  6. Quality Measures of Imaging Mass Spectrometry Aids in Revealing Long-term Striatal Protein Changes Induced by Neonatal Exposure to the Cyanobacterial Toxin β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA)*

    PubMed Central

    Karlsson, Oskar; Bergquist, Jonas; Andersson, Malin

    2014-01-01

    Many pathological processes are not directly correlated to dramatic alterations in protein levels. The changes in local concentrations of important proteins in a subset of cells or at specific loci are likely to play a significant role in disease etiologies, but the precise location might be unknown, or the concentration might be too small to be adequately sampled for traditional proteomic techniques. Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) is a unique analytical method that combines analysis of multiple molecular species and of their distribution in a single platform. As reproducibility is essential for successful biomarker discovery, it is important to systematically assess data quality in biologically relevant MALDI IMS experiments. In the present study, we applied four simple tools to study the reproducibility for individual sections, within-group variation, and between-group variation of data acquired from brain sections of 21 animals divided into three treatment groups. We also characterized protein changes in distinct regions of the striatum from six-month-old rats treated neonatally (postnatal days 9–10) with the cyanobacterial toxin β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA), which has been implicated in neurodegenerative diseases. The results showed that optimized experimental settings can yield high-quality MALDI IMS data with relatively low variation (14% to 15% coefficient of variance) that allow the characterization of subtle changes in protein expression in various subregions of the brain. This was further exemplified by the dose-dependent reduction of myelin basic protein in the caudate putamen and the nucleus accumbens of adult rats neonatally treated with BMAA (150 and 460 mg/kg). The reduction in myelin basic protein was confirmed through immunohistochemistry and indicates that developmental exposure to BMAA may induce structural effects on axonal growth and/or directly on the proliferation of oligodendrocytes

  7. Ecotoxicological effects of selected cyanobacterial secondary metabolites a short review

    SciTech Connect

    Wiegand, C. . E-mail: cwiegand@igb-berlin.de; Pflugmacher, S. . E-mail: pflugmacher@igb-berlin.de

    2005-03-15

    Cyanobacteria are one of the most diverse groups of gram-negative photosynthetic prokaryotes. Many of them are able to produce a wide range of toxic secondary metabolites. These cyanobacterial toxins can be classified in five different groups: hepatotoxins, neurotoxins, cytotoxins, dermatotoxins, and irritant toxins (lipopolysaccharides). Cyanobacterial blooms are hazardous due to this production of secondary metabolites and endotoxins, which could be toxic to animals and plants. Many of the freshwater cyanobacterial blooms include species of the toxigenic genera Microcystis, Anabaena, or Plankthotrix. These compounds differ in mechanisms of uptake, affected organs, and molecular mode of action. In this review, the main focus is the aquatic environment and the effects of these toxins to the organisms living there. Some basic toxic mechanisms will be discussed in comparison to the mammalian system.

  8. Detection of cylindrospermopsin toxin markers in cyanobacterial algal blooms using analytical pyrolysis (Py-GC/MS) and thermally-assisted hydrolysis and methylation (TCh-GC/MS).

    PubMed

    Ríos, V; Prieto, Ana I; Cameán, Ana M; González-Vila, F J; de la Rosa, J M; Vasconcelos, Vitor; González-Pérez, J A

    2014-08-01

    The hepatotoxin cylindrospermopsin (CYN) is produced by freshwater cyanobacteria becoming an emerging threat for human health. Methods for the rapid determination of CYN in environmental samples are needed. Conventional analytical pyrolysis (Py-GC/MS) and thermally-assisted hydrolysis and methylation (TCh-GC/MS) were used to study a CYN standard, two Aphanizomenon ovalisporum cultures (CYN+) and one culture of Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii (CYN-). A micro-furnace pyrolyzer was used directly attached to a GC/MS system fitted with a 30 m × 250 μm × 0.25 μm film thickness column (14% cyanopropyl phenyl, 86% dimethyl polysiloxane pahase composition). Oven temperature was held at 50 °C for 1 min and increased to 100 °C at 30 °C min(-1), from 100 °C to 300 °C at 10 °C min(-1), and stabilized at 300 °C for 10 min using helium (1 mL min(-1)) as carrier gas. Pyrolysis at 500 °C yield over 70 compounds with 20 specific for CYN+ samples. Two peaks containing a diagnostic fragment (m/z 194) were found at 25.0 and 28.9 min only in CYN+ samples. Fewer peaks with limited diagnostic value were released after TCh-GC/MS, including breakdown products and TMAH adducts. A compound was detected that may correspond to the CYN molecule (MW 415 Da) thermoevaporation product after the loss of SO3 (MW 80 Da). This TCh-GC/MS peak (m/z 336) together with the fragments obtained by conventional Py-GC/MS (m/z 194) are diagnostic ions with potential use for the direct detection of CYN toxin in environmental samples at last with an estimated 5 ppm detection threshold. PMID:24530162

  9. Cyanobacterial lipopolysaccharides and human health – a review

    PubMed Central

    Stewart, Ian; Schluter, Philip J; Shaw, Glen R

    2006-01-01

    Cyanobacterial lipopolysaccharide/s (LPS) are frequently cited in the cyanobacteria literature as toxins responsible for a variety of heath effects in humans, from skin rashes to gastrointestinal, respiratory and allergic reactions. The attribution of toxic properties to cyanobacterial LPS dates from the 1970s, when it was thought that lipid A, the toxic moiety of LPS, was structurally and functionally conserved across all Gram-negative bacteria. However, more recent research has shown that this is not the case, and lipid A structures are now known to be very different, expressing properties ranging from LPS agonists, through weak endotoxicity to LPS antagonists. Although cyanobacterial LPS is widely cited as a putative toxin, most of the small number of formal research reports describe cyanobacterial LPS as weakly toxic compared to LPS from the Enterobacteriaceae. We systematically reviewed the literature on cyanobacterial LPS, and also examined the much lager body of literature relating to heterotrophic bacterial LPS and the atypical lipid A structures of some photosynthetic bacteria. While the literature on the biological activity of heterotrophic bacterial LPS is overwhelmingly large and therefore difficult to review for the purposes of exclusion, we were unable to find a convincing body of evidence to suggest that heterotrophic bacterial LPS, in the absence of other virulence factors, is responsible for acute gastrointestinal, dermatological or allergic reactions via natural exposure routes in humans. There is a danger that initial speculation about cyanobacterial LPS may evolve into orthodoxy without basis in research findings. No cyanobacterial lipid A structures have been described and published to date, so a recommendation is made that cyanobacteriologists should not continue to attribute such a diverse range of clinical symptoms to cyanobacterial LPS without research confirmation. PMID:16563160

  10. Eutrophic urban ponds suffer from cyanobacterial blooms: Dutch examples.

    PubMed

    Waajen, Guido W A M; Faassen, Elisabeth J; Lürling, Miquel

    2014-01-01

    Ponds play an important role in urban areas. However, cyanobacterial blooms counteract the societal need for a good water quality and pose serious health risks for citizens and pets. To provide insight into the extent and possible causes of cyanobacterial problems in urban ponds, we conducted a survey on cyanobacterial blooms and studied three ponds in detail. Among 3,500 urban ponds in the urbanized Dutch province of North Brabant, 125 showed cyanobacterial blooms in the period 2009-2012. This covered 79% of all locations registered for cyanobacterial blooms, despite the fact that urban ponds comprise only 11% of the area of surface water in North Brabant. Dominant bloom-forming genera in urban ponds were Microcystis, Anabaena and Planktothrix. In the three ponds selected for further study, the microcystin concentration of the water peaked at 77 μg l(-1) and in scums at 64,000 μg l(-1), which is considered highly toxic. Microcystin-RR and microcystin-LR were the most prevalent variants in these waters and in scums. Cyanobacterial chlorophyll-a peaked in August with concentrations up to 962 μg l(-1) outside of scums. The ponds were highly eutrophic with mean total phosphorus concentrations between 0.16 and 0.44 mg l(-1), and the sediments were rich in potential releasable phosphorus. High fish stocks dominated by carp lead to bioturbation, which also favours blooms. As urban ponds in North Brabant, and likely in other regions, regularly suffer from cyanobacterial blooms and citizens may easily have contact with the water and may ingest cyanobacterial material during recreational activities, particularly swimming, control of health risk is of importance. Monitoring of cyanobacteria and cyanobacterial toxins in urban ponds is a first step to control health risks. Mitigation strategies should focus on external sources of eutrophication and consider the effect of sediment P release and bioturbation by fish. PMID:24798921

  11. Cyanobacterial NADPH dehydrogenase complexes

    SciTech Connect

    Ogawa, Teruo; Mi, Hualing

    2007-07-01

    Cyanobacteria possess functionally distinct multiple NADPH dehydrogenase (NDH-1) complexes that are essential to CO2 uptake, photosystem-1 cyclic electron transport and respiration. The unique nature of cyanobacterial NDH-1 complexes is the presence of subunits involved in CO2 uptake. Other than CO2 uptake, chloroplastic NDH-1 complex has similar role as cyanobacterial NDH-1 complexes in photosystem-1 cyclic electron transport and respiration (chlororespiration). In this mini-review we focus on the structure and function of cyanobacterial NDH-1 complexes and their phylogeny. The function of chloroplastic NDH-1 complex and characteristics of plants defective in NDH-1 are also described forcomparison.

  12. Cyanobacterial toxins: a growing environmental concern.

    PubMed

    Haider, Shamama; Naithani, Vijay; Viswanathan, P N; Kakkar, Poonam

    2003-07-01

    Unusual blooms of toxic cyanobacteria in water bodies have drawn attention of environmentalists world over. Major blooms of Anabaena, Microcystis and Nodularia in water storage reservoirs, rivers and lakes leading to adverse health effects have been reported from Australia, England and many other parts of the world. An overview of the morphology and taxonomy of these toxic blue-green algae; their possible sources of contamination including dietary supplements and their potential to cause hepatotoxicity and neurotoxicity is given in this review. A detailed description of different cyanotoxins, and their mode of action has also been compiled. Reports of acute and chronic exposure to these toxic algae and their health effects on unsuspecting population along with a critical evaluation of efficacy of water treatment procedures to control them is presented here. PMID:12729683

  13. Status, Alert System, and Prediction of Cyanobacterial Bloom in South Korea

    PubMed Central

    Srivastava, Ankita; Ahn, Chi-Yong; Asthana, Ravi Kumar; Lee, Hyung-Gwan; Oh, Hee-Mock

    2015-01-01

    Bloom-forming freshwater cyanobacterial genera pose a major ecological problem due to their ability to produce toxins and other bioactive compounds, which can have important implications in illnesses of humans and livestock. Cyanobacteria such as Microcystis, Anabaena, Oscillatoria, Phormidium, and Aphanizomenon species producing microcystins and anatoxin-a have been predominantly documented from most South Korean lakes and reservoirs. With the increase in frequency of such blooms, various monitoring approaches, treatment processes, and prediction models have been developed in due course. In this paper we review the field studies and current knowledge on toxin producing cyanobacterial species and ecological variables that regulate toxin production and bloom formation in major rivers (Han, Geum, Nakdong, and Yeongsan) and reservoirs in South Korea. In addition, development of new, fast, and high-throughput techniques for effective monitoring is also discussed with cyanobacterial bloom advisory practices, current management strategies, and their implications in South Korean freshwater bodies. PMID:25705675

  14. Cyanobacterial Neurotoxin BMAA and Mercury in Sharks.

    PubMed

    Hammerschlag, Neil; Davis, David A; Mondo, Kiyo; Seely, Matthew S; Murch, Susan J; Glover, William Broc; Divoll, Timothy; Evers, David C; Mash, Deborah C

    2016-01-01

    Sharks have greater risk for bioaccumulation of marine toxins and mercury (Hg), because they are long-lived predators. Shark fins and cartilage also contain β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA), a ubiquitous cyanobacterial toxin linked to neurodegenerative diseases. Today, a significant number of shark species have found their way onto the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Many species of large sharks are threatened with extinction due in part to the growing high demand for shark fin soup and, to a lesser extent, for shark meat and cartilage products. Recent studies suggest that the consumption of shark parts may be a route to human exposure of marine toxins. Here, we investigated BMAA and Hg concentrations in fins and muscles sampled in ten species of sharks from the South Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. BMAA was detected in all shark species with only seven of the 55 samples analyzed testing below the limit of detection of the assay. Hg concentrations measured in fins and muscle samples from the 10 species ranged from 0.05 to 13.23 ng/mg. These analytical test results suggest restricting human consumption of shark meat and fins due to the high frequency and co-occurrence of two synergistic environmental neurotoxic compounds. PMID:27537913

  15. Cyanobacterial Neurotoxin BMAA and Mercury in Sharks

    PubMed Central

    Hammerschlag, Neil; Davis, David A.; Mondo, Kiyo; Seely, Matthew S.; Murch, Susan J.; Glover, William Broc; Divoll, Timothy; Evers, David C.; Mash, Deborah C.

    2016-01-01

    Sharks have greater risk for bioaccumulation of marine toxins and mercury (Hg), because they are long-lived predators. Shark fins and cartilage also contain β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA), a ubiquitous cyanobacterial toxin linked to neurodegenerative diseases. Today, a significant number of shark species have found their way onto the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Many species of large sharks are threatened with extinction due in part to the growing high demand for shark fin soup and, to a lesser extent, for shark meat and cartilage products. Recent studies suggest that the consumption of shark parts may be a route to human exposure of marine toxins. Here, we investigated BMAA and Hg concentrations in fins and muscles sampled in ten species of sharks from the South Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. BMAA was detected in all shark species with only seven of the 55 samples analyzed testing below the limit of detection of the assay. Hg concentrations measured in fins and muscle samples from the 10 species ranged from 0.05 to 13.23 ng/mg. These analytical test results suggest restricting human consumption of shark meat and fins due to the high frequency and co-occurrence of two synergistic environmental neurotoxic compounds. PMID:27537913

  16. Transcriptional and posttranscriptional regulation of cyanobacterial photosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Wilde, Annegret; Hihara, Yukako

    2016-03-01

    Cyanobacteria are well established model organisms for the study of oxygenic photosynthesis, nitrogen metabolism, toxin biosynthesis, and salt acclimation. However, in comparison to other model bacteria little is known about regulatory networks, which allow cyanobacteria to acclimate to changing environmental conditions. The current work has begun to illuminate how transcription factors modulate expression of different photosynthetic regulons. During the past few years, the research on other regulatory principles like RNA-based regulation showed the importance of non-protein regulators for bacterial lifestyle. Investigations on modulation of photosynthetic components should elucidate the contributions of all factors within the context of a larger regulatory network. Here, we focus on regulation of photosynthetic processes including transcriptional and posttranscriptional mechanisms, citing examples from a limited number of cyanobacterial species. Though, the general idea holds true for most species, important differences exist between various organisms, illustrating diversity of acclimation strategies in the very heterogeneous cyanobacterial clade. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Organization and dynamics of bioenergetic systems in bacteria, edited by Prof Conrad Mullineaux. PMID:26549130

  17. THE TRPV1 RECEPTOR: THE INTERAGENCY, INTERNATION SYMPOSIUM ON CYANOBACTERIAL HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Background and Significance

    Evidence indicates that the frequency of occurrence of cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (CHABs) is increasing in spatial and temporal extent in the US and worldwide. Cyanotoxins are among the most potent toxins known, causing death through ...

  18. Characterization of microcystin production in an Antarctic cyanobacterial mat community.

    PubMed

    Jungblut, Anne-Dorothee; Hoeger, Stefan J; Mountfort, Doug; Hitzfeld, Bettina C; Dietrich, Daniel R; Neilan, Brett A

    2006-03-01

    Cyanobacteria are well known for their production of non-ribosomal cyclic peptide toxins, including microcystin, in temperate and tropical regions, however, the production of these compounds in extremely cold environments is still largely unexplored. Therefore, we investigated the production of protein phosphatase inhibiting microcystins by Antarctic cyanobacteria. We have identified microcystin-LR and for the first time [D-Asp3] microcystin-LR by mass spectrometric analysis in Antarctic cyanobacteria. The microcystins were extracted from a benthic microbial community that was sampled from a meltwater pond (Fresh Pond, McMurdo Ice Shelf, Antarctica). The extracted cyanobacterial cyclic peptides were equivalent to 11.4 ng MC-LR per mg dry weight by semi-quantitative analyses using HPLC-DAD and the protein phosphatase inhibition assay. Furthermore, we were able to identify the presence of cyanobacterial non-ribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) and polyketide synthase (PKS) genes in total DNA extracts from the mat community. PMID:16386280

  19. Proteomic Analysis of Hepatic Tissue of Cyprinus carpio L. Exposed to Cyanobacterial Blooms in Lake Taihu, China

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Jinlin; Wang, Xiaorong; Shan, Zhengjun; Yang, Liuyan; Zhou, Junying; Bu, Yuanqin

    2014-01-01

    With the rapid development of industry and agriculture and associated pollution, the cyanobacterial blooms in Lake Taihu have become a major threat to aquatic wildlife and human health. In this study, the ecotoxicological effects of cyanobacterial blooms on cage-cultured carp (Cyprinus carpio L.) in Meiliang Bay of Lake Taihu were investigated. Microcystins (MCs), major cyanobacterial toxins, have been detected in carp cultured at different experimental sites of Meiliang Bay. We observed that the accumulation of MCs in carp was closely associated with several environmental factors, including temperature, pH value, and density of cyanobacterial blooms. The proteomic profile of carp liver exposed to cyanobacterial blooms was analyzed using two-dimensional difference in-gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) and mass spectrometry. The toxic effects of cyanobacterial blooms on carp liver were similar to changes caused by MCs. MCs were transported into liver cells and induced the excessive production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). MCs and ROS inhibited protein phosphatase and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), directly or indirectly resulting in oxidative stress and disruption of the cytoskeleton. These effects further interfered with metabolic pathways in the liver through the regulation of series of related proteins. The results of this study indicated that cyanobacterial blooms pose a major threat to aquatic wildlife in Meiliang Bay in Lake Taihu. These results provided evidence of the molecular mechanisms underlying liver damage in carp exposed to cyanobacterial blooms. PMID:24558380

  20. Extraction of cyanobacterial endotoxin.

    PubMed

    Papageorgiou, John; Linke, Thomas A; Kapralos, Con; Nicholson, Brenton C; Steffensen, Dennis A

    2004-02-01

    To simplify our efforts in acquiring toxicological information on endotoxins produced by cyanobacteria, a method development study was undertaken to identify relatively hazard-free and efficient procedures for their extraction. One article sourced and two novel methods were evaluated for their ability to extract lipopolysaccharides (LPSs) or endotoxins from cyanobacteria. The Limulus polyphemus amoebocyte lysate (LAL) assay was employed to compare the performance of a novel method utilizing a 1-butanol-water (HBW) solvent system to that of Westphal's (1965) phenol-water system (HPW) for the extraction of endotoxin from various cyanobacteria. The traditional HPW method extracted from 3- to 12-fold more endotoxin from six different cyanobacterial blooms and culture materials than did the novel HBW method. In direct contrast, the novel HBW method extracted ninefold more endotoxin from a non-microcystin producing Microcystis aeruginosa culture as compared to the HPW method. A solvent system utilizing N,N'-dimethylformamide-water (HDW) was compared to both the HPW and HBW methods for the extraction of endotoxin from natural samples of Anabaena circinalis, Microcystis flos-aquae, and a 1:1 mixture of Microcystis aeruginosa/Microcystisflos-aquae. The LAL activities of these extracts showed that the novel HDW method extracted two- and threefold more endotoxin from the Anabaena sample that did the HBW and HPW methods, respectively. The HDW method also extracted approximately 1.5-fold more endotoxin from the Microcystis flos-aquae sample as compared to both the HBW and HPW methods. On the other hand, the HBW method extracted 2- and 14-fold more endotoxin from the Microcystis flos-aquae/Microcystis aeruginosa mixture than did the HPW and HDW methods, respectively. Results of this study demonstrate that significant disparities exist between the physicochemical properties of the cell wall constituents not only of different cyanobacterial species but also of different strains of

  1. State of knowledge and concerns on cyanobacterial blooms and cyanotoxins.

    PubMed

    Merel, Sylvain; Walker, David; Chicana, Ruth; Snyder, Shane; Baurès, Estelle; Thomas, Olivier

    2013-09-01

    Cyanobacteria are ubiquitous microorganisms considered as important contributors to the formation of Earth's atmosphere and nitrogen fixation. However, they are also frequently associated with toxic blooms. Indeed, the wide range of hepatotoxins, neurotoxins and dermatotoxins synthesized by these bacteria is a growing environmental and public health concern. This paper provides a state of the art on the occurrence and management of harmful cyanobacterial blooms in surface and drinking water, including economic impacts and research needs. Cyanobacterial blooms usually occur according to a combination of environmental factors e.g., nutrient concentration, water temperature, light intensity, salinity, water movement, stagnation and residence time, as well as several other variables. These environmental variables, in turn, have promoted the evolution and biosynthesis of strain-specific, gene-controlled metabolites (cyanotoxins) that are often harmful to aquatic and terrestrial life, including humans. Cyanotoxins are primarily produced intracellularly during the exponential growth phase. Release of toxins into water can occur during cell death or senescence but can also be due to evolutionary-derived or environmentally-mediated circumstances such as allelopathy or relatively sudden nutrient limitation. Consequently, when cyanobacterial blooms occur in drinking water resources, treatment has to remove both cyanobacteria (avoiding cell lysis and subsequent toxin release) and aqueous cyanotoxins previously released. Cells are usually removed with limited lysis by physical processes such as clarification or membrane filtration. However, aqueous toxins are usually removed by both physical retention, through adsorption on activated carbon or reverse osmosis, and chemical oxidation, through ozonation or chlorination. While the efficient oxidation of the more common cyanotoxins (microcystin, cylindrospermopsin, anatoxin and saxitoxin) has been extensively reported, the chemical

  2. Cyanobacteria, Toxins and Indicators: Full-Scale Monitoring & Bench-Scale Treatment Studies

    EPA Science Inventory

    Summary of: 1) Lake Erie 2014 bloom season full-scale treatment plant monitoring data for cyanobacteria and cyanobacteria toxins; 2) Follow-up work to examine the impact of pre-oxidation on suspensions of intact toxin-producing cyanobacterial cells.

  3. Molecular characterization of cyanobacterial diversity in Lake Gregory, Sri Lanka

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magana-Arachchi, Dhammika; Wanigatunge, Rasika; Liyanage, Madhushankha

    2011-07-01

    Eutrophication or the process of nutrient enrichment of stagnant waters due to excessive use of fertilizer is becoming a critical issue worldwide. Lake Gregory, an artificial lake situated in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka was once a very attractive landscape feature and recreational area attracting a large number of visitors. Rapid urbanization in surrounding areas and the consequent intensification of agricultural and industrial activities led to eutrophication and siltation in the lake. Present study was conducted to detect cyanobacterial diversity and their ability to produce hepatotoxic microcystins using polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based techniques. Twenty five water samples (surface and bottom) were collected from the lake and total nitrogen and total carbon were estimated. Cyanobacterial cultures were grown in appropriate media and microscopic observations were used to determine the morphological diversity of cyanobacteria isolated from different sites. Genomic DNA was isolated and purified from cyanobacteria using Boom's method. DNA samples were analyzed by PCR with oligonucleotide primers for 16S rRNA gene and mcyA gene of the operon that encodes a microcystin synthetase. The 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed the presences of cyanobacteria belong to Synechococcus sp., Microcystis aeruginosa, Calothrix sp., Leptolyngbya sp., Limnothrix sp., order Oscillatoriales and order Chroococcales. The sequences obtained from this study were deposited in the database under the accession numbers (GenBank: GU368104-GU368116). PCR amplification of mcyA primers indicated the potential for toxin formation of isolated M. aeruginosa from Lake Gregory. This preliminary study shows that the Lake Gregory is under the potential risk of cyanobacterial toxicity. Clearly more work is needed to extend this finding and clarify if other cyanobacterial isolates have genetic potential to produce microcystin since this lake is utilized for recreational activities.

  4. The Role of Nitrogen Fixation in Cyanobacterial Bloom Toxicity in a Temperate, Eutrophic Lake

    PubMed Central

    Beversdorf, Lucas J.; Miller, Todd R.; McMahon, Katherine D.

    2013-01-01

    Toxic cyanobacterial blooms threaten freshwaters worldwide but have proven difficult to predict because the mechanisms of bloom formation and toxin production are unknown, especially on weekly time scales. Water quality management continues to focus on aggregated metrics, such as chlorophyll and total nutrients, which may not be sufficient to explain complex community changes and functions such as toxin production. For example, nitrogen (N) speciation and cycling play an important role, on daily time scales, in shaping cyanobacterial communities because declining N has been shown to select for N fixers. In addition, subsequent N pulses from N2 fixation may stimulate and sustain toxic cyanobacterial growth. Herein, we describe how rapid early summer declines in N followed by bursts of N fixation have shaped cyanobacterial communities in a eutrophic lake (Lake Mendota, Wisconsin, USA), possibly driving toxic Microcystis blooms throughout the growing season. On weekly time scales in 2010 and 2011, we monitored the cyanobacterial community in a eutrophic lake using the phycocyanin intergenic spacer (PC-IGS) region to determine population dynamics. In parallel, we measured microcystin concentrations, N2 fixation rates, and potential environmental drivers that contribute to structuring the community. In both years, cyanobacterial community change was strongly correlated with dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) concentrations, and Aphanizomenon and Microcystis alternated dominance throughout the pre-toxic, toxic, and post-toxic phases of the lake. Microcystin concentrations increased a few days after the first significant N2 fixation rates were observed. Then, following large early summer N2 fixation events, Microcystis increased and became most abundant. Maximum microcystin concentrations coincided with Microcystis dominance. In both years, DIN concentrations dropped again in late summer, and N2 fixation rates and Aphanizomenon abundance increased before the lake mixed in

  5. Acute, chronic and reproductive toxicity of complex cyanobacterial blooms in Daphnia magna and the role of microcystins.

    PubMed

    Smutná, Marie; Babica, Pavel; Jarque, Sergio; Hilscherová, Klára; Maršálek, Blahoslav; Haeba, Maher; Bláha, Ludek

    2014-03-01

    Toxic cyanobacterial blooms are a global threat to human health and aquatic biota. While the ecotoxicity of cyanobacterial toxins such as microcystins has been studied extensively, little is known about the risks they pose in the wild, i.e. within complex biomasses. In this work, crustaceans (Daphnia magna) were exposed to varying concentrations (0-405 mg d.w L(-1)) of eight complex cyanobacterial water bloom samples in a series of acute (48 h) and chronic (21 day) toxicity experiments. Further acute and chronic exposure assays were performed using aqueous extracts of the crude biomass samples and two fractions prepared by solid phase extraction (SPE) of the aqueous extracts. The cyanobacterial biomasses differed with respect to their dominant cyanobacterial species and microcystin contents. High acute toxicity was observed for 6 of the 8 crude biomass samples. Chronic exposure assays were performed using one complex biomass sample and its various subsamples/fractions. The complex biomass, the crude aqueous extract, and the microcystin-free SPE permeate all elicited similar and significant lethal effects, with LC50 values of around 35.6 mg biomass d.w L(-1) after 21 days. The cyanobacterial biomass samples also affected reproductive health, significantly increasing the time to the first brood (LOEC = 45 mg d.w L(-1) exposure) and inhibiting fecundity by 50% at 15 mg d.w L(-1). Conversely, the microcystin-containing C18-SPE eluate fraction had only weak effects in the chronic assay. These results indicate that cyanobacterial water blooms are highly toxic to zooplankton (both acutely and chronically) at environmentally relevant concentrations. However, the effects observed in the acute and chronic assays were independent of the samples' microcystin contents. Our results thus point out the importance of other cyanobacterial components such as lipopolysaccharides, various peptides and depsipeptides, polar alkaloid metabolites or other unidentified metabolites in the

  6. Effect of Environmental Factors on Cyanobacterial Abundance and Cyanotoxins Production in Natural and Drinking Water, Bangladesh.

    PubMed

    Affan, Abu; Khomavis, Hisham S; Al-Harbi, Salim Marzoog; Haque, Mahfuzul; Khan, Saleha

    2015-02-01

    Cyanobacterial blooms commonly appear during the summer months in ponds, lakes and reservoirs in Bangladesh. In these areas, fish mortality, odorous water and fish and human skin irritation and eye inflammation have been reported. The influence of physicochemical factors on the occurrence of cyanobacteria and its toxin levels were evaluated in natural and drinking water in Bangladesh. A highly sensitive immunosorbent assay was used to detect microcystins (MCs). Cyanobacteria were found in 22 of 23 samples and the dominant species were Microcystis aeruginosa, followed by Microcystisflosaquae, Anabeana crassa and Aphanizomenon flosaquae. Cyanobacterial abundance varied from 39 to 1315 x 10(3) cells mL(-1) in natural water and 31 to 49 x 10(3) cells mL(-1) in tap water. MC concentrations were 25-82300 pg mL(-1) with the highest value measured in the fish research pond, followed by Ishakha Lake. In tap water, MC concentrations ranged from 30-32 pg mL(-1). The correlation between nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) concentration and cyanobacterial cell abundance was R2 = 0.62 while that between cyanobacterial abundance and MC concentration was R2 = 0.98. The increased NO3-N from fish feed, organic manure, poultry and dairy farm waste and fertilizer from agricultural land eutrophicated the water bodies and triggered cyanobacterial bloom formation. The increased amount of cyanobacteria produced MCs, subsequently reducing the water quality. PMID:26364354

  7. Toxic cyanobacterial breakthrough and accumulation in a drinking water plant: a monitoring and treatment challenge.

    PubMed

    Zamyadi, Arash; MacLeod, Sherri L; Fan, Yan; McQuaid, Natasha; Dorner, Sarah; Sauvé, Sébastien; Prévost, Michèle

    2012-04-01

    The detection of cyanobacteria and their associated toxins has intensified in recent years in both drinking water sources and the raw water of drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs). The objectives of this study were to: 1) estimate the breakthrough and accumulation of toxic cyanobacteria in water, scums and sludge inside a DWTP, and 2) to determine whether chlorination can be an efficient barrier to the prevention of cyanotoxin breakthrough in drinking water. In a full scale DWTP, the fate of cyanobacteria and their associated toxins was studied after the addition of coagulant and powdered activated carbon, post clarification, within the clarifier sludge bed, after filtration and final chlorination. Elevated cyanobacterial cell numbers (4.7 × 10(6)cells/mL) and total microcystins concentrations (up to 10 mg/L) accumulated in the clarifiers of the treatment plant. Breakthrough of cells and toxins in filtered water was observed. Also, a total microcystins concentration of 2.47 μg/L was measured in chlorinated drinking water. Cyanobacterial cells and toxins from environmental bloom samples were more resistant to chlorination than results obtained using laboratory cultured cells and dissolved standard toxins. PMID:22137293

  8. Rapid, multiplex-tandem PCR assay for automated detection and differentiation of toxigenic cyanobacterial blooms.

    PubMed

    Baker, Louise; Sendall, Barbara C; Gasser, Robin B; Menjivar, Toni; Neilan, Brett A; Jex, Aaron R

    2013-01-01

    Cyanobacterial blooms are a major water quality issue and potential public health risk in freshwater, marine and estuarine ecosystems globally, because of their potential to produce cyanotoxins. To date, a significant challenge in the effective management of cyanobacterial has been an inability of classical microscopy-based approaches to consistently and reliably detect and differentiate toxic from non-toxic blooms. The potential of cyanobacteria to produce toxins has been linked to the presence of specific biosynthetic gene clusters. Here, we describe the application of a robotic PCR-based assay for the semi-automated and simultaneous detection of toxin biosynthesis genes of each of the toxin classes characterized to date for cyanobacteria [i.e., microcystins (MCYs), nodularins (NODs), cylindrospermopsins (CYNs) and paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs)/saxitoxins (SXTs)]. We demonstrated high sensitivity and specificity for each assay using well-characterized, cultured isolates, and establish its utility as a quantitative PCR using DNA, clone and cell-based dilution series. In addition, we used 206 field-collected samples and 100 known negative controls to compare the performance of each assay with conventional PCR and direct toxin detection. We report a diagnostic specificity of 100% and a sensitivity of ≥97.7% for each assay. PMID:23850895

  9. Occurrence, Monitoring and Treatment of Cyanobacterial Toxins in Drinking Water

    EPA Science Inventory

    In the summer of 2014 a number of drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs) on Lake Erie supplied water samples on a monthly basis for analysis. Chlorophyll-a measurements, LC/MS/MS and ELISA techniques specific to microcystins were employed to measure potential harmful algal bloom...

  10. Determination of the cyanobacterial toxin cylindrospermopsin in algal food supplements

    PubMed Central

    Liu, H.; Scott, P.M.

    2011-01-01

    For the analysis of blue–green algal food supplements for cylindrospermopsin (CYN), a C18 solid-phase extraction column and a polygraphitized carbon solid-phase extraction column in series was an effective procedure for the clean-up of extracts. Determination of CYN was by liquid chromatography with ultraviolet light detection. At extract spiking levels of CYN equivalent to 25–500 μg g−1, blue–green algal supplement recoveries were in the range 70–90%. CYN was not detected in ten samples of food supplements and one chocolate product, all containing blue–green algae. The limit of detection for the method was 16 μg g−1, and the limit of quantification was 52 μg g−1. PMID:21623503

  11. POTENTIAL DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY OF ANATOXIN-A, A CYANOBACTERIAL TOXIN

    EPA Science Inventory

    Anatoxin-a acts as a neuro-muscular blocking agent. Acute toxicity is characterized by rapid onset of paralysis, tremors, convulsions, and death. Human exposures may occur from recreational water activities and dietary supplements, but are primarily through drinking water. The...

  12. CO-OCCURRENCE OF WHITE SHRIMP, PENAEUS VANNAMEI, MORTALITIES AND MICROCYSTIN TOXIN IN A SOUTHEASTERN USA SHRIMP FACILITY

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Various freshwater and marine algal toxins are known to affect plants, fishes, mammals, and invertebrates. During recent mortality events in Texas white shrimp aquaculture ponds, water and shrimp tissue samples were analyzed for cyanobacterial toxins and found to contain microcystin-LR. Cyanoprokar...

  13. Could the presence of larger fractions of non-cyanobacterial species be used as a predictor of microcystin production under variable nutrient regimes?

    PubMed

    Sinang, Som Cit; Reichwaldt, Elke S; Ghadouani, Anas

    2015-07-01

    The occurrence of cyanobacteria and microcystin is highly dynamic in natural environments and poses one of the biggest challenges to water resource management. While a number of drivers are known to be responsible for the occurrence of cyanobacterial blooms, the drivers of microcystin production are not adequately known. This study aims to quantify the effects of the changes in the structures of phytoplankton and cyanobacterial communities on the dynamics of microcystin production under highly variable nutrient concentration. In our study, nutrient variability could explain 64% of the variability in microcystin production. When changes in the fractions of non-cyanobacteria versus cyanobacteria genera were additionally included, 80% of the variability in microcystin production could be explained; under high nutrient concentrations, non-cyanobacterial phytoplankton groups were dominant over cyanobacteria and cyanobacteria produced more toxins. In contrast, changes in the cyanobacterial community structures could only explain a further 4% of the dynamics of microcystin production. As such, the dominance of non-cyanobacterial groups appears to be a useful factor to explain microcystin occurrence in addition to traditionally used factors such as absolute cyanobacterial cell numbers, especially when the nutrient regime is taken into account. This information could help to further refine the risk assessment frameworks which are currently used to manage the risk posed by cyanobacterial blooms. PMID:26122127

  14. Cyanotoxin mixtures and taste-and-odor compounds in cyanobacterial blooms from the midwestern united states

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Graham, J.L.; Loftin, K.A.; Meyer, M.T.; Ziegler, A.C.

    2010-01-01

    The mixtures of toxins and taste-and-odor compounds present during cyanobacterial blooms are not well characterized and of particular concern when evaluating potential human health risks. Cyanobacterial blooms were sampled in twenty-three Midwestern United States lakes and analyzed for community composition, thirteen cyanotoxins by liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry and immunoassay, and two taste-and-odor compounds by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Aphanizomenon, Cylindrospermopsis and/or Microcystis were dominant in most (96%) blooms, but community composition was not strongly correlated with toxin and taste-and-odor occurrence. Microcystins occurred in all blooms. Total microcystin concentrations measured by liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry and immunoassay were linearly related (rs = 0.76, p < 0.01) and LC/MS/MS concentrations were lower than or similar to ELISA in most (85%) samples. Geosmin (87%), 2-methylisoborneol (39%), anatoxin-a (30%), saxitoxins (17%), cylindrospermopsins (9%), and nodularin-R (9%) also were present in these blooms. Multiple classes of cyanotoxins occurred in 48% of blooms and 95% had multiple microcystin variants. Toxins and taste-and-odor compounds frequently co-occurred (91% of blooms), indicating odor may serve as a warning that cyanotoxins likely are present. However, toxins occurred more frequently than taste-and-odor compounds, so odor alone does not provide sufficient warning to ensure human-health protection. ?? This article not subject to U.S. Copyright. Published 2010 by the American Chemical Society.

  15. Cyanotoxin mixtures and taste-and-odor compounds in cyanobacterial blooms from the Midwestern United States.

    PubMed

    Graham, Jennifer L; Loftin, Keith A; Meyer, Michael T; Ziegler, Andrew C

    2010-10-01

    The mixtures of toxins and taste-and-odor compounds present during cyanobacterial blooms are not well characterized and of particular concern when evaluating potential human health risks. Cyanobacterial blooms were sampled in twenty-three Midwestern United States lakes and analyzed for community composition, thirteen cyanotoxins by liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry and immunoassay, and two taste-and-odor compounds by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Aphanizomenon, Cylindrospermopsis and/or Microcystis were dominant in most (96%) blooms, but community composition was not strongly correlated with toxin and taste-and-odor occurrence. Microcystins occurred in all blooms. Total microcystin concentrations measured by liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry and immunoassay were linearly related (r(s) = 0.76, p < 0.01) and LC/MS/MS concentrations were lower than or similar to ELISA in most (85%) samples. Geosmin (87%), 2-methylisoborneol (39%), anatoxin-a (30%), saxitoxins (17%), cylindrospermopsins (9%), and nodularin-R (9%) also were present in these blooms. Multiple classes of cyanotoxins occurred in 48% of blooms and 95% had multiple microcystin variants. Toxins and taste-and-odor compounds frequently co-occurred (91% of blooms), indicating odor may serve as a warning that cyanotoxins likely are present. However, toxins occurred more frequently than taste-and-odor compounds, so odor alone does not provide sufficient warning to ensure human-health protection. PMID:20831209

  16. Cyanobacterial evolution during the Precambrian

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schirrmeister, Bettina E.; Sanchez-Baracaldo, Patricia; Wacey, David

    2016-07-01

    Life on Earth has existed for at least 3.5 billion years. Yet, relatively little is known of its evolution during the first two billion years, due to the scarceness and generally poor preservation of fossilized biological material. Cyanobacteria, formerly known as blue green algae were among the first crown Eubacteria to evolve and for more than 2.5 billion years they have strongly influenced Earth's biosphere. Being the only organism where oxygenic photosynthesis has originated, they have oxygenated Earth's atmosphere and hydrosphere, triggered the evolution of plants -being ancestral to chloroplasts- and enabled the evolution of complex life based on aerobic respiration. Having such a strong impact on early life, one might expect that the evolutionary success of this group may also have triggered further biosphere changes during early Earth history. However, very little is known about the early evolution of this phylum and ongoing debates about cyanobacterial fossils, biomarkers and molecular clock analyses highlight the difficulties in this field of research. Although phylogenomic analyses have provided promising glimpses into the early evolution of cyanobacteria, estimated divergence ages are often very uncertain, because of vague and insufficient tree-calibrations. Results of molecular clock analyses are intrinsically tied to these prior calibration points, hence improving calibrations will enable more precise divergence time estimations. Here we provide a review of previously described Precambrian microfossils, biomarkers and geochemical markers that inform upon the early evolution of cyanobacteria. Future research in micropalaeontology will require novel analyses and imaging techniques to improve taxonomic affiliation of many Precambrian microfossils. Consequently, a better understanding of early cyanobacterial evolution will not only allow for a more specific calibration of cyanobacterial and eubacterial phylogenies, but also provide new dates for the tree

  17. Pertussis toxin

    SciTech Connect

    Sekura, R.D.; Moss, J.; Vaughan, M.

    1985-01-01

    This book contains 13 selections. Some of the titles are: Genetic and Functional Studies of Pertussis Toxin Substrates; Effect of Pertussis Toxin on the Hormonal Responsiveness of Different Tissues; Extracellular Adenylate Cyclase of Bordetella pertussis; and GTP-Regulatory Proteins are Introcellular Messagers: A Model for Hormone Action.

  18. A review of the use of sonication to control cyanobacterial blooms.

    PubMed

    Rajasekhar, Pradeep; Fan, Linhua; Nguyen, Thang; Roddick, Felicity A

    2012-09-15

    The development of cyanobacterial blooms in water bodies imparts undesirable characteristics to the water such as odours, tastes and the potential presence of toxins. Several chemical and physical methods have been used to control the blooms, but have limitations in terms of pollution and application on a large scale. A more recent approach has been the use of sonication in the control of cyanobacteria (also referred to as blue-green algae). This paper reviews current advancements in research on using sonication to control cyanobacteria, particularly Microcystis aeruginosa, as it is a prevalent and a major bloom-forming toxic species. The impact of sonication on the structure and function of M. aeruginosa is discussed, including the influence of sonication parameters such as power intensity, frequency and exposure time. Alternate strategies of cyanobacterial control in combination with sonication are also reviewed. PMID:22727861

  19. A toxic cyanobacterial bloom in an urban coastal lake, Rio Grande do Sul state, Southern Brazil

    PubMed Central

    de Carvalho, Luciana Retz; Pipole, Fernando; Werner, Vera Regina; Laughinghouse IV, Haywood Dail; de Camargo, Antonio Carlos M.; Rangel, Marisa; Konno, Katsuhiro; Sant’ Anna, Célia Leite

    2008-01-01

    Reports of cyanobacterial blooms developing worldwide have considerably increased, and, in most cases, the predominant toxins are microcystins. The present study reports a cyanobacterial bloom in Lake Violão, Torres, Rio Grande do Sul State, in January 2005. Samples collected on January 13, 2005, were submitted to taxonomical, toxicological, and chemical studies. The taxonomical analysis showed many different species of cyanobacteria, and that Microcystis protocystis and Sphaerocavum cf. brasiliense were dominant. Besides these, Microcystis panniformis, Anabaena oumiana, Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii, and Anabaenopsis elenkinii f. circularis were also present. The toxicity of the bloom was confirmed through intraperitoneal tests in mice, and chemical analyses of bloom extracts showed that the major substance was anabaenopeptin F, followed by anabaenopeptin B, microcystin-LR, and microcystin-RR. PMID:24031304

  20. Gasification of cyanobacterial in supercritical water.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Huiwen; Zhu, Wei; Xu, Zhirong; Gong, Miao

    2014-01-01

    Cyanobacterial collected from eutrophic freshwater lakes constituted intractable waste with a rich algae biomass content. Supercritical water gasification (SCWG) was proposed to treat the cyanobacterial and to produce hydrogen for energy. The H 2 yield reached 2.92 mol/kg at reaction conditions of 500 °C, 30 min and 22 MPa; this yield accounted for 26% of the total gaseous products. Abundant ammonia and dissolved reactive phosphorous were concentrated in the liquid product, which could be recovered and used as a liquid fertilizer. Solid residue, which accounted only for about 1% of the wet weight, was mainly composed of coke and ash. The efficiency of H 2 production was better than that from other biomass, because of the abundant organic matter in cyanobacterial. Thus, cyanobacterial are an ideal biomass feedstock for H 2 production from SCWG. PMID:25176482

  1. Structure and Effects of Cyanobacterial Lipopolysaccharides

    PubMed Central

    Durai, Prasannavenkatesh; Batool, Maria; Choi, Sangdun

    2015-01-01

    Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is a component of the outer membrane of mainly Gram-negative bacteria and cyanobacteria. The LPS molecules from marine and terrestrial bacteria show structural variations, even among strains within the same species living in the same environment. Cyanobacterial LPS has a unique structure, since it lacks heptose and 3-deoxy-d-manno-octulosonic acid (also known as keto-deoxyoctulosonate (KDO)), which are present in the core region of common Gram-negative LPS. In addition, the cyanobacterial lipid A region lacks phosphates and contains odd-chain hydroxylated fatty acids. While the role of Gram-negative lipid A in the regulation of the innate immune response through Toll-like Receptor (TLR) 4 signaling is well characterized, the role of the structurally different cyanobacterial lipid A in TLR4 signaling is not well understood. The uncontrolled inflammatory response of TLR4 leads to autoimmune diseases such as sepsis, and thus the less virulent marine cyanobacterial LPS molecules can be effective to inhibit TLR4 signaling. This review highlights the structural comparison of LPS molecules from marine cyanobacteria and Gram-negative bacteria. We discuss the potential use of marine cyanobacterial LPS as a TLR4 antagonist, and the effects of cyanobacterial LPS on humans and marine organisms. PMID:26198237

  2. Millipede toxin

    MedlinePlus

    ... toxin are: Hydrochloric acid Hydrogen cyanide Organic acids Phenol Cresols Benzoquinones Hydroquinones (in some millipedes) ... with plenty of soap and water. Do NOT use alcohol to wash the area. Wash eyes with ...

  3. Millipede toxin

    MedlinePlus

    ... release keeps away most predators. Some large millipede species can secrete these toxins as far as 80 ... reactions are mainly seen from contact with tropical species of millipedes. The outlook may be more serious ...

  4. Marine toxins.

    PubMed

    Whittle, K; Gallacher, S

    2000-01-01

    Seafood products are important both nutritionally and economically. Within Europe, some 12 billion Pounds of fishery products are consumed annually and an enormous variety of species are available. Although seafood is rarely implicated in food poisoning, compared to other food sources, it does provide some specific human health hazards unique to this particular resource. Generally, these are toxins from toxic microscopic algae which accumulate through the food-chain. The toxins can cause various neurological and gastrointestinal illnesses and, potentially, consumers are exposed from seafood produced within Europe, from imported products, or from seafood eaten while travelling abroad. The symptoms of illness which may be encountered, the source and mode of action of the toxins, and some emerging problems are described. European legislation aims to ensure the quality and safety of seafood products by prohibiting sale of some toxic species, setting toxin limits, requiring monitoring and controlling imports. PMID:10885118

  5. Environmental conditions that influence toxin biosynthesis in cyanobacteria.

    PubMed

    Neilan, Brett A; Pearson, Leanne A; Muenchhoff, Julia; Moffitt, Michelle C; Dittmann, Elke

    2013-05-01

    Over the past 15 years, the genetic basis for production of many cyanobacterial bioactive compounds has been described. This knowledge has enabled investigations into the environmental factors that regulate the production of these toxins at the molecular level. Such molecular or systems level studies are also likely to reveal the physiological role of the toxin and contribute to effective water resource management. This review focuses on the environmental regulation of some of the most relevant cyanotoxins, namely the microcystins, nodularin, cylindrospermopsin, saxitoxins, anatoxins and jamaicamides. PMID:22429476

  6. Benthic Marine Cyanobacterial Mat Ecosystems: Biogeochemistry and Biomarkers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DesMarais, David J.; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Cyanobacterial mats are complete ecosystems that can include processes of primary production, diagenesis and lithification. Light sustains oxygenic photosynthesis, which in turn provides energy, organic matter and oxygen to the community. Due to both absorption and scattering phenomena, incident light is transformed with depth in the mat, both in intensity and spectral composition. Mobile photo synthesizers optimize their position with respect to this light gradient. When photosynthesis ceases at night, the upper layers of the mat become reduced and sulfidic. Counteracting gradients of oxygen and sulfide combine to provide daily-contrasting environments separated on a scale of a few mm. The functional complexity of mats, coupled with the highly proximal and ordered spatial arrangement of biota, offers the potential for a staggering number of interactions. At a minimum, the products of each functional group of microorganisms affect the other groups both positively and negatively. For example, cyanobacteria generate organic matter (potential substrates) but also oxygen (a toxin for many anaerobes). Anaerobic activity recycles nutrients to the photosynthesizers but also generates potentially toxic sulfide. The combination of benefits and hazards of light, oxygen and sulfide promotes the allocation of the various essential mat processes between light and dark periods, and to various depths in the mat. Observations of mats have produced numerous surprises. For example, obligately anaerobic processes can occur in the presence of abundant oxygen, highly reduced gases are produced in the presence of abundant sulfate, meiofauna thrive at high sulfide concentrations, and the mats' constituent populations respond to environmental changes in complex ways. While photosynthetic bacteria dominate the biomass and productivity of the mat, nonphotosynthetic, anaerobic processes constitute the ultimate biological filter on the ecosystem's emergent biosignatures, including those

  7. BOTULINUM TOXIN

    PubMed Central

    Nigam, P K; Nigam, Anjana

    2010-01-01

    Botulinum toxin, one of the most poisonous biological substances known, is a neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. C. botulinum elaborates eight antigenically distinguishable exotoxins (A, B, C1, C2, D, E, F and G). All serotypes interfere with neural transmission by blocking the release of acetylcholine, the principal neurotransmitter at the neuromuscular junction, causing muscle paralysis. The weakness induced by injection with botulinum toxin A usually lasts about three months. Botulinum toxins now play a very significant role in the management of a wide variety of medical conditions, especially strabismus and focal dystonias, hemifacial spasm, and various spastic movement disorders, headaches, hypersalivation, hyperhidrosis, and some chronic conditions that respond only partially to medical treatment. The list of possible new indications is rapidly expanding. The cosmetological applications include correction of lines, creases and wrinkling all over the face, chin, neck, and chest to dermatological applications such as hyperhidrosis. Injections with botulinum toxin are generally well tolerated and side effects are few. A precise knowledge and understanding of the functional anatomy of the mimetic muscles is absolutely necessary to correctly use botulinum toxins in clinical practice. PMID:20418969

  8. Symbiotic Adaptation Drives Genome Streamlining of the Cyanobacterial Sponge Symbiont “Candidatus Synechococcus spongiarum”

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Zhao-Ming; Wang, Yong; Tian, Ren-Mao; Wong, Yue Him; Batang, Zenon B.; Al-Suwailem, Abdulaz M.; Bajic, Vladimir B.; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT “Candidatus Synechococcus spongiarum” is a cyanobacterial symbiont widely distributed in sponges, but its functions at the genome level remain unknown. Here, we obtained the draft genome (1.66 Mbp, 90% estimated genome recovery) of “Ca. Synechococcus spongiarum” strain SH4 inhabiting the Red Sea sponge Carteriospongia foliascens. Phylogenomic analysis revealed a high dissimilarity between SH4 and free-living cyanobacterial strains. Essential functions, such as photosynthesis, the citric acid cycle, and DNA replication, were detected in SH4. Eukaryoticlike domains that play important roles in sponge-symbiont interactions were identified exclusively in the symbiont. However, SH4 could not biosynthesize methionine and polyamines and had lost partial genes encoding low-molecular-weight peptides of the photosynthesis complex, antioxidant enzymes, DNA repair enzymes, and proteins involved in resistance to environmental toxins and in biosynthesis of capsular and extracellular polysaccharides. These genetic modifications imply that “Ca. Synechococcus spongiarum” SH4 represents a low-light-adapted cyanobacterial symbiont and has undergone genome streamlining to adapt to the sponge’s mild intercellular environment. PMID:24692632

  9. Fate of toxic cyanobacterial genera from natural bloom events during ozonation.

    PubMed

    Zamyadi, Arash; Coral, Lucila A; Barbeau, Benoit; Dorner, Sarah; Lapolli, Flávio R; Prévost, Michèle

    2015-04-15

    Intense accumulation of toxic cyanobacteria cells inside plants, unsuccessful removal of cells and consequent breakthrough of cells and toxins into treated water have been increasingly documented. Removal or destabilisation of cells in the pre-treatment stage using pre-ozonation could be an efficient practice as ozonation has been proven to be effective for the removal of cells and toxins. However, several unknowns including the ozone demand, the potential release of cell-bound toxins and organic matter and their impact on treatment train needs to be addressed. The general objective of this work was to study the impact of direct ozonation on different potentially toxic cyanobacteria genera from natural blooms. Water samples from five cyanobacterial bloom events in Lake Champlain (Canada) were ozonated using 2-5 mg/L O3 for a contact time of maximum 10 min. Cyanobacterial taxonomic enumeration, cyanotoxins, organic matter and post-chlorination disinfection by-product formation potential analyses were conducted on all samples. Anabaena, Aphanizomenon, Microcystis and Pseudanabaena were detected in bloom water samples. Total cell numbers varied between 197,000 and 1,282,000 cells/mL prior to ozonation. Direct ozonation lysed (reduction in total cell numbers) 41%-80% of cells and reduced released toxins to below detection limits. Microcystis was the genus the least affected by ozonation. However, DOC releases of 0.6-3.5 mg/L were observed leading to maximum 86.92 μg/L and 61.56 μg/L additional total THMs (four trihalomethanes) and HAA6 (six haloacetic acids) formation, respectively. The results of this study demonstrate that vigilant application of pre-ozonation under certain treatment conditions would help to avoid extreme toxic cells accumulation within water treatment plants. PMID:25682048

  10. Cyanobacterial Toxic and Bioactive Peptides in Freshwater Bodies of Greece: Concentrations, Occurrence Patterns, and Implications for Human Health

    PubMed Central

    Gkelis, Spyros; Lanaras, Thomas; Sivonen, Kaarina

    2015-01-01

    Cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms represent one of the most conspicuous waterborne microbial hazards in aquatic environments mostly due to the production of toxic secondary metabolites, mainly microcystins (MCs). Other bioactive peptides are frequently found in cyanobacterial blooms, yet their concentration and ecological relevance is still unknown. In this paper we studied the presence and concentration of cyanobacterial peptides (microcystins, anabaenopeptins, anabaenopeptilides) in 36 Greek freshwater bodies, using HPLC-DAD, ELISA, and PP1IA. Microcystins were found in more than 90% of the samples investigated, indicating that microcystin-producing strains seem to also occur in lakes without blooms. Microcystins MC-RR, MC-LR, and MC-YR were the main toxin constituents of the bloom samples. Anabaenopeptin A and B were predominant in some samples, whereas anabaenopeptolide 90A was the only peptide found in Lake Mikri Prespa. The intracellular concentrations of anabaenopeptins produced by cyanobacterial bloom populations are determined for the first time in this study; the high (>1000 µg·L−1) anabaenopeptin concentration found indicates there may be some impacts, at least on the ecology and the food web structure of the aquatic ecosystems. The maximum intracellular MC values measured in Lakes Kastoria and Pamvotis, exceeding 10,000 µg·L−1, are among the highest reported. PMID:26473888

  11. Toxic Cyanobacterial Bloom Triggers in Missisquoi Bay, Lake Champlain, as Determined by Next-Generation Sequencing and Quantitative PCR

    PubMed Central

    Fortin, Nathalie; Munoz-Ramos, Valentina; Bird, David; Lévesque, Benoît; Whyte, Lyle G.; Greer, Charles W.

    2015-01-01

    Missisquoi Bay (MB) is a temperate eutrophic freshwater lake that frequently experiences toxic Microcystis-dominated cyanobacterial blooms. Non-point sources are responsible for the high concentrations of phosphorus and nitrogen in the bay. This study combined data from environmental parameters, E. coli counts, high-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons, quantitative PCR (16S rRNA and mcyD genes) and toxin analyses to identify the main bloom-promoting factors. In 2009, nutrient concentrations correlated with E. coli counts, abundance of total cyanobacterial cells, Microcystis 16S rRNA and mcyD genes and intracellular microcystin. Total and dissolved phosphorus also correlated significantly with rainfall. The major cyanobacterial taxa were members of the orders Chroococcales and Nostocales. The genus Microcystis was the main mcyD-carrier and main microcystin producer. Our results suggested that increasing nutrient concentrations and total nitrogen:total phosphorus (TN:TP) ratios approaching 11:1, coupled with an increase in temperature, promoted Microcystis-dominated toxic blooms. Although the importance of nutrient ratios and absolute concentrations on cyanobacterial and Microcystis dynamics have been documented in other laboratories, an optimum TN:TP ratio for Microcystis dominance has not been previously observed in situ. This observation provides further support that nutrient ratios are an important determinant of species composition in natural phytoplankton assemblages. PMID:25984732

  12. Cyanobacterial Toxic and Bioactive Peptides in Freshwater Bodies of Greece: Concentrations, Occurrence Patterns, and Implications for Human Health.

    PubMed

    Gkelis, Spyros; Lanaras, Thomas; Sivonen, Kaarina

    2015-10-01

    Cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms represent one of the most conspicuous waterborne microbial hazards in aquatic environments mostly due to the production of toxic secondary metabolites, mainly microcystins (MCs). Other bioactive peptides are frequently found in cyanobacterial blooms, yet their concentration and ecological relevance is still unknown. In this paper we studied the presence and concentration of cyanobacterial peptides (microcystins, anabaenopeptins, anabaenopeptilides) in 36 Greek freshwater bodies, using HPLC-DAD, ELISA, and PP1IA. Microcystins were found in more than 90% of the samples investigated, indicating that microcystin-producing strains seem to also occur in lakes without blooms. Microcystins MC-RR, MC-LR, and MC-YR were the main toxin constituents of the bloom samples. Anabaenopeptin A and B were predominant in some samples, whereas anabaenopeptolide 90A was the only peptide found in Lake Mikri Prespa. The intracellular concentrations of anabaenopeptins produced by cyanobacterial bloom populations are determined for the first time in this study; the high (>1000 µg·L(-1)) anabaenopeptin concentration found indicates there may be some impacts, at least on the ecology and the food web structure of the aquatic ecosystems. The maximum intracellular MC values measured in Lakes Kastoria and Pamvotis, exceeding 10,000 µg·L(-1), are among the highest reported. PMID:26473888

  13. Comparative summer dynamics of surface cyanobacterial communities in two connected lakes from the west of Ireland.

    PubMed

    Touzet, N; McCarthy, D; Gill, A; Fleming, G T A

    2016-05-15

    The eutrophication of lakes is typically associated with high biomass proliferations of potentially toxic cyanobacteria. At a regional level, the sustainable management of water resources necessitates an approach that recognises the interconnectivity of multiple water systems within river catchments. This study examined the dynamics in summer diversity of planktonic cyanobacterial communities and microcystin toxin concentrations in two inter-connected lakes from the west of Ireland prone to nutrient enrichment. DGGE analysis of 16S rRNA gene amplicons of genotype-I cyanobacteria (typically spherical) showed changes in the communities of both Lough Corrib and Ballyquirke Lough throughout the summer, and identified cyanobacterial genotypes both unique and shared to both lakes. Microcystin concentrations, estimated via the protein phosphatase 2A inhibition assay, were greater in August than in July and June in both lakes. This was concomitant to the increased occurrence of Microcystis as evidenced by DGGE band excision and subsequent sequencing and BLAST analysis. RFLP analysis of PCR amplified mcy-A/E genes clustered together the August samples of both lakes, highlighting a potential change in microcystin producers across the two lakes. Finally, the multiple factor analysis of the combined environmental data set for the two lakes highlighted the expected pattern opposing greater water temperature and chlorophyll concentration against macronutrient concentrations, but also indicated a negative relationship between microcystin concentration and cyanobacterial diversity, possibly underlining allelopathic interactions. Despite some element of connectivity, the dissimilarity in the composition of the cyanobacterial assemblages and the timing of community change in the two lakes likely were a reflexion of niche differences determined by meteorologically-forced variation in physico-chemical parameters in the two water bodies. PMID:26930314

  14. Cyanobacterial KnowledgeBase (CKB), a Compendium of Cyanobacterial Genomes and Proteomes

    PubMed Central

    Mohandass, Shylajanaciyar; Varadharaj, Sangeetha; Thilagar, Sivasudha; Abdul Kareem, Kaleel Ahamed; Dharmar, Prabaharan; Gopalakrishnan, Subramanian; Lakshmanan, Uma

    2015-01-01

    Cyanobacterial KnowledgeBase (CKB) is a free access database that contains the genomic and proteomic information of 74 fully sequenced cyanobacterial genomes belonging to seven orders. The database also contains tools for sequence analysis. The Species report and the gene report provide details about each species and gene (including sequence features and gene ontology annotations) respectively. The database also includes cyanoBLAST, an advanced tool that facilitates comparative analysis, among cyanobacterial genomes and genomes of E. coli (prokaryote) and Arabidopsis (eukaryote). The database is developed and maintained by the Sub-Distributed Informatics Centre (sponsored by the Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India) of the National Facility for Marine Cyanobacteria, a facility dedicated to marine cyanobacterial research. CKB is freely available at http://nfmc.res.in/ckb/index.html. PMID:26305368

  15. Evaluation of usefulness of Microbial Assay for Risk Assessment (MARA) in the cyanobacterial toxicity estimation.

    PubMed

    Sieroslawska, Anna

    2014-07-01

    The aim of the study was to elucidate the usefulness of the Microbial Assay for Risk Assessment (MARA) to evaluate toxicity in samples containing cyanobacterial products. Cyanobacterial extracts with different cyanotoxin contents and pure cyanotoxins-microcystin-LR, cylindrospermopsin and anatoxin-a-were tested. On the basis of the microbial reaction, MARA indicated only slight or no toxicity in the studied extracts. Similarly, no or low toxicity of pure toxins was detected at the concentrations used (up to 10 μg/ml). Weak relationships between the reactions of individual organisms exposed to cyanotoxin-containing extracts and to the same pure toxins were observed. On the other hand, inhibition of some organisms, such as Pichia anomalia, whose growth was not impacted by pure cyanotoxins, indicated the presence of other biologically active compounds in the studied extracts. In conclusion, MARA assay is not enough sensitive to be used as a good tool for cyanotoxin screening. It may, however, be applied in searching for antimicrobial/antifungal cyanobacteria-derived compounds. PMID:24682641

  16. Influence of climate changes on the blooms and toxin production of cyanobacteria in the lakes of Latvia (north-eastern Baltic Sea region)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Briede, Linda; Barda, Ieva; Purina, Ingrida

    2016-04-01

    Global climate changes have influenced lakes ecosystems resulting in prolonged vegetation season. Long term data shows the earlier warming of water in spring and later cooling in autumn. These modifications are promoting the changes of phytoplankton community from diatom and chrysophytes dominated communities towards cyanobacteria dominated communities. Cyanobacteria are well known as procariotic ancient organisms involved in the production of oxygen, however nowadays they are better known as producers of potent toxins. Long term dynamic of cyanobacterial communities were investigated in lakes Burtnieku and Aluksnes (northern Latvia). Most common cyanobacterial genus were Aphanizomenon, Anabaena, Microcystis, Planktothrix as well as Gloeotrichia known to produce hepatotoxins and neurotoxins. Seasonal toxin production of cyanobacteria was screened using ELISA kits in year 2015. Implications of prolonged cyanobacterial blooms and toxin production on lakes ecosystem are discussed.

  17. Effect of postmining waters on cyanobacterial photosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Medová, Hana; Přikryl, Ivo; Zapomnĕlová, Eliška; Pechar, Libor

    2015-02-01

    New waterbodies have been created in a postmining area of the brown-coal basin in Sokolov, Czech Republic. The former open-cast quarry, Medard, has been filling with water from a local river, the surrounding catchment spoil heaps, and acid mine drainages. The effect of acidic (pH down to 2.5) and high-conductivity water (up to 1400 mS/m) on selected cyanobacteria and the possibility of cyanobacterial water bloom in the newly formed Lake Medard were studied by means of chlorophyll fluorometry (actual photosystem II [PSII] quantum yield, ΔF/Fm', and relative electron transport rate, rETR). The acidic spoil-heap waters caused a decrease in cyanobacterial photosynthetic activity of 52 to 100% of the initial ΔF/Fm' value. The Dolichospermum strains were about 10 times more sensitive than Microcystis viridis. The high concentration of dissolved ions appeared to have less effect on cyanobacterial PSII. Although the bottom meta- and hypolimnion layers were proven to negatively influence the cyanobacteria, the perennial stratification of the lake does not enable the water characteristics of the upper layers to change extensively and thus possibly suppresses the undesirable cyanobacterial bloom. The response of cyanobacteria to spoil-heap waters appears to be species-specific and can promote selection of those resistant to postmining environments. PMID:25790520

  18. Apparent bioaccumulation of cylindrospermopsin and paralytic shellfish toxins by finfish in Lake Catemaco (Veracruz, Mexico).

    PubMed

    Berry, J P; Jaja-Chimedza, A; Dávalos-Lind, L; Lind, O

    2012-01-01

    Compared to the well-characterized health threats associated with contamination of fish and shellfish by algal toxins in marine fisheries, the toxicological relevance of the bioaccumulation of toxins from cyanobacteria (blue-green algae), as the primary toxigenic algae in freshwater systems, remains relatively unknown. Lake Catemaco (Veracruz, Mexico) is a small, tropical lake system specifically characterized by a year-round dominance of the known toxigenic cyanobacterial genus, Cylindrospermopsis, and by low, but detectable, levels of both a cyanobacterial hepatotoxin, cylindrospermopsin (CYN), and paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs). In the present study, we evaluated, using enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA), levels of both toxins in several species of finfish caught and consumed locally in the region to investigate the bioaccumulation of, and possible health threats associated with, these toxins as potential foodborne contaminants. ELISA detected levels of both CYN and PSTs in fish tissues from the lake. Levels were generally low (≤ 1 ng g(-1) tissue); however, calculated bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) indicate that toxin levels exceed the rather low levels in the water column and, consequently, indicated bioaccumulation (BAF >1). A reasonable correlation was observed between measured bioaccumulation of CYN and PSTs, possibly indicating a mutual source of both toxins, and most likely cells of Cylindrospermopsis, the dominant cyanobacteria in the lake, and a known producer of both metabolites. The potential roles of trophic transport in the system, as well as possible implications for human health with regards to bioaccumulation, are discussed. PMID:21838624

  19. Health-based cyanotoxin guideline values allow for cyanotoxin-based monitoring and efficient public health response to cyanobacterial blooms.

    PubMed

    Farrer, David; Counter, Marina; Hillwig, Rebecca; Cude, Curtis

    2015-02-01

    Human health risks from cyanobacterial blooms are primarily related to cyanotoxins that some cyanobacteria produce. Not all species of cyanobacteria can produce toxins. Those that do often do not produce toxins at levels harmful to human health. Monitoring programs that use identification of cyanobacteria genus and species and enumeration of cyanobacterial cells as a surrogate for cyanotoxin presence can overestimate risk and lead to unnecessary health advisories. In the absence of federal criteria for cyanotoxins in recreational water, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) developed guideline values for the four most common cyanotoxins in Oregon's fresh waters (anatoxin-a, cylindrospermopsin, microcystins, and saxitoxins). OHA developed three guideline values for each of the cyanotoxins found in Oregon. Each of the guideline values is for a specific use of cyanobacteria-affected water: drinking water, human recreational exposure and dog recreational exposure. Having cyanotoxin guidelines allows OHA to promote toxin-based monitoring (TBM) programs, which reduce the number of health advisories and focus advisories on times and places where actual, rather than potential, risks to health exist. TBM allows OHA to more efficiently protect public health while reducing burdens on local economies that depend on water recreation-related tourism. PMID:25664510

  20. Health-Based Cyanotoxin Guideline Values Allow for Cyanotoxin-Based Monitoring and Efficient Public Health Response to Cyanobacterial Blooms

    PubMed Central

    Farrer, David; Counter, Marina; Hillwig, Rebecca; Cude, Curtis

    2015-01-01

    Human health risks from cyanobacterial blooms are primarily related to cyanotoxins that some cyanobacteria produce. Not all species of cyanobacteria can produce toxins. Those that do often do not produce toxins at levels harmful to human health. Monitoring programs that use identification of cyanobacteria genus and species and enumeration of cyanobacterial cells as a surrogate for cyanotoxin presence can overestimate risk and lead to unnecessary health advisories. In the absence of federal criteria for cyanotoxins in recreational water, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) developed guideline values for the four most common cyanotoxins in Oregon’s fresh waters (anatoxin-a, cylindrospermopsin, microcystins, and saxitoxins). OHA developed three guideline values for each of the cyanotoxins found in Oregon. Each of the guideline values is for a specific use of cyanobacteria-affected water: drinking water, human recreational exposure and dog recreational exposure. Having cyanotoxin guidelines allows OHA to promote toxin-based monitoring (TBM) programs, which reduce the number of health advisories and focus advisories on times and places where actual, rather than potential, risks to health exist. TBM allows OHA to more efficiently protect public health while reducing burdens on local economies that depend on water recreation-related tourism. PMID:25664510

  1. Engineered Transcriptional Systems for Cyanobacterial Biotechnology

    PubMed Central

    Camsund, Daniel; Lindblad, Peter

    2014-01-01

    Cyanobacteria can function as solar-driven biofactories thanks to their ability to perform photosynthesis and the ease with which they are genetically modified. In this review, we discuss transcriptional parts and promoters available for engineering cyanobacteria. First, we go through special cyanobacterial characteristics that may impact engineering, including the unusual cyanobacterial RNA polymerase, sigma factors and promoter types, mRNA stability, circadian rhythm, and gene dosage effects. Then, we continue with discussing component characteristics that are desirable for synthetic biology approaches, including decoupling, modularity, and orthogonality. We then summarize and discuss the latest promoters for use in cyanobacteria regarding characteristics such as regulation, strength, and dynamic range and suggest potential uses. Finally, we provide an outlook and suggest future developments that would advance the field and accelerate the use of cyanobacteria for renewable biotechnology. PMID:25325057

  2. Harmful cyanobacterial blooms: causes, consequences, and controls.

    PubMed

    Paerl, Hans W; Otten, Timothy G

    2013-05-01

    Cyanobacteria are the Earth's oldest oxygenic photoautotrophs and have had major impacts on shaping its biosphere. Their long evolutionary history (≈ 3.5 by) has enabled them to adapt to geochemical and climatic changes, and more recently anthropogenic modifications of aquatic environments, including nutrient over-enrichment (eutrophication), water diversions, withdrawals, and salinization. Many cyanobacterial genera exhibit optimal growth rates and bloom potentials at relatively high water temperatures; hence global warming plays a key role in their expansion and persistence. Bloom-forming cyanobacterial taxa can be harmful from environmental, organismal, and human health perspectives by outcompeting beneficial phytoplankton, depleting oxygen upon bloom senescence, and producing a variety of toxic secondary metabolites (e.g., cyanotoxins). How environmental factors impact cyanotoxin production is the subject of ongoing research, but nutrient (N, P and trace metals) supply rates, light, temperature, oxidative stressors, interactions with other biota (bacteria, viruses and animal grazers), and most likely, the combined effects of these factors are all involved. Accordingly, strategies aimed at controlling and mitigating harmful blooms have focused on manipulating these dynamic factors. The applicability and feasibility of various controls and management approaches is discussed for natural waters and drinking water supplies. Strategies based on physical, chemical, and biological manipulations of specific factors show promise; however, a key underlying approach that should be considered in almost all instances is nutrient (both N and P) input reductions; which have been shown to effectively reduce cyanobacterial biomass, and therefore limit health risks and frequencies of hypoxic events. PMID:23314096

  3. Eukaryotes in Arctic and Antarctic cyanobacterial mats.

    PubMed

    Jungblut, Anne D; Vincent, Warwick F; Lovejoy, Connie

    2012-11-01

    Cyanobacterial mats are commonly found in freshwater ecosystems throughout the polar regions. Most mats are multilayered three-dimensional structures with the filamentous cyanobacteria embedded in a gel-like matrix. Although early descriptions mentioned the presence of larger organisms including metazoans living in the mats, there have been few studies specifically focused on the microbial eukaryotes, which are often small cells with few morphological features suitable for identification by microscopy. Here, we applied 18S rRNA gene clone library analysis to identify eukaryotes in cyanobacterial mat communities from both the Antarctic and the extreme High Arctic. We identified 39 ribotypes at the level of 99% sequence similarity. These consisted of taxa within algal and other protist groups including Chlorophyceae, Prasinophyceae, Ulvophyceae, Trebouxiophyceae, Bacillariophyceae, Chrysophyceae, Ciliophora, and Cercozoa. Fungi were also recovered, as were 21 metazoan ribotypes. The eukaryotic taxa appeared habitat-specific with little overlap between lake, pond, and ice shelf communities. Some ribotypes were common to both Arctic and Antarctic mats, suggesting global dispersal of these taxa and similarity in the environmental filters acting on protist communities. Many of these eukaryotic taxa likely benefit from protected, nutrient-rich microhabitats within the cyanobacterial mat environment. PMID:22630054

  4. Accumulation of cyanobacterial hepatotoxins by Daphnia in some Egyptian irrigation canals.

    PubMed

    Mohamed, Z A

    2001-09-01

    In this study, microcosm experiments were run in the laboratory to test the possibility of feeding of Daphnia parvula on toxic Microcystis aeruginosa in some Egyptian irrigation canal at Sohag city. The results demonstrated that Daphnia has a priority of feeding on green algae and the diatom Melosira granulata over toxic M. aeruginosa during the first 10 days. Thereafter, when the green algae and diatom were depleted from the water, Daphnia started to feed on toxic Microcystis. This presumably indicates that Daphnia feeds facultatively on toxic cyanobacteria under the conditions of depletion of edible food. Additionally, the results indicated that Daphnia accumulates the Microcystis toxins "microcystins" in its body with a level of 1.78 microg toxin/25 daphnids. No release of toxin into the water was detected during the experimental period. This emphasizes that the disappearance of toxic Microcystis was due to the feeding by Daphnia, not to death or cell lysis. Such an accumulation of cyanobacterial hepatotoxins in the primary consumers (Daphnia) should be taken into consideration when zooplankton are used in the biomanipulation of toxic phytoplankton. PMID:11534946

  5. Metatranscriptomic evidence for co-occurring top-down and bottom-up controls on toxic cyanobacterial communities.

    PubMed

    Steffen, Morgan M; Belisle, B Shafer; Watson, Sue B; Boyer, Gregory L; Bourbonniere, Richard A; Wilhelm, Steven W

    2015-05-01

    Little is known about the molecular and physiological function of co-occurring microbes within freshwater cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (cHABs). To address this, community metatranscriptomes collected from the western basin of Lake Erie during August 2012 were examined. Using sequence data, we tested the hypothesis that the activity of the microbial community members is independent of community structure. Predicted metabolic and physiological functional profiles from spatially distinct metatranscriptomes were determined to be ≥90% similar between sites. Targeted analysis of Microcystis aeruginosa, the historical causative agent of cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms over the past ∼20 years, as well as analysis of Planktothrix agardhii and Anabaena cylindrica, revealed ongoing transcription of genes involved in microcystin toxin synthesis as well as the acquisition of both nitrogen and phosphorus, nutrients often implicated as independent bottom-up drivers of eutrophication in aquatic systems. Transcription of genes involved in carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration and metabolism also provided support for the alternate hypothesis that high-pH conditions and dense algal biomass result in CO2-limiting conditions that further favor cyanobacterial dominance. Additionally, the presence of Microcystis-specific cyanophage sequences provided preliminary evidence of possible top-down virus-mediated control of cHAB populations. Overall, these data provide insight into the complex series of constraints associated with Microcystis blooms that dominate the western basin of Lake Erie during summer months, demonstrating that multiple environmental factors work to shape the microbial community. PMID:25662977

  6. Metatranscriptomic Evidence for Co-Occurring Top-Down and Bottom-Up Controls on Toxic Cyanobacterial Communities

    PubMed Central

    Steffen, Morgan M.; Belisle, B. Shafer; Watson, Sue B.; Boyer, Gregory L.; Bourbonniere, Richard A.

    2015-01-01

    Little is known about the molecular and physiological function of co-occurring microbes within freshwater cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (cHABs). To address this, community metatranscriptomes collected from the western basin of Lake Erie during August 2012 were examined. Using sequence data, we tested the hypothesis that the activity of the microbial community members is independent of community structure. Predicted metabolic and physiological functional profiles from spatially distinct metatranscriptomes were determined to be ≥90% similar between sites. Targeted analysis of Microcystis aeruginosa, the historical causative agent of cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms over the past ∼20 years, as well as analysis of Planktothrix agardhii and Anabaena cylindrica, revealed ongoing transcription of genes involved in microcystin toxin synthesis as well as the acquisition of both nitrogen and phosphorus, nutrients often implicated as independent bottom-up drivers of eutrophication in aquatic systems. Transcription of genes involved in carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration and metabolism also provided support for the alternate hypothesis that high-pH conditions and dense algal biomass result in CO2-limiting conditions that further favor cyanobacterial dominance. Additionally, the presence of Microcystis-specific cyanophage sequences provided preliminary evidence of possible top-down virus-mediated control of cHAB populations. Overall, these data provide insight into the complex series of constraints associated with Microcystis blooms that dominate the western basin of Lake Erie during summer months, demonstrating that multiple environmental factors work to shape the microbial community. PMID:25662977

  7. Occurrence of toxigenic cyanobacterial blooms in freshwaters of Sri Lanka.

    PubMed

    Jayatissa, L P; Silva, E I L; McElhiney, J; Lawton, L A

    2006-03-01

    A previous pioneering study of freshwater bodies in Sri Lanka revealed the presence of toxic cyanobacteria in three out of four water bodies tested. It was therefore important to perform a more detailed investigation into the presence of cyanobacteria and their toxins throughout Sri Lanka. The country has a long history of well-planned water management with the agricultural economy and drinking water supply still dependent on thousands of man-made tanks. Seventeen reservoirs from different user categories and different climatic zones were selected to study variations in phytoplankton communities with relation to major nutrients, with particular emphasis on cyanobacteria. The study was carried out during a two-year period and heavy growths or blooms of cyanobacteria observed during the study period were tested for microcystins. The results clearly categorised the 17 reservoirs into four groups parallel to the classification based on the user categories of water bodies. Biomass of total phytoplankton, the abundance of cyanobacteria, the dominance of Microcystis spp. and concentration of nitrate (N) and total phosphorous (P) were the lowest in drinking water bodies and the highest in aesthetic water bodies. Irrigation water bodies showed the second lowest values for phytoplankton biomass, and concentration of N and P, while hydropower reservoirs showed the second highest values for the same parameters. The fraction of cyanobacteria in irrigation waters was higher than that in hydropower reservoirs, but surprisingly the dominance of Microcystis spp. was reversed. Possible reasons for these variations are discussed. More than half of the bloom material tested contained microcystins up to 81microgl(-1). Our findings indicate the potential for high-risk situations due to toxigenic cyanobacterial blooms in susceptible freshwaters of Sri Lanka. PMID:16464697

  8. Assessment of Chemical and Physico-Chemical Properties of Cyanobacterial Lipids for Biodiesel Production

    PubMed Central

    Da Rós, Patrícia C. M.; Silva, Caroline S. P.; Silva-Stenico, Maria E.; Fiore, Marli F.; De Castro, Heizir F.

    2013-01-01

    Five non-toxin producing cyanobacterial isolates from the genera Synechococcus, Trichormus, Microcystis, Leptolyngbya and Chlorogloea were examined in terms of quantity and quality as lipid feedstock for biofuel production. Under the conditions used in this study, the biomass productivity ranged from 3.7 to 52.7 mg·L−1·day−1 in relation to dry biomass, while the lipid productivity varied between 0.8 and 14.2 mg·L−1·day−1. All cyanobacterial strains evaluated yielded lipids with similar fatty acid composition to those present in the seed oils successfully used for biodiesel synthesis. However, by combining biomass and lipid productivity parameters, the greatest potential was found for Synechococcus sp. PCC7942, M. aeruginosa NPCD-1 and Trichormus sp. CENA77. The chosen lipid samples were further characterized using Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), viscosity and thermogravimetry and used as lipid feedstock for biodiesel synthesis by heterogeneous catalysis. PMID:23880929

  9. Assessment of chemical and physico-chemical properties of cyanobacterial lipids for biodiesel production.

    PubMed

    Da Rós, Patrícia C M; Silva, Caroline S P; Silva-Stenico, Maria E; Fiore, Marli F; De Castro, Heizir F

    2013-07-01

    Five non-toxin producing cyanobacterial isolates from the genera Synechococcus, Trichormus, Microcystis, Leptolyngbya and Chlorogloea were examined in terms of quantity and quality as lipid feedstock for biofuel production. Under the conditions used in this study, the biomass productivity ranged from 3.7 to 52.7 mg·L-1·day-1 in relation to dry biomass, while the lipid productivity varied between 0.8 and 14.2 mg·L-1·day-1. All cyanobacterial strains evaluated yielded lipids with similar fatty acid composition to those present in the seed oils successfully used for biodiesel synthesis. However, by combining biomass and lipid productivity parameters, the greatest potential was found for Synechococcus sp. PCC7942, M. aeruginosa NPCD-1 and Trichormus sp. CENA77. The chosen lipid samples were further characterized using Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), viscosity and thermogravimetry and used as lipid feedstock for biodiesel synthesis by heterogeneous catalysis. PMID:23880929

  10. Cyanobacterial Neurotoxin β-N-Methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) in Shark Fins

    PubMed Central

    Mondo, Kiyo; Hammerschlag, Neil; Basile, Margaret; Pablo, John; Banack, Sandra A.; Mash, Deborah C.

    2012-01-01

    Sharks are among the most threatened groups of marine species. Populations are declining globally to support the growing demand for shark fin soup. Sharks are known to bioaccumulate toxins that may pose health risks to consumers of shark products. The feeding habits of sharks are varied, including fish, mammals, crustaceans and plankton. The cyanobacterial neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) has been detected in species of free-living marine cyanobacteria and may bioaccumulate in the marine food web. In this study, we sampled fin clips from seven different species of sharks in South Florida to survey the occurrence of BMAA using HPLC-FD and Triple Quadrupole LC/MS/MS methods. BMAA was detected in the fins of all species examined with concentrations ranging from 144 to 1836 ng/mg wet weight. Since BMAA has been linked to neurodegenerative diseases, these results may have important relevance to human health. We suggest that consumption of shark fins may increase the risk for human exposure to the cyanobacterial neurotoxin BMAA. PMID:22412816

  11. Cyanobacterial neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) in shark fins.

    PubMed

    Mondo, Kiyo; Hammerschlag, Neil; Basile, Margaret; Pablo, John; Banack, Sandra A; Mash, Deborah C

    2012-02-01

    Sharks are among the most threatened groups of marine species. Populations are declining globally to support the growing demand for shark fin soup. Sharks are known to bioaccumulate toxins that may pose health risks to consumers of shark products. The feeding habits of sharks are varied, including fish, mammals, crustaceans and plankton. The cyanobacterial neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) has been detected in species of free-living marine cyanobacteria and may bioaccumulate in the marine food web. In this study, we sampled fin clips from seven different species of sharks in South Florida to survey the occurrence of BMAA using HPLC-FD and Triple Quadrupole LC/MS/MS methods. BMAA was detected in the fins of all species examined with concentrations ranging from 144 to 1836 ng/mg wet weight. Since BMAA has been linked to neurodegenerative diseases, these results may have important relevance to human health. We suggest that consumption of shark fins may increase the risk for human exposure to the cyanobacterial neurotoxin BMAA. PMID:22412816

  12. Climate change: a catalyst for global expansion of harmful cyanobacterial blooms.

    PubMed

    Paerl, Hans W; Huisman, Jef

    2009-02-01

    Cyanobacteria are the Earth's oldest known oxygen-evolving photosynthetic microorganisms, and they have had major impacts on shaping our current atmosphere and biosphere. Their long evolutionary history has enabled cyanobacteria to develop survival strategies and persist as important primary producers during numerous geochemical and climatic changes that have taken place on Earth during the past 3.5 billion years. Today, some cyanobacterial species form massive surface growths or 'blooms' that produce toxins, cause oxygen depletion and alter food webs, posing a major threat to drinking and irrigation water supplies, fishing and recreational use of surface waters worldwide. These harmful cyanobacteria can take advantage of anthropogenically induced nutrient over-enrichment (eutrophication), and hydrologic modifications (water withdrawal, reservoir construction). Here, we review recent studies revealing that regional and global climatic change may benefit various species of harmful cyanobacteria by increasing their growth rates, dominance, persistence, geographic distributions and activity. Future climatic change scenarios predict rising temperatures, enhanced vertical stratification of aquatic ecosystems, and alterations in seasonal and interannual weather patterns (including droughts, storms, floods); these changes all favour harmful cyanobacterial blooms in eutrophic waters. Therefore, current mitigation and water management strategies, which are largely based on nutrient input and hydrologic controls, must also accommodate the environmental effects of global warming. PMID:23765717

  13. Microcystin accumulation and biochemical responses in the edible clam Corbiculaleana P. exposed to cyanobacterial crude extract.

    PubMed

    Pham, Thanh-Luu; Shimizu, Kazuya; Kanazawa, Ayako; Gao, Yu; Dao, Thanh-Son; Utsumi, Motoo

    2016-06-01

    We investigated the accumulation and effects of cyanobacterial crude extract (CCE) containing microcystins (MCs) on the edible clam Corbiculaleana P. Toxic effects were evaluated through the activity of antioxidant and detoxification enzymes: catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and glutathione-S-transferases (GSTs) from gills, foot, mantle and remaining soft tissues. Clams were exposed to CCE containing 400μg MC-LReq/L for 10days and were then kept in toxin-free water for 5days. Clam accumulated MCs (up to 3.41±0.63μg/g dry weight (DW) of unbound MC and 0.31±0.013μg/g DW of covalently bound MC). Detoxification and antioxidant enzymes in different organs responded differently to CCE during the experiment. The activity of SOD, CAT, and GST in the gills and mantle increased in MC-treated clams. In contrast, CAT and GST activity was significantly inhibited in the foot and mostly only slightly changed in the remaining tissues. The responses of biotransformation, antioxidant enzyme activity to CCE and the fast elimination of MCs during depuration help to explain how the clam can survive for long periods (over a week) during the decay of toxic cyanobacterial blooms in nature. PMID:27266308

  14. Polyphasic identification of cyanobacterial isolates from Australia.

    PubMed

    Lee, Elvina; Ryan, Una M; Monis, Paul; McGregor, Glenn B; Bath, Andrew; Gordon, Cameron; Paparini, Andrea

    2014-08-01

    Reliable identification of cyanobacterial isolates has significant socio-economic implications as many bloom-forming species affect the aesthetics and safety of drinking water, through the production of taste and odour compounds or toxic metabolites. The limitations of morphological identification have promoted the application of molecular tools, and encouraged the adoption of combined (polyphasic) approaches that include both microscopy- and DNA-based analyses. In this context, the rapid expansion of available sequence data is expected to allow increasingly reliable identification of cyanobacteria, and ultimately resolve current discrepancies between the two approaches. In the present study morphological and molecular characterisations of cyanobacterial isolates (n = 39), collected from various freshwater sites in Australia, were compared. Sequences were obtained for the small ribosomal subunit RNA gene (16S rDNA) (n = 36), the DNA-dependent RNA polymerase gene (rpoC1) (n = 22), and the phycocyanin operon, with its intergenic spacer region (cpcBA-IGS) (n = 19). Phylogenetic analyses identified three cyanobacterial orders: the Chroococcales (n = 8), Oscillatoriales (n = 6), and Nostocales (n = 25). Interestingly, multiple novel genotypes were identified, with 22% of the strains (17/77) having <95% similarity to available sequences in GenBank. Morphological and molecular data were in agreement at the species level for only 26% of the isolates obtained (10/39), while agreement at the genus level was obtained for 31% (12/39). Confident identification of the remaining 44% of the strains (17/39) beyond the order level was not possible. The present study demonstrates that, despite the taxonomic revisions, and advances in molecular-, and bioinformatics-tools, the lack of reliable morphological features, culture-induced pleomorphism, and proportion of misidentified or poorly described sequences in GenBank, still represent significant factors, impeding the

  15. A SYNOPTIC SURVEY OF MUSTY/MUDDY ODOR METABOLITES AND MICROCYSTIN TOXIN OCCURRENCE AND CONCENTRATION IN SOUTHEASTERN USA CHANNEL CATFISH (ICTALURUS PUNCTATUS RALFINESQUE) PRODUCTION PONDS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A synoptic profile was completed in July-August 2000 to assess the occurrence of off-flavor compounds (beta-cyclocitral, 2-methylisoborneol-MIB, and geosmin) and the cyanobacterial toxin in catfish production ponds. A total of 485 ponds were sampled during a one-week period; sample collections were...

  16. Quantifying Phycocyanin Concentration in Cyanobacterial Algal Blooms from Remote Sensing Reflectance-A Quasi Analytical Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mishra, S.; Mishra, D. R.; Tucker, C.

    2011-12-01

    Cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (CHAB) are notorious for depleting dissolved oxygen level, producing various toxins, causing threats to aquatic life, altering the food-web dynamics and the overall ecosystem functioning in inland lakes, estuaries, and coastal waters. Most of these algal blooms produce various toxins that can damage cells, tissues and even cause mortality of living organisms. Frequent monitoring of water quality in a synoptic scale has been possible by the virtue of remote sensing techniques. In this research, we present a novel technique to monitor CHAB using remote sensing reflectance products. We have modified a multi-band quasi analytical algorithm that determines phytoplankton absorption coefficients from above surface remote sensing reflectance measurements using an inversion method. In situ hyperspectral remote sensing reflectance data were collected from several highly turbid and productive aquaculture ponds. A novel technique was developed to further decompose the phytoplankton absorption coefficients at 620 nm and obtain phycocyanin absorption coefficient at the same wavelength. An empirical relationship was established between phycocyanin absorption coefficients at 620 nm and measured phycocyanin concentrations. Model calibration showed strong relationship between phycocyanin absorption coefficients and phycocyanin pigment concentration (r2=0.94). Validation of the model in a separate dataset produced a root mean squared error of 167 mg m-3 (phycocyanin range: 26-1012 mg m-3). Results demonstrate that the new approach will be suitable for quantifying phycocyanin concentration in cyanobacteria dominated turbid productive waters. Band architecture of the model matches with the band configuration of the Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) and assures that MERIS reflectance products can be used to quantify phycocyanin in cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms in optically complex waters.

  17. The effect of cyanobacterial biomass enrichment by centrifugation and GF/C filtration on subsequent microcystin measurement.

    PubMed

    Rogers, Shelley; Puddick, Jonathan; Wood, Susanna A; Dietrich, Daniel R; Hamilton, David P; Prinsep, Michele R

    2015-03-01

    Microcystins are cyclic peptides produced by multiple cyanobacterial genera. After accumulation in the liver of animals they inhibit eukaryotic serine/threonine protein phosphatases, causing liver disease or death. Accurate detection/quantification of microcystins is essential to ensure safe water resources and to enable research on this toxin. Previous methodological comparisons have focused on detection and extraction techniques, but have not investigated the commonly used biomass enrichment steps. These enrichment steps could modulate toxin production as recent studies have demonstrated that high cyanobacterial cell densities cause increased microcystin levels. In this study, three microcystin-producing strains were processed using no cell enrichment steps (by direct freezing at three temperatures) and with biomass enrichment (by centrifugation or GF/C filtration). After extraction, microcystins were analyzed using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. All processing methods tested, except GF/C filtration, resulted in comparable microcystin quotas for all strains. The low yields observed for the filtration samples were caused by adsorption of arginine-containing microcystins to the GF/C filters. Whilst biomass enrichment did not affect microcystin metabolism over the time-frame of normal sample processing, problems associated with GF/C filtration were identified. The most widely applicable processing method was direct freezing of samples as it could be utilized in both field and laboratory environments. PMID:25763766

  18. *CYANOBACTERIA AND THEIR TOXINS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, are naturally-occurring contaminants of surface waters worldwide. These photosynthesizing prokaryotes thrive in warm, shallow, nutrient-rich waters. Many produce potent toxins as secondary metabolites. Cyanobacteria toxins have been document...

  19. Botulinum toxin injection - larynx

    MedlinePlus

    Injection laryngoplasty; Botox-larynx: spasmodic dysphonia-BTX; Essential voice tremor (EVT)-btx; Glottic insufficiency; Percutaneous electromyography-guided botulinum toxin treatment; Percutaneous indirect laryngoscopy-guided botulinum toxin Treatment; ...

  20. Stool C. difficile toxin

    MedlinePlus

    ... page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003590.htm Stool C. difficile toxin To use the sharing features on this page, please enable JavaScript. The stool C. difficile toxin test detects harmful substances produced by ...

  1. Botox (Botulinum Toxin)

    MedlinePlus

    ... people when there are many effective and safe cosmetic procedures that can temporarily reduce a very prominent ... form of botulinum toxin is Type A (Botox® Cosmetic, Allergan, Inc). Botulinum toxin, what we will now ...

  2. Detection of Protein Toxins

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We have focused on ricin, shiga-like toxin, botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), and staphylococcal enterotoxin A (SEA), developing sensitive test methods for toxins and marker compounds in food matrices. Although animal models provide the best means for risk assessment, especially for crude toxins in compl...

  3. Secondary metabolite gene expression and interplay of bacterial functions in a tropical freshwater cyanobacterial bloom

    PubMed Central

    Penn, Kevin; Wang, Jia; Fernando, Samodha C; Thompson, Janelle R

    2014-01-01

    Cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (cyanoHABs) appear to be increasing in frequency on a global scale. The Cyanobacteria in blooms can produce toxic secondary metabolites that make freshwater dangerous for drinking and recreation. To characterize microbial activities in a cyanoHAB, transcripts from a eutrophic freshwater reservoir in Singapore were sequenced for six samples collected over one day-night period. Transcripts from the Cyanobacterium Microcystis dominated all samples and were accompanied by at least 533 genera primarily from the Cyanobacteria, Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria. Within the Microcystis population, abundant transcripts were from genes for buoyancy, photosynthesis and synthesis of the toxin microviridin, suggesting that these are necessary for competitive dominance in the Reservoir. During the day, Microcystis transcripts were enriched in photosynthesis and energy metabolism while at night enriched pathways included DNA replication and repair and toxin biosynthesis. Microcystis was the dominant source of transcripts from polyketide and non-ribosomal peptide synthase (PKS and NRPS, respectively) gene clusters. Unexpectedly, expression of all PKS/NRPS gene clusters, including for the toxins microcystin and aeruginosin, occurred throughout the day-night cycle. The most highly expressed PKS/NRPS gene cluster from Microcystis is not associated with any known product. The four most abundant phyla in the reservoir were enriched in different functions, including photosynthesis (Cyanobacteria), breakdown of complex organic molecules (Proteobacteria), glycan metabolism (Bacteroidetes) and breakdown of plant carbohydrates, such as cellobiose (Actinobacteria). These results provide the first estimate of secondary metabolite gene expression, functional partitioning and functional interplay in a freshwater cyanoHAB. PMID:24646695

  4. Secondary metabolite gene expression and interplay of bacterial functions in a tropical freshwater cyanobacterial bloom.

    PubMed

    Penn, Kevin; Wang, Jia; Fernando, Samodha C; Thompson, Janelle R

    2014-09-01

    Cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (cyanoHABs) appear to be increasing in frequency on a global scale. The Cyanobacteria in blooms can produce toxic secondary metabolites that make freshwater dangerous for drinking and recreation. To characterize microbial activities in a cyanoHAB, transcripts from a eutrophic freshwater reservoir in Singapore were sequenced for six samples collected over one day-night period. Transcripts from the Cyanobacterium Microcystis dominated all samples and were accompanied by at least 533 genera primarily from the Cyanobacteria, Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria. Within the Microcystis population, abundant transcripts were from genes for buoyancy, photosynthesis and synthesis of the toxin microviridin, suggesting that these are necessary for competitive dominance in the Reservoir. During the day, Microcystis transcripts were enriched in photosynthesis and energy metabolism while at night enriched pathways included DNA replication and repair and toxin biosynthesis. Microcystis was the dominant source of transcripts from polyketide and non-ribosomal peptide synthase (PKS and NRPS, respectively) gene clusters. Unexpectedly, expression of all PKS/NRPS gene clusters, including for the toxins microcystin and aeruginosin, occurred throughout the day-night cycle. The most highly expressed PKS/NRPS gene cluster from Microcystis is not associated with any known product. The four most abundant phyla in the reservoir were enriched in different functions, including photosynthesis (Cyanobacteria), breakdown of complex organic molecules (Proteobacteria), glycan metabolism (Bacteroidetes) and breakdown of plant carbohydrates, such as cellobiose (Actinobacteria). These results provide the first estimate of secondary metabolite gene expression, functional partitioning and functional interplay in a freshwater cyanoHAB. PMID:24646695

  5. [Intoxication of botulinum toxin].

    PubMed

    Chudzicka, Aleksandra

    2015-09-01

    Botulinum toxin is an egzotoxin produced by Gram positive bacteria Clostridium botulinum. It is among the most potent toxins known. The 3 main clinical presentations of botulism are as follows: foodborne botulism, infant botulism and wound botulism. The main symptom of intoxication is flat muscles paralysis. The treatment is supportive care and administration of antitoxin. In prevention the correct preparing of canned food is most important. Botulinum toxin is accepted as a biological weapon. PMID:26449577

  6. Botulinum toxin injection - larynx

    MedlinePlus

    Injection laryngoplasty; Botox-larynx: spasmodic dysphonia-BTX; Essential voice tremor (EVT)-btx; Glottic insufficiency; Percutaneous electromyography-guided botulinum toxin treatment; Percutaneous indirect laryngoscopy- ...

  7. A Review of Cyanobacterial Odorous and Bioactive Metabolites: Impacts and Management Alternatives in Aquaculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An increased demand has pushed extensive aquaculture towards intensively operated production systems, commonly resulting in eutrophic conditions and cyanobacterial blooms. This review summarizes cyanobacterial secondary metabolites that can cause undesirable tastes and odors (odorous metabolites) o...

  8. Cyanobacterial chassis engineering for enhancing production of biofuels and chemicals.

    PubMed

    Gao, Xinyan; Sun, Tao; Pei, Guangsheng; Chen, Lei; Zhang, Weiwen

    2016-04-01

    To reduce dependence on fossil fuels and curb greenhouse effect, cyanobacteria have emerged as an important chassis candidate for producing biofuels and chemicals due to their capability to directly utilize sunlight and CO2 as the sole energy and carbon sources, respectively. Recent progresses in developing and applying various synthetic biology tools have led to the successful constructions of novel pathways of several dozen green fuels and chemicals utilizing cyanobacterial chassis. Meanwhile, it is increasingly recognized that in order to enhance productivity of the synthetic cyanobacterial systems, optimizing and engineering more robust and high-efficient cyanobacterial chassis should not be omitted. In recent years, numerous research studies have been conducted to enhance production of green fuels and chemicals through cyanobacterial chassis modifications involving photosynthesis, CO2 uptake and fixation, products exporting, tolerance, and cellular regulation. In this article, we critically reviewed recent progresses and universal strategies in cyanobacterial chassis engineering to make it more robust and effective for bio-chemicals production. PMID:26883347

  9. Cyanobacterial ultrastructure in light of genomic sequence data.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez-Esquer, C R; Smarda, J; Rippka, R; Axen, S D; Guglielmi, G; Gugger, M; Kerfeld, C A

    2016-08-01

    Cyanobacteria are physiologically and morphologically diverse photosynthetic microbes that play major roles in the carbon and nitrogen cycles of the biosphere. Recently, they have gained attention as potential platforms for the production of biofuels and other renewable chemicals. Many cyanobacteria were characterized morphologically prior to the advent of genome sequencing. Here, we catalog cyanobacterial ultrastructure within the context of genomic sequence information, including high-magnification transmission electron micrographs that represent the diversity in cyanobacterial morphology. We place the image data in the context of tabulated protein domains-which are the structural, functional, and evolutionary units of proteins-from the 126 cyanobacterial genomes comprising the CyanoGEBA dataset. In particular, we identify the correspondence between ultrastructure and the occurrence of genes encoding protein domains related to the formation of cyanobacterial inclusions. This compilation of images and genome-level domain occurrence will prove useful for a variety of analyses of cyanobacterial sequence data and provides a guidebook to morphological features. PMID:27344651

  10. Degradation of cyanobacterial biosignatures by ionizing radiation.

    PubMed

    Dartnell, Lewis R; Storrie-Lombardi, Michael C; Mullineaux, Conrad W; Ruban, Alexander V; Wright, Gary; Griffiths, Andrew D; Muller, Jan-Peter; Ward, John M

    2011-12-01

    Primitive photosynthetic microorganisms, either dormant or dead, may remain today on the martian surface, akin to terrestrial cyanobacteria surviving endolithically in martian analog sites on Earth such as the Antarctic Dry Valleys and the Atacama Desert. Potential markers of martian photoautotrophs include the red edge of chlorophyll reflectance spectra or fluorescence emission from systems of light-harvesting pigments. Such biosignatures, however, would be modified and degraded by long-term exposure to ionizing radiation from the unshielded cosmic ray flux onto the martian surface. In this initial study into this issue, three analytical techniques--absorbance, reflectance, and fluorescence spectroscopy--were employed to determine the progression of the radiolytic destruction of cyanobacteria. The pattern of signal loss for chlorophyll reflection and fluorescence from several biomolecules is characterized and quantified after increasing exposures to ionizing gamma radiation. This allows estimation of the degradation rates of cyanobacterial biosignatures on the martian surface and the identification of promising detectable fluorescent break-down products. PMID:22149884

  11. Assembly, function and evolution of cyanobacterial carboxysomes.

    PubMed

    Kerfeld, Cheryl A; Melnicki, Matthew R

    2016-06-01

    All cyanobacteria contain carboxysomes, RuBisCO-encapsulating bacterial microcompartments that function as prokaryotic organelles. The two carboxysome types, alpha and beta, differ fundamentally in components, assembly, and species distribution. Alpha carboxysomes share a highly-conserved gene organization, with evidence of horizontal gene transfer from chemoautotrophic proteobacteria to the picocyanobacteria, and seem to co-assemble shells concomitantly with aggregation of cargo enzymes. In contrast, beta carboxysomes assemble an enzymatic core first, with an encapsulation peptide playing a critical role in formation of the surrounding shell. Based on similarities in assembly, and phylogenetic analysis of the pentameric shell protein conserved across all bacterial microcompartments, beta carboxysomes appear to be more closely related to the microcompartments of heterotrophic bacteria (metabolosomes) than to alpha carboxysomes, which appear deeply divergent. Beta carboxysomes can be found in the basal cyanobacterial clades that diverged before the ancestor of the chloroplast and have recently been shown to be able to encapsulate functional RuBisCO enzymes resurrected from ancestrally-reconstructed sequences, consistent with an ancient origin. Alpha and beta carboxysomes are not only distinct units of evolution, but are now emerging as genetic/metabolic modules for synthetic biology; heterologous expression and redesign of both the shell and the enzymatic core have recently been achieved. PMID:27060669

  12. Comparing Band Ratio, Semi-Empirical, and Modified Gaussian Models in Predicting Cyanobacterial Pigments in Eutrophic Inland Waters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robertson, A. L.; Lin, L.; Tedesco, L.; Wilson, J.; Soyeux, E.

    2008-12-01

    Cyanobacteria are known to produce toxins harmful to humans and compounds that alter the taste/odor of water. Monitoring cyanobacteria is of interest to surface water managers because eutrophication of these surface water bodies are common thus increasing the chances of cyanobacterial blooms. Traditionally cyanobacteria are remotely sensed using the spectral properties of the two pigments: chlorophyll a (Chl-a), indicative of all algal and cyanobacteria species, and phycocyanin (PC), specific to cyanobacteria in most freshwater systems. Initial algorithms identifying cyanobacterial pigments used ratios of reflectance at specific wavelengths. In an effort to increase transferability between different systems researchers have included optical properties of water and water constituents to build semi-empirical models. Recently researchers have applied a curve-fitting, modified Gaussian model (MGM), to predict these cyanobacterial pigments. To determine the best performing algorithm this study compares the performance of 4 band ratio, 4 semi-empirical, and 2 modified Gaussian models in predicting PC and Chl-a on three central Indiana reservoirs (Eagle Creek, Geist, Morse). For each of these reservoirs, spectral data were collected with three different sensors (boat-based: ASD Fieldspec, Ocean Optics USB4000; Ariel: AISA Eagle) over a three year period (2005-2007), and water samples concomitant with these spectra were analyzed for concentration of the two pigments and other water constituents. Comparison shows that a model using the MGM strength at 620 nm from a 2005 Morse Reservoir ASD Fieldspec data set shows that the MGM has the best transferability to a 2006 Morse Reservoir ASD Fieldspec data set in predicting phycocyanin (R2 = 0.77; RMSE= 52.45 ppb), and a band ratio model published by Mittenzwey et al. 1991 has the best transferability in predicting chlorophyll a (R2 = 0.74; RMSE 16.31=ppb).

  13. Defense against toxin weapons

    SciTech Connect

    Franz, D.R.

    1994-01-01

    The purpose of this manual is to provide basic information on biological toxins to military leaders and health-care providers at all levels to help them make informed decisions on protecting their troops from toxins. Much of the information contained herein will also be of interest to individuals charged with countering domestic and international terrorism. We typically fear what we do not understand.

  14. Preformed bacterial toxins.

    PubMed

    Crane, J K

    1999-09-01

    Food poisoning syndromes caused by four different bacteria are described. For all types, food kept at a permissive temperature allows growth of the vegetative forms of the bacteria and production of a toxin or toxins. The key features of these syndromes, as well as possible new trends of concern, are summarized in Table 1. PMID:10549427

  15. Toxins from Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Henkel, James S.; Baldwin, Michael R.; Barbieri, Joseph T.

    2010-01-01

    Bacterial toxins damage the host at the site of bacterial infection or distanced from the site of infections. Bacterial toxins can be single proteins or organized as oligomeric protein complexes and are organized with distinct AB structure-function properties. The A domain encodes a catalytic activity; ADP-ribosylation of host proteins is the earliest post-translational modification determine to be performed by bacterial toxin, and now include glucosylation and proteolysis among other s. Bacterial toxins also catalyze the non-covalent modification of host protein function or can modify host cell properties through direct protein-protein interactions. The B domain includes two functional domains: a receptor-binding domain, which defines the tropism of a toxin for a cell and a translocation domain that delivers A domain across a lipid bilayer, either on the plasma membrane or the endosome. Bacterial toxins are often characterized based upon the section mechanism that delivers the toxin out of the bacterium, termed type I–VII. This review will overview the major families of bacterial toxins and will also describe the specific structure-function properties of the botulinum neurotoxins. PMID:20358680

  16. The apoptosis-inducing activity towards leukemia and lymphoma cells in a cyanobacterial culture collection is not associated with mouse bioassay toxicity.

    PubMed

    Oftedal, Linn; Skjærven, Kaja H; Coyne, Rosie T; Edvardsen, Bente; Rohrlack, Thomas; Skulberg, Olav M; Døskeland, Stein Ove; Herfindal, Lars

    2011-04-01

    Cyanobacteria (83 strains and seven natural populations) were screened for content of apoptosis (cell death)-inducing activity towards neoplastic cells of the immune (jurkat acute T-cell lymphoma) and hematopoetic (acute myelogenic leukemia) lineage. Apoptogenic activity was frequent, even in strains cultured for decades, and was unrelated to whether the cyanobacteria had been collected from polar, temperate, or tropic environments. The activity was more abundant in the genera Anabaena and Microcystis compared to Nostoc, Phormidium, Planktothrix, and Pseudanabaena. Whereas the T-cell lymphoma apoptogens were frequent in organic extracts, the cell death-inducing activity towards leukemia cells resided mainly in aqueous extracts. The cyanobacteria were from a culture collection established for public health purposes to detect toxic cyanobacterial blooms, and 54 of them were tested for toxicity by the mouse bioassay. We found no correlation between the apoptogenic activity in the cyanobacterial isolates with their content of microcystin, nor with their ability to elicit a positive standard mouse bioassay. Several strains produced more than one apoptogen, differing in biophysical or biological activity. In fact, two strains contained microcystin in addition to one apoptogen specific for the AML cells, and one apoptogen specific for the T-cell lymphoma. This study shows the potential of cyanobacterial culture collections as libraries for bioactive compounds, since strains kept in cultures for decades produced apoptogens unrelated to the mouse bioassay detectable bloom-associated toxins. PMID:20689978

  17. ACQUA: Automated Cyanobacterial Quantification Algorithm for toxic filamentous genera using spline curves, pattern recognition and machine learning.

    PubMed

    Gandola, Emanuele; Antonioli, Manuela; Traficante, Alessio; Franceschini, Simone; Scardi, Michele; Congestri, Roberta

    2016-05-01

    Toxigenic cyanobacteria are one of the main health risks associated with water resources worldwide, as their toxins can affect humans and fauna exposed via drinking water, aquaculture and recreation. Microscopy monitoring of cyanobacteria in water bodies and massive growth systems is a routine operation for cell abundance and growth estimation. Here we present ACQUA (Automated Cyanobacterial Quantification Algorithm), a new fully automated image analysis method designed for filamentous genera in Bright field microscopy. A pre-processing algorithm has been developed to highlight filaments of interest from background signals due to other phytoplankton and dust. A spline-fitting algorithm has been designed to recombine interrupted and crossing filaments in order to perform accurate morphometric analysis and to extract the surface pattern information of highlighted objects. In addition, 17 specific pattern indicators have been developed and used as input data for a machine-learning algorithm dedicated to the recognition between five widespread toxic or potentially toxic filamentous genera in freshwater: Aphanizomenon, Cylindrospermopsis, Dolichospermum, Limnothrix and Planktothrix. The method was validated using freshwater samples from three Italian volcanic lakes comparing automated vs. manual results. ACQUA proved to be a fast and accurate tool to rapidly assess freshwater quality and to characterize cyanobacterial assemblages in aquatic environments. PMID:27012737

  18. Impact of Nitrogen Sources on Gene Expression and Toxin Production in the Diazotroph Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii CS-505 and Non-Diazotroph Raphidiopsis brookii D9

    PubMed Central

    Stucken, Karina; John, Uwe; Cembella, Allan; Soto-Liebe, Katia; Vásquez, Mónica

    2014-01-01

    Different environmental nitrogen sources play selective roles in the development of cyanobacterial blooms and noxious effects are often exacerbated when toxic cyanobacteria are dominant. Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii CS-505 (heterocystous, nitrogen fixing) and Raphidiopsis brookii D9 (non-N2 fixing) produce the nitrogenous toxins cylindrospermopsin (CYN) and paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs), respectively. These toxin groups are biosynthesized constitutively by two independent putative gene clusters, whose flanking genes are target for nitrogen (N) regulation. It is not yet known how or if toxin biosynthetic genes are regulated, particularly by N-source dependency. Here we show that binding boxes for NtcA, the master regulator of N metabolism, are located within both gene clusters as potential regulators of toxin biosynthesis. Quantification of intra- and extracellular toxin content in cultures at early stages of growth under nitrate, ammonium, urea and N-free media showed that N-sources influence neither CYN nor PST production. However, CYN and PST profiles were altered under N-free medium resulting in a decrease in the predicted precursor toxins (doCYN and STX, respectively). Reduced STX amounts were also observed under growth in ammonium. Quantification of toxin biosynthesis and transport gene transcripts revealed a constitutive transcription under all tested N-sources. Our data support the hypothesis that PSTs and CYN are constitutive metabolites whose biosynthesis is correlated to cyanobacterial growth rather than directly to specific environmental conditions. Overall, the constant biosynthesis of toxins and expression of the putative toxin-biosynthesis genes supports the usage of qPCR probes in water quality monitoring of toxic cyanobacteria. PMID:24956074

  19. Best practices for fluorescence microscopy of the cyanobacterial circadian clock

    PubMed Central

    Cohen, Susan E.; Erb, Marcella L.; Pogliano, Joe; Golden, Susan S.

    2015-01-01

    Summary This chapter deals with methods of monitoring the subcellular localization of proteins in single cells in the circadian model system Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942. While genetic, biochemical and structural insights into the cyanobacterial circadian oscillator have flourished, difficulties in achieving informative subcellular imaging in cyanobacterial cells have delayed progress of the cell biology aspects of the clock. Here, we describe best practices for using fluorescent protein tags to monitor localization. Specifically we address how to vet fusion proteins and overcome challenges in microscopic imaging of very small autofluorescent cells. PMID:25662459

  20. Ethanol production from carbon dioxide using cyanobacterial biomass

    SciTech Connect

    Mustaqim, Dani; Ohtaguchi, Kazuhisa

    1996-12-31

    An ethanol production system, which consists of chemical and biochemical reaction processes for (1) biomass production using cyanobacterium Synechococcus leopoliensis through photosynthetic CO{sub 2} fixation, (2) glucose extraction from that biomass, and (3) ethanol fermentation from the extracted glucose using yeast Saccharomyces sake, was conceptually developed. S. sake was grown on the medium containing the cyanobacterial biomass extract and that containing reagent glucose. It was found that the specific rates of cell growth, glucose consumption, ethanol production and the yeast ethanol tolerance were enhanced by the addition of cyanobacterial biomass extract. 4 refs., 5 figs., 1 tab.

  1. Effects on growth, antioxidant enzyme activity and levels of extracellular proteins in the green alga Chlorella vulgaris exposed to crude cyanobacterial extracts and pure microcystin and cylindrospermopsin.

    PubMed

    Campos, Alexandre; Araújo, Pedro; Pinheiro, Carlos; Azevedo, Joana; Osório, Hugo; Vasconcelos, Vitor

    2013-08-01

    Toxic cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins have been pointed as important players in the control of phytoplankton diversity and species abundance, causing ecological unbalances and contamination of the environment. In vitro experiments have been undertaken to address the impact of toxic cyanobacteria in green algae. In this regard the aim of this work was to compare the toxicity of two cyanobacteria species, Aphanizomenon ovalisporum and Microcystis aeruginosa, to the green alga Chlorella vulgaris by assessing culture growth when exposed for three and seven days to (I) cyanobacterial cell extracts and (II) pure toxins microcystin-LR (MC-LR) and cylindrospermopsin (CYN). The biochemical response of the green alga to pure toxins was also characterized, through the activity of the antioxidant markers glutathione S-transferase (GST) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and the expressed extracellular proteins in seven-day exposed cultures. A. ovalisporum crude extracts were toxic to C. vulgaris. Pure toxins up to 179.0 µg/L, on the other hand, stimulated the green alga growth. Growth results suggest that the toxicity of A. ovalisporum extracts is likely due to a synergistic action of CYN and other metabolites produced by the cyanobacterium. Regarding the green alga antioxidant defense mechanism, CYN at 18.4 and 179.0 µg/L increased the activity of GPx and GST while MC-LR inhibited the enzymes' activity at a concentration of 179.0 µg/L demonstrating a contrasting mode of action. Moreover the identification of F-ATPase subunit, adenylate cyclase, sulfate ABC transporter, putative porin, aspartate aminotransferase, methylene-tetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase and chlorophyll a binding proteins in the culture medium of C. vulgaris indicates that biochemical processes involved in the transport of metabolites, photosynthesis and amino acid metabolism are affected by cyanobacterial toxins and may contribute to the regulation of green alga growth. PMID:23726538

  2. Screening of Cyanobacterial Species for Calcification

    SciTech Connect

    Brady D. Lee; William A. Apel; Michelle R. Walton

    2004-07-01

    Species of cyanobacteria in the genera Synechococcus and Synechocystis are known to be the catalysts of a phenomenon called "whitings", which is the formation and precipitation of fine-grained CaCO3 particles. Whitings occur when the cyanobacteria fix atmospheric CO2 through the formation of CaCO3 on their cell surfaces, which leads to precipitation to the ocean floor and subsequent entombment in mud. Whitings represent one potential mechanism for CO2 sequestration. Research was performed to determine the ability of various strains of Synechocystis and Synechococcus to calcify when grown in microcosms amended with 2.5 mM HCO3- and 3.4 mM Ca2+. Results indicated that although all strains tested have the ability to calcify, only two Synechococcus species, strains PCC 8806 and PCC 8807, were able to calcify to the extent that a CaCO3 precipitate was formed. Enumeration of the cyanobacterial cultures during testing indicated that cell density did not appear to have a direct effect on calcification. Factors that had the greatest effect on calcification were CO2 removal and subsequent generation of alkaline pH. Whereas cell density was similar for all strains tested, differences in maximum pH were demonstrated. As CO2 was removed, growth medium pH increased and soluble Ca2+ was removed from solution. The largest increases in growth medium pH occurred when CO2 levels dropped below 400 ppmv. Research presented demonstrates that, under the conditions tested, many species of cyanobacteria in the genera Synechocystis and Synechococcus are able to calcify but only two species of Synechococcus were able to calcify to an extent that led to the precipitation of calcium carbonate.

  3. Lifestyle Evolution in Cyanobacterial Symbionts of Sponges

    PubMed Central

    Burgsdorf, Ilia; Slaby, Beate M.; Handley, Kim M.; Haber, Markus; Blom, Jochen; Marshall, Christopher W.; Gilbert, Jack A.; Hentschel, Ute

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The “Candidatus Synechococcus spongiarum” group includes different clades of cyanobacteria with high 16S rRNA sequence identity (~99%) and is the most abundant and widespread cyanobacterial symbiont of marine sponges. The first draft genome of a “Ca. Synechococcus spongiarum” group member was recently published, providing evidence of genome reduction by loss of genes involved in several nonessential functions. However, “Ca. Synechococcus spongiarum” includes a variety of clades that may differ widely in genomic repertoire and consequently in physiology and symbiotic function. Here, we present three additional draft genomes of “Ca. Synechococcus spongiarum,” each from a different clade. By comparing all four symbiont genomes to those of free-living cyanobacteria, we revealed general adaptations to life inside sponges and specific adaptations of each phylotype. Symbiont genomes shared about half of their total number of coding genes. Common traits of “Ca. Synechococcus spongiarum” members were a high abundance of DNA modification and recombination genes and a reduction in genes involved in inorganic ion transport and metabolism, cell wall biogenesis, and signal transduction mechanisms. Moreover, these symbionts were characterized by a reduced number of antioxidant enzymes and low-weight peptides of photosystem II compared to their free-living relatives. Variability within the “Ca. Synechococcus spongiarum” group was mostly related to immune system features, potential for siderophore-mediated iron transport, and dependency on methionine from external sources. The common absence of genes involved in synthesis of residues, typical of the O antigen of free-living Synechococcus species, suggests a novel mechanism utilized by these symbionts to avoid sponge predation and phage attack. PMID:26037118

  4. Lifestyle Evolution in Cyanobacterial Symbionts of Sponges

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Burgsdorf, Ilia; Slaby, Beate M.; Handley, Kim M.; Haber, Markus; Blom, Jochen; Marshall, Christopher W.; Gilbert, Jack A.; Hentschel, Ute; Steindler, Laura

    2015-06-02

    The “Candidatus Synechococcus spongiarum” group includes different clades of cyanobacteria with high 16S rRNA sequence identity (~99%) and is the most abundant and widespread cyanobacterial symbiont of marine sponges. The first draft genome of a “Ca. Synechococcus spongiarum” group member was recently published, providing evidence of genome reduction by loss of genes involved in several nonessential functions. However, “Ca. Synechococcus spongiarum” includes a variety of clades that may differ widely in genomic repertoire and consequently in physiology and symbiotic function. Here, we present three additional draft genomes of “Ca. Synechococcus spongiarum,” each from a different clade. By comparing all fourmore » symbiont genomes to those of free-living cyanobacteria, we revealed general adaptations to life inside sponges and specific adaptations of each phylotype. Symbiont genomes shared about half of their total number of coding genes. Common traits of “Ca. Synechococcus spongiarum” members were a high abundance of DNA modification and recombination genes and a reduction in genes involved in inorganic ion transport and metabolism, cell wall biogenesis, and signal transduction mechanisms. Moreover, these symbionts were characterized by a reduced number of antioxidant enzymes and low-weight peptides of photosystem II compared to their free-living relatives. Variability within the “Ca. Synechococcus spongiarum” group was mostly related to immune system features, potential for siderophore-mediated iron transport, and dependency on methionine from external sources. The common absence of genes involved in synthesis of residues, typical of the O antigen of free-living Synechococcus species, suggests a novel mechanism utilized by these symbionts to avoid sponge predation and phage attack.« less

  5. Lifestyle Evolution in Cyanobacterial Symbionts of Sponges

    SciTech Connect

    Burgsdorf, Ilia; Slaby, Beate M.; Handley, Kim M.; Haber, Markus; Blom, Jochen; Marshall, Christopher W.; Gilbert, Jack A.; Hentschel, Ute; Steindler, Laura

    2015-06-02

    The “Candidatus Synechococcus spongiarum” group includes different clades of cyanobacteria with high 16S rRNA sequence identity (~99%) and is the most abundant and widespread cyanobacterial symbiont of marine sponges. The first draft genome of a “Ca. Synechococcus spongiarum” group member was recently published, providing evidence of genome reduction by loss of genes involved in several nonessential functions. However, “Ca. Synechococcus spongiarum” includes a variety of clades that may differ widely in genomic repertoire and consequently in physiology and symbiotic function. Here, we present three additional draft genomes of “Ca. Synechococcus spongiarum,” each from a different clade. By comparing all four symbiont genomes to those of free-living cyanobacteria, we revealed general adaptations to life inside sponges and specific adaptations of each phylotype. Symbiont genomes shared about half of their total number of coding genes. Common traits of “Ca. Synechococcus spongiarum” members were a high abundance of DNA modification and recombination genes and a reduction in genes involved in inorganic ion transport and metabolism, cell wall biogenesis, and signal transduction mechanisms. Moreover, these symbionts were characterized by a reduced number of antioxidant enzymes and low-weight peptides of photosystem II compared to their free-living relatives. Variability within the “Ca. Synechococcus spongiarum” group was mostly related to immune system features, potential for siderophore-mediated iron transport, and dependency on methionine from external sources. The common absence of genes involved in synthesis of residues, typical of the O antigen of free-living Synechococcus species, suggests a novel mechanism utilized by these symbionts to avoid sponge predation and phage attack.

  6. Toxin content and cytotoxicity of algal dietary supplements

    SciTech Connect

    Heussner, A.H.; Mazija, L.; Fastner, J.; Dietrich, D.R.

    2012-12-01

    Blue-green algae (Spirulina sp., Aphanizomenon flos-aquae) and Chlorella sp. are commercially distributed as organic algae dietary supplements. Cyanobacterial dietary products in particular have raised serious concerns, as they appeared to be contaminated with toxins e.g. microcystins (MCs) and consumers repeatedly reported adverse health effects following consumption of these products. The aim of this study was to determine the toxin contamination and the in vitro cytotoxicity of algae dietary supplement products marketed in Germany. In thirteen products consisting of Aph. flos-aquae, Spirulina and Chlorella or mixtures thereof, MCs, nodularins, saxitoxins, anatoxin-a and cylindrospermopsin were analyzed. Five products tested in an earlier market study were re-analyzed for comparison. Product samples were extracted and analyzed for cytotoxicity in A549 cells as well as for toxin levels by (1) phosphatase inhibition assay (PPIA), (2) Adda-ELISA and (3) LC–MS/MS. In addition, all samples were analyzed by PCR for the presence of the mcyE gene, a part of the microcystin and nodularin synthetase gene cluster. Only Aph. flos-aquae products were tested positive for MCs as well as the presence of mcyE. The contamination levels of the MC-positive samples were ≤ 1 μg MC-LR equivalents g{sup −1} dw. None of the other toxins were found in any of the products. However, extracts from all products were cytotoxic. In light of the findings, the distribution and commercial sale of Aph. flos-aquae products, whether pure or mixed formulations, for human consumption appear highly questionable. -- Highlights: ► Marketed algae dietary supplements were analyzed for toxins. ► Methods: Phosphatase inhibition assay (PPIA), Adda-ELISA, LC-MS/MS. ► Aph. flos-aquae products all tested positive for microcystins. ► Products tested negative for nodularins, saxitoxins, anatoxin-a, cylindrospermopsin. ► Extracts from all products were cytotoxic.

  7. Cerebral uptake and protein incorporation of cyanobacterial toxin β-N-methylamino-L-alanine.

    PubMed

    Xie, Xiaobin; Basile, Margaret; Mash, Deborah C

    2013-10-01

    β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) is a nonprotein amino acid produced by diverse species of free-living cyanobacteria found in terrestrial and aquatic environments worldwide. BMAA has been detected as a soluble (free) and insoluble protein-bound (bound) amino acid in brains of Alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Guamanian amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/Parkinsonism dementia complex patients. A toxic reservoir of BMAA in the brain may be excitotoxic to neurons or serve to disrupt cerebral protein homeostasis. Here, we report tracer uptake kinetics and a time course for protein incorporation of [C]-L-BMAA into the brain of C57/BL6 mice. BMAA pharmacokinetic parameters measured in plasma show a rapid distribution phase and a terminal elimination half-life of 1.7 days following bolus intravenous administration. Total [C]-L-BMAA uptake to the brain reached a maximum at 1.5 h. Ex-vivo autoradiography of [C]-labeled BMAA showed dense labeling within the ventricles, choroid plexus, and whole-brain gray matter structures. Radioactivity measured in soluble and trichloroacetic acid precipitates was compared to determine the incorporation of [C]-L-BMAA into total brain protein. The maximal concentration of [C]-L-BMAA was measured in protein-bound fractions of brain at 4 h, followed by a corresponding decrease in the free pool of this nonprotein amino acid. The time-dependent association of [C]-L-BMAA in the protein-bound fraction suggests that BMAA may be trapped in new proteins by protein synthesis-dependent processes. BMAA may accumulate into growing polypeptide chains and recycle to the free pool with protein turnover. PMID:23979257

  8. The Risk of Cyanobacterial Toxins in Dialysate, What do we Know?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Surface waters are increasingly contaminated by cyanobacteria, which may produce potent cyanotoxins harmful to animals and humans. Hemodialysis patients are at high risk of injury from waterborne contaminants in the water used to prepare dialysate. Episodes of acute illness and d...

  9. Liver tumor promotion by the cyanobacterial cyclic peptide toxin microcystin-LR.

    PubMed

    Nishiwaki-Matsushima, R; Ohta, T; Nishiwaki, S; Suganuma, M; Kohyama, K; Ishikawa, T; Carmichael, W W; Fujiki, H

    1992-01-01

    Certain waterblooms of toxic cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) are a health threat because of their production of toxic peptides, termed microcystins, which cause liver damage in wild and domesticated animals. The most widely studied microcystin is microcystin-LR, a heptapeptide containing the two L-amino acids, leucine and arginine. The inhibition of protein phosphatase type 1 and type 2A activities by microcystin-LR is similar to that of the known protein phosphatase inhibitor and tumor promoter okadaic acid. We show in this report that microcystin-LR, applied below the acute toxicity level, dose-dependently increases the number and percentage area of positive foci for the placental form of glutathione S-transferase in rat liver, which was initiated with diethylnitrosamine. The result was obtained independently through two animal experiments. This observation indicates that microcystin-LR is a new liver tumor promoter mediated through inhibition of protein phosphatase type 1 and type 2A activities. This provides further evidence that the okadaic acid pathway is a general mechanism of tumor promotion in various organs, such as mouse skin, rat glandular stomach and rat liver. PMID:1618889

  10. The Presence of the Cyanobacterial Toxin Microcystin in Black Band Disease of Corals

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Black band disease (BBD) of corals consists of a pathogenic consortium of microorganisms of four physiological functional groups: phototrophs, heterotrophs, sulfate reducers, and sulfide oxidizers. Together, using a combination of behavioral and physiological strategies, the members of the BBD con...

  11. Immunomodulatory Potency of Microcystin, an Important Water-Polluting Cyanobacterial Toxin.

    PubMed

    Adamovsky, Ondrej; Moosova, Zdena; Pekarova, Michaela; Basu, Amrita; Babica, Pavel; Svihalkova Sindlerova, Lenka; Kubala, Lukas; Blaha, Ludek

    2015-10-20

    Microcystins (MCs) are primarily hepatotoxins produced by cyanobacteria and are responsible for intoxication in humans and animals. There are many incidents of chronic exposure to MCs, which have been attributed to the inappropriate treatment of water supplies or contaminated food. Using RAW 264.7 macrophages, we showed the potency of microcystin-LR (MC-LR) to stimulate production of pro-inflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor α and interleukin-6) as a consequence of fast nuclear factor κB and nitrogen-activated protein kinase activation. In contrast to other studies, the observed effects were not attributed to the intracellular inhibition of protein phosphatases 1/2A due to lack of specific transmembrane transporters for MCs. However, the MC-LR-induced activation of macrophages was effectively inhibited by a specific peptide that blocks signaling of receptors, which play a pivotal role in the innate immune responses. Taken together, we showed for the first time that MC-LR could interfere with macrophage receptors that are responsible for triggering the above-mentioned signaling pathways. These findings provide an interesting mechanistic explanation of some adverse health outcomes associated with toxic cyanobacteria and MCs. PMID:26380879

  12. Understanding malarial toxins.

    PubMed

    Starkl Renar, Katarina; Iskra, Jernej; Križaj, Igor

    2016-09-01

    Recognized since antiquity, malaria is one of the most infamous and widespread infectious diseases in humans and, although the death rate during the last century has been diminishing, it still accounts for more than a half million deaths annually. It is caused by the Plasmodium parasite and typical symptoms include fever, shivering, headache, diaphoresis and nausea, all resulting from an excessive inflammatory response induced by malarial toxins released into the victim's bloodstream. These toxins are hemozoin and glycosylphosphatidylinositols. The former is the final product of the parasite's detoxification of haeme, a by-product of haemoglobin catabolism, while the latter anchor proteins to the Plasmodium cell surface or occur as free molecules. Currently, only two groups of antimalarial toxin drugs exist on the market, quinolines and artemisinins. As we describe, they both target biosynthesis of hemozoin. Other substances, currently in various phases of clinical trials, are directed towards biosynthesis of glycosylphosphatidylinositol, formation of hemozoin, or attenuation of the inflammatory response of the patient. Among the innovative approaches to alleviating the effects of malarial toxins, is the development of antimalarial toxin vaccines. In this review the most important lessons learned from the use of treatments directed against the action of malarial toxins in antimalarial therapy are emphasized and the most relevant and promising directions for future research in obtaining novel antimalarial agents acting on malarial toxins are discussed. PMID:27353131

  13. Cyanobacterial bloom management through integrated monitoring and forecasting in large shallow eutrophic Lake Taihu (China).

    PubMed

    Qin, Boqiang; Li, Wei; Zhu, Guangwei; Zhang, Yunlin; Wu, Tingfeng; Gao, Guang

    2015-04-28

    The large shallow eutrophic Lake Taihu in China has long suffered from eutrophication and toxic cyanobacterial blooms. Despite considerable efforts to divert effluents from the watershed, the cyanobacterial blooms still reoccur and persist throughout summer. To mitigate cyanobacterial bloom pollution risk, a large scale integrated monitoring and forecasting system was developed, and a series of emergency response measures were instigated based on early warning. This system has been in place for 2009-2012. With this integrated monitoring system, it was found that the detectable maximum and average cyanobacterial bloom area were similar to that before drinking water crisis, indicating that poor eutrophic status and cyanobacterial bloom had persisted without significant alleviation. It also revealed that cyanobacterial bloom would occur after the intense storm, which may be associated with the increase in buoyance of cyanobacterial colonies. Although the cyanobacterial blooms had persisted during the monitoring period, there had been a reduction in frequency and intensity of the cyanobacterial bloom induced black water agglomerates (a phenomenon of algal bloom death decay to release a large amount black dissolved organic matter), and there have been no further drinking water crises. This monitoring and response strategy can reduce the cyanobacterial bloom pollution risk, but cannot reduce eutrophication and cyanobacterial blooms, problems which will take decades to resolve. PMID:25679801

  14. Bacterial toxins: friends or foes?

    PubMed Central

    Schmitt, C. K.; Meysick, K. C.; O'Brien, A. D.

    1999-01-01

    Many emerging and reemerging bacterial pathogens synthesize toxins that serve as primary virulence factors. We highlight seven bacterial toxins produced by well-established or newly emergent pathogenic microbes. These toxins, which affect eukaryotic cells by a variety of means, include Staphylococcus aureus alpha-toxin, Shiga toxin, cytotoxic necrotizing factor type 1, Escherichia coli heat-stable toxin, botulinum and tetanus neurotoxins, and S. aureus toxic-shock syndrome toxin. For each, we discuss the information available on its synthesis and structure, mode of action, and contribution to virulence. We also review the role certain toxins have played in unraveling signal pathways in eukaryotic cells and summarize the beneficial uses of toxins and toxoids. Our intent is to illustrate the importance of the analysis of bacterial toxins to both basic and applied sciences. PMID:10221874

  15. Unique marine derived cyanobacterial biosynthetic genes for chemical diversity.

    PubMed

    Kleigrewe, Karin; Gerwick, Lena; Sherman, David H; Gerwick, William H

    2016-02-01

    Cyanobacteria are a prolific source of structurally unique and biologically active natural products that derive from intriguing biochemical pathways. Advancements in genome sequencing have accelerated the identification of unique modular biosynthetic gene clusters in cyanobacteria and reveal a wealth of unusual enzymatic reactions involved in their construction. This article examines several interesting mechanistic transformations involved in cyanobacterial secondary metabolite biosynthesis with a particular focus on marine derived modular polyketide synthases (PKS), nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPS) and combinations thereof to form hybrid natural products. Further, we focus on the cyanobacterial genus Moorea and the co-evolution of its enzyme cassettes that create metabolic diversity. Progress in the development of heterologous expression systems for cyanobacterial gene clusters along with chemoenzymatic synthesis makes it possible to create new analogs. Additionally, phylum-wide genome sequencing projects have enhanced the discovery rate of new natural products and their distinctive enzymatic reactions. Summarizing, cyanobacterial biosynthetic gene clusters encode for a large toolbox of novel enzymes that catalyze unique chemical reactions, some of which may be useful in synthetic biology. PMID:26758451

  16. Cyanobacterial reuse of extracellular organic carbon in microbial mats.

    PubMed

    Stuart, Rhona K; Mayali, Xavier; Lee, Jackson Z; Craig Everroad, R; Hwang, Mona; Bebout, Brad M; Weber, Peter K; Pett-Ridge, Jennifer; Thelen, Michael P

    2016-05-01

    Cyanobacterial organic matter excretion is crucial to carbon cycling in many microbial communities, but the nature and bioavailability of this C depend on unknown physiological functions. Cyanobacteria-dominated hypersaline laminated mats are a useful model ecosystem for the study of C flow in complex communities, as they use photosynthesis to sustain a more or less closed system. Although such mats have a large C reservoir in the extracellular polymeric substances (EPSs), the production and degradation of organic carbon is not well defined. To identify extracellular processes in cyanobacterial mats, we examined mats collected from Elkhorn Slough (ES) at Monterey Bay, California, for glycosyl and protein composition of the EPS. We found a prevalence of simple glucose polysaccharides containing either α or β (1,4) linkages, indicating distinct sources of glucose with differing enzymatic accessibility. Using proteomics, we identified cyanobacterial extracellular enzymes, and also detected activities that indicate a capacity for EPS degradation. In a less complex system, we characterized the EPS of a cyanobacterial isolate from ES, ESFC-1, and found the extracellular composition of biofilms produced by this unicyanobacterial culture were similar to that of natural mats. By tracing isotopically labeled EPS into single cells of ESFC-1, we demonstrated rapid incorporation of extracellular-derived carbon. Taken together, these results indicate cyanobacteria reuse excess organic carbon, constituting a dynamic pool of extracellular resources in these mats. PMID:26495994

  17. Exploring cyanobacterial genomes for natural product biosynthesis pathways.

    PubMed

    Micallef, Melinda L; D'Agostino, Paul M; Al-Sinawi, Bakir; Neilan, Brett A; Moffitt, Michelle C

    2015-06-01

    Cyanobacteria produce a vast array of natural products, some of which are toxic to human health, while others possess potential pharmaceutical activities. Genome mining enables the identification and characterisation of natural product gene clusters; however, the current number of cyanobacterial genomes remains low compared to other phyla. There has been a recent effort to rectify this issue by increasing the number of sequenced cyanobacterial genomes. This has enabled the identification of biosynthetic gene clusters for structurally diverse metabolites, including non-ribosomal peptides, polyketides, ribosomal peptides, UV-absorbing compounds, alkaloids, terpenes and fatty acids. While some of the identified biosynthetic gene clusters correlate with known metabolites, genome mining also highlights the number and diversity of clusters for which the product is unknown (referred to as orphan gene clusters). A number of bioinformatic tools have recently been developed in order to predict the products of orphan gene clusters; however, in some cases the complexity of the cyanobacterial pathways makes the prediction problematic. This can be overcome by the use of mass spectrometry-guided natural product genome mining, or heterologous expression. Application of these techniques to cyanobacterial natural product gene clusters will be explored. PMID:25482899

  18. Removal of cyanobacterial metabolites by nanofiltration from two treated waters.

    PubMed

    Dixon, Mike B; Falconet, Charlotte; Ho, Lionel; Chow, Christopher W K; O'Neill, Brian K; Newcombe, Gayle

    2011-04-15

    Cyanobacterial metabolites, both toxic and non-toxic, are a major problem for the water industry. Nanofiltration (NF) may be an effective treatment option for removing organic micropollutants, such as cyanobacterial metabolites, from drinking water due to its size exclusion properties. A rapid bench scale membrane test (RBSMT) unit was utilised to trial four NF membranes to remove the cyanobacterial metabolites, microcystin, cylindrospermopsin (CYN), 2-methylisoborneol (MIB) and geosmin (GSM) in two treated waters sourced from the Palmer and Myponga water treatment plants. Membrane fouling was observed for both treated waters; however, only minor differences were observed between feed waters of differing natural organic matter (NOM) concentration. Low molecular weight cut-off (MWCO), or 'tight' NF, membranes afforded average removals above 90% for CYN, while removal by higher MWCO, or 'loose' NF membranes was lower. MIB and GSM were removed effectively (above 75%) by tight NF but less effectively by loose NF. Microcystin variants (MCRR, MCYR, MCLR, MCLA) were removed to above 90% by tight NF membranes; however, removal using loose NF membranes depended on the hydrophobicity and charge of the variant. Different NOM concentration in the treated waters had no effect on the removal of cyanobacterial metabolites. PMID:21339048

  19. Cyanobacterial Polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB): Screening, Optimization and Characterization

    PubMed Central

    Ansari, Sabbir; Fatma, Tasneem

    2016-01-01

    In modern life petroleum-based plastic has become indispensable due to its frequent use as an easily available and a low cost packaging and moulding material. However, its rapidly growing use is causing aquatic and terrestrial pollution. Under these circumstances, research and development for biodegradable plastic (bioplastics) is inevitable. Polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB), a type of microbial polyester that accumulates as a carbon/energy storage material in various microorganisms can be a good alternative. In this study, 23 cyanobacterial strains (15 heterocystous and 8 non-heterocystous) were screened for PHB production. The highest PHB (6.44% w/w of dry cells) was detected in Nostoc muscorum NCCU- 442 and the lowest in Spirulina platensis NCCU-S5 (0.51% w/w of dry cells), whereas no PHB was found in Cylindrospermum sp., Oscillatoria sp. and Plectonema sp. Presence of PHB granules in Nostoc muscorum NCCU- 442 was confirmed microscopically with Sudan black B and Nile red A staining. Pretreatment of biomass with methanol: acetone: water: dimethylformamide [40: 40: 18: 2 (MAD-I)] with 2 h magnetic bar stirring followed by 30 h continuous chloroform soxhlet extraction acted as optimal extraction conditions. Optimized physicochemical conditions viz. 7.5 pH, 30°C temperature, 10:14 h light:dark periods with 0.4% glucose (as additional carbon source), 1.0 gl-1 sodium chloride and phosphorus deficiency yielded 26.37% PHB on 7th day instead of 21st day. Using FTIR, 1H NMR and GC-MS, extracted polymer was identified as PHB. Thermal properties (melting temperature, decomposition temperatures etc.) of the extracted polymer were determined by TGA and DSC. Further, the polymer showed good tensile strength and young’s modulus with a low extension to break ratio comparable to petrochemical plastic. Biodegradability potential tested as weight loss percentage showed efficient degradation (24.58%) of PHB within 60 days by mixed microbial culture in comparison to petrochemical plastic

  20. Cyanobacterial Polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB): Screening, Optimization and Characterization.

    PubMed

    Ansari, Sabbir; Fatma, Tasneem

    2016-01-01

    In modern life petroleum-based plastic has become indispensable due to its frequent use as an easily available and a low cost packaging and moulding material. However, its rapidly growing use is causing aquatic and terrestrial pollution. Under these circumstances, research and development for biodegradable plastic (bioplastics) is inevitable. Polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB), a type of microbial polyester that accumulates as a carbon/energy storage material in various microorganisms can be a good alternative. In this study, 23 cyanobacterial strains (15 heterocystous and 8 non-heterocystous) were screened for PHB production. The highest PHB (6.44% w/w of dry cells) was detected in Nostoc muscorum NCCU- 442 and the lowest in Spirulina platensis NCCU-S5 (0.51% w/w of dry cells), whereas no PHB was found in Cylindrospermum sp., Oscillatoria sp. and Plectonema sp. Presence of PHB granules in Nostoc muscorum NCCU- 442 was confirmed microscopically with Sudan black B and Nile red A staining. Pretreatment of biomass with methanol: acetone: water: dimethylformamide [40: 40: 18: 2 (MAD-I)] with 2 h magnetic bar stirring followed by 30 h continuous chloroform soxhlet extraction acted as optimal extraction conditions. Optimized physicochemical conditions viz. 7.5 pH, 30°C temperature, 10:14 h light:dark periods with 0.4% glucose (as additional carbon source), 1.0 gl-1 sodium chloride and phosphorus deficiency yielded 26.37% PHB on 7th day instead of 21st day. Using FTIR, 1H NMR and GC-MS, extracted polymer was identified as PHB. Thermal properties (melting temperature, decomposition temperatures etc.) of the extracted polymer were determined by TGA and DSC. Further, the polymer showed good tensile strength and young's modulus with a low extension to break ratio comparable to petrochemical plastic. Biodegradability potential tested as weight loss percentage showed efficient degradation (24.58%) of PHB within 60 days by mixed microbial culture in comparison to petrochemical plastic

  1. Detection of the cyanobacterial hepatotoxins microcystins

    SciTech Connect

    McElhiney, Jacqui; Lawton, Linda A

    2005-03-15

    Concern regarding the presence of microcystins in drinking water and their possible contamination in food (e.g., salad vegetables, fish, shellfish) has resulted in the need for reliable methods for the detection and accurate quantification of this class of toxins. Currently, routine analysis of microcystins is most commonly carried out using high-performance liquid chromatography with photodiode array detection (HPLC-PDA), although more sensitive biological assays such as antibody-based ELISAs and protein phosphatase inhibition assays have also proven useful. However, many of these methods have been hindered by the availability of a wide range of purified microcystins. Although over 60 variants have now been reported, only a very small number are commercially available and calibrated standards are not yet obtainable. This has led to the common practice of reporting microcystin-LR equivalence regardless of which variant is present. The increased availability of HPLC with online mass spectral analysis (HPLC-MS) may facilitate more accurate detection of toxin variants but as several microcystins share the same molecular mass, definitive identification can be difficult. A further difficulty in analyzing microcystins is the requirement for sample processing before analysis. Solid phase extraction (SPE) is typically used to enrich environmental concentrations of microcystins, or to eliminate contaminants from complex samples such as animal and plant tissues. Recently, new technologies employing recombinant antibodies and molecularly imprinted polymers have been exploited to develop assays and biosensors for microcystins. These novel detection systems are highly sensitive, often do not require sample processing, and offer a simpler, less expensive alternative to analytical techniques. They have also been successfully employed in solid phase extraction formats for the concentration and clean up of environmental samples before HPLC analysis.

  2. Cyanobacterial xenobiotics as evaluated by a Caenorhabditis elegans neurotoxicity screening test.

    PubMed

    Ju, Jingjuan; Saul, Nadine; Kochan, Cindy; Putschew, Anke; Pu, Yuepu; Yin, Lihong; Steinberg, Christian E W

    2014-05-01

    In fresh waters cyanobacterial blooms can produce a variety of toxins, such as microcystin variants (MCs) and anatoxin-a (ANA). ANA is a well-known neurotoxin, whereas MCs are hepatotoxic and, to a lesser degree, also neurotoxic. Neurotoxicity applies especially to invertebrates lacking livers. Current standardized neurotoxicity screening methods use rats or mice. However, in order to minimize vertebrate animal experiments as well as experimental time and effort, many investigators have proposed the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as an appropriate invertebrate model. Therefore, four known neurotoxic compounds (positive compounds: chlorpyrifos, abamectin, atropine, and acrylamide) were chosen to verify the expected impacts on autonomic (locomotion, feeding, defecation) and sensory (thermal, chemical, and mechanical sensory perception) functions in C. elegans. This study is another step towards successfully establishing C. elegans as an alternative neurotoxicity model. By using this protocol, anatoxin-a adversely affected locomotive behavior and pharyngeal pumping frequency and, most strongly, chemotactic and thermotactic behavior, whereas MC-LR impacted locomotion, pumping, and mechanical behavior, but not chemical sensory behavior. Environmental samples can also be screened in this simple and fast way for neurotoxic characteristics. The filtrate of a Microcystis aeruginosa culture, known for its hepatotoxicity, also displayed mild neurotoxicity (modulated short-term thermotaxis). These results show the suitability of this assay for environmental cyanotoxin-containing samples. PMID:24776722

  3. Cyanobacterial Xenobiotics as Evaluated by a Caenorhabditis elegans Neurotoxicity Screening Test

    PubMed Central

    Ju, Jingjuan; Saul, Nadine; Kochan, Cindy; Putschew, Anke; Pu, Yuepu; Yin, Lihong; Steinberg, Christian E. W.

    2014-01-01

    In fresh waters cyanobacterial blooms can produce a variety of toxins, such as microcystin variants (MCs) and anatoxin-a (ANA). ANA is a well-known neurotoxin, whereas MCs are hepatotoxic and, to a lesser degree, also neurotoxic. Neurotoxicity applies especially to invertebrates lacking livers. Current standardized neurotoxicity screening methods use rats or mice. However, in order to minimize vertebrate animal experiments as well as experimental time and effort, many investigators have proposed the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as an appropriate invertebrate model. Therefore, four known neurotoxic compounds (positive compounds: chlorpyrifos, abamectin, atropine, and acrylamide) were chosen to verify the expected impacts on autonomic (locomotion, feeding, defecation) and sensory (thermal, chemical, and mechanical sensory perception) functions in C. elegans. This study is another step towards successfully establishing C. elegans as an alternative neurotoxicity model. By using this protocol, anatoxin-a adversely affected locomotive behavior and pharyngeal pumping frequency and, most strongly, chemotactic and thermotactic behavior, whereas MC-LR impacted locomotion, pumping, and mechanical behavior, but not chemical sensory behavior. Environmental samples can also be screened in this simple and fast way for neurotoxic characteristics. The filtrate of a Microcystis aeruginosa culture, known for its hepatotoxicity, also displayed mild neurotoxicity (modulated short-term thermotaxis). These results show the suitability of this assay for environmental cyanotoxin-containing samples. PMID:24776722

  4. The cyanobacterial role in the resistance of feather mosses to decomposition--toward a new hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Rousk, Kathrin; Deluca, Thomas H; Rousk, Johannes

    2013-01-01

    Cyanobacteria-plant symbioses play an important role in many ecosystems due to the fixation of atmospheric nitrogen (N) by the cyanobacterial symbiont. The ubiquitous feather moss Pleurozium schreberi (Brid.) Mitt. is colonized by cyanobacteria in boreal systems with low N deposition. Here, cyanobacteria fix substantial amounts of N₂ and represent a potential N source. The feather moss appears to be resistant to decomposition, which could be partly a result of toxins produced by cyanobacteria. To assess how cyanobacteria modulated the toxicity of moss, we measured inhibition of bacterial growth. Moss with varying numbers of cyanobacteria was added to soil bacteria to test the inhibition of their growth using the thymidine incorporation technique. Moss could universally inhibit bacterial growth, but moss toxicity did not increase with N₂ fixation rates (numbers of cyanobacteria). Instead, we see evidence for a negative relationship between moss toxicity to bacteria and N₂ fixation, which could be related to the ecological mechanisms that govern the cyanobacteria-moss relationship. We conclude that cyanobacteria associated with moss do not contribute to the resistance to decomposition of moss, and from our results emerges the question as to what type of relationship the moss and cyanobacteria share. PMID:23614013

  5. The Cyanobacterial Role in the Resistance of Feather Mosses to Decomposition—Toward a New Hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Rousk, Kathrin; DeLuca, Thomas H.; Rousk, Johannes

    2013-01-01

    Cyanobacteria-plant symbioses play an important role in many ecosystems due to the fixation of atmospheric nitrogen (N) by the cyanobacterial symbiont. The ubiquitous feather moss Pleurozium schreberi (Brid.) Mitt. is colonized by cyanobacteria in boreal systems with low N deposition. Here, cyanobacteria fix substantial amounts of N2 and represent a potential N source. The feather moss appears to be resistant to decomposition, which could be partly a result of toxins produced by cyanobacteria. To assess how cyanobacteria modulated the toxicity of moss, we measured inhibition of bacterial growth. Moss with varying numbers of cyanobacteria was added to soil bacteria to test the inhibition of their growth using the thymidine incorporation technique. Moss could universally inhibit bacterial growth, but moss toxicity did not increase with N2 fixation rates (numbers of cyanobacteria). Instead, we see evidence for a negative relationship between moss toxicity to bacteria and N2 fixation, which could be related to the ecological mechanisms that govern the cyanobacteria – moss relationship. We conclude that cyanobacteria associated with moss do not contribute to the resistance to decomposition of moss, and from our results emerges the question as to what type of relationship the moss and cyanobacteria share. PMID:23614013

  6. Retinoid-like activity and teratogenic effects of cyanobacterial exudates.

    PubMed

    Jonas, Adam; Buranova, Veronika; Scholz, Stefan; Fetter, Eva; Novakova, Katerina; Kohoutek, Jiri; Hilscherova, Klara

    2014-10-01

    Retinoic acids and their derivatives have been recently identified by chemical analyses in cyanobacteria and algae. Given the essential role of retinoids for vertebrate development this has raised concerns about a potential risk for vertebrates exposed to retinoids during cyanobacterial blooms. Our study focuses on extracellular compounds produced by phytoplankton cells (exudates). In order to address the capacity for the production of retinoids or compounds with retinoid-like activity we compared the exudates of ten cyanobacteria and algae using in vitro reporter gene assay. Exudates of three cyanobacterial species showed retinoid-like activity in the range of 269-2,265 ng retinoid equivalents (REQ)/L, while there was no detectable activity in exudates of the investigated algal species. The exudates of one green alga (Desmodesmus quadricaudus) and the two cyanobacterial species with greatest REQ levels, Microcystis aeruginosa and Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii, were selected for testing of the potential relation of retinoid-like activity to developmental toxicity in zebrafish embryos. The exudates of both cyanobacteria were indeed provoking diverse teratogenic effects (e.g. tail, spine and mouth deformation) and interference with growth in zebrafish embryos, while such effects were not observed for the alga. Fish embryos were also exposed to all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) in a range equivalent to the REQ concentrations detected in exudates by in vitro bioassays. Both the phenotypes and effective concentrations of exudates corresponded to ATRA equivalents, supporting the hypothesis that the teratogenic effects of cyanobacterial exudates are likely to be associated with retinoid-like activity. The study documents that some cyanobacteria are able to produce and release retinoid-like compounds into the environment at concentrations equivalent to those causing teratogenicity in zebrafish. Hence, the characterization of retinoid-like and teratogenic potency should be

  7. Cyanobacterial bloom detection based on coherence between ferrybox observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Groetsch, Philipp M. M.; Simis, Stefan G. H.; Eleveld, Marieke A.; Peters, Steef W. M.

    2014-12-01

    Cyanobacterial bloom detection from flow-through optical sensors on ships-of-opportunity ('ferryboxes') is challenging in periods of strong stratification and due to varying cell physiology and phytoplankton community composition. Wavelet coherence analysis between ferrybox parameters (chlorophyll-a fluorescence, phycocyanin fluorescence, turbidity) was used to delineate blooms in a dataset of ten ferrybox transects, recorded during the 2005 cyanobacterial bloom season in the Baltic Sea. Independent wind speed and sea-surface temperature data were used to classify areas of cyanobacterial dominance as mixed, stratified, or surfacing bloom. These classified subsets of ferrybox observations were compared against remotely sensed chlorophyll-a concentrations, which resulted in a scheme for the interpretation of surface water phytoplankton biomass from multi-source observations. Ferrybox optical signals were significantly coherent from the onset until the end of the cyanobacterial bloom period under both stratified and mixed conditions. This suggests that the coherence analysis is sensitive to high-level community composition. Strongly stratified and suspected surfacing bloom was associated with unrealistically high remotely sensed chlorophyll-a estimates, indicating the need to flag stratified bloom areas when interpreting remote sensing imagery. The ferrybox fluorescence and turbidity signals at the 5-m sampling depth were, paradoxically, low under these conditions, suggesting that direct comparison between remote sensing and flow-through observations is not useful for stratified blooms. Correlations between ferrybox measurements and remotely sensed observations improved consistently when stratified or surfacing cyanobacterial bloom was excluded from the regression. It is discussed how coherence analysis of ferrybox observations can aid the interpretation of remotely sensed data in situations where meteorological observations suggest incomplete vertical mixing.

  8. Naturally Occurring Food Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Dolan, Laurie C.; Matulka, Ray A.; Burdock, George A.

    2010-01-01

    Although many foods contain toxins as a naturally-occurring constituent or, are formed as the result of handling or processing, the incidence of adverse reactions to food is relatively low. The low incidence of adverse effects is the result of some pragmatic solutions by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other regulatory agencies through the creative use of specifications, action levels, tolerances, warning labels and prohibitions. Manufacturers have also played a role by setting limits on certain substances and developing mitigation procedures for process-induced toxins. Regardless of measures taken by regulators and food producers to protect consumers from natural food toxins, consumption of small levels of these materials is unavoidable. Although the risk for toxicity due to consumption of food toxins is fairly low, there is always the possibility of toxicity due to contamination, overconsumption, allergy or an unpredictable idiosyncratic response. The purpose of this review is to provide a toxicological and regulatory overview of some of the toxins present in some commonly consumed foods, and where possible, discuss the steps that have been taken to reduce consumer exposure, many of which are possible because of the unique process of food regulation in the United States. PMID:22069686

  9. Advances in genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics of toxin-producing cyanobacteria.

    PubMed

    D'Agostino, Paul M; Woodhouse, Jason N; Makower, A Katharina; Yeung, Anna C Y; Ongley, Sarah E; Micallef, Melinda L; Moffitt, Michelle C; Neilan, Brett A

    2016-02-01

    A common misconception persists that the genomes of toxic and non-toxic cyanobacterial strains are largely conserved with the exception of the presence or absence of the genes responsible for toxin production. Implementation of -omics era technologies has challenged this paradigm, with comparative analyses providing increased insight into the differences between strains of the same species. The implementation of genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic approaches has revealed distinct profiles between toxin-producing and non-toxic strains. Further, metagenomics and metaproteomics highlight the genomic potential and functional state of toxic bloom events over time. In this review, we highlight how these technologies have shaped our understanding of the complex relationship between these molecules, their producers and the environment at large within which they persist. PMID:26663762

  10. [Toxins as a biological weapon].

    PubMed

    Płusa, Tadeusz

    2015-09-01

    The criteria for recognizing a chemical compound for the toxin are vague and gave it the possibility of inclusion in this group a number of biological agents. Toxins list is extensive, but the interest is focused on bacterial toxins, poisons derived from snake venoms, algae and plant proteins, and small molecules. Particular attention is focused on the so-called "sea" toxins, which include tetrodotoxin, brevetoxin and saxitoxin. This indicates the search for a new hitherto unknown potential bioterrorist threats. PMID:26449572

  11. Fenced cultivation of water hyacinth for cyanobacterial bloom control.

    PubMed

    Qin, Hongjie; Zhang, Zhiyong; Liu, Haiqin; Li, Dunhai; Wen, Xuezheng; Zhang, Yingying; Wang, Yan; Yan, Shaohua

    2016-09-01

    To achieve the goals of harmful cyanobacterial bloom control and nutrient removal, an eco-engineering project with water hyacinth planted in large-scale enclosures was conducted based on meteorological and hydrographical conditions in Lake Dianchi. Water quality, cyanobacteria distribution, and nutrient (TN, TP) bioaccumulation were investigated. Elevated concentrations of N and P and low Secchi depth (SD) were relevant to large amount of cyanobacteria trapped in regions with water hyacinth, where biomass of the dominant cyanobacteria Microcystis (4.95 × 10(10) cells L(-1)) was more than 30-fold compared with values of the control. A dramatic increase of TN and TP contents in the plants was found throughout the sampling period. Results from the present study confirmed the great potential to use water hyacinth for cyanobacterial bloom control and nutrient removal in algal lakes such as Lake Dianchi. PMID:27246563

  12. Integrating mass spectrometry and genomics for cyanobacterial metabolite discovery.

    PubMed

    Moss, Nathan A; Bertin, Matthew J; Kleigrewe, Karin; Leão, Tiago F; Gerwick, Lena; Gerwick, William H

    2016-03-01

    Filamentous marine cyanobacteria produce bioactive natural products with both potential therapeutic value and capacity to be harmful to human health. Genome sequencing has revealed that cyanobacteria have the capacity to produce many more secondary metabolites than have been characterized. The biosynthetic pathways that encode cyanobacterial natural products are mostly uncharacterized, and lack of cyanobacterial genetic tools has largely prevented their heterologous expression. Hence, a combination of cutting edge and traditional techniques has been required to elucidate their secondary metabolite biosynthetic pathways. Here, we review the discovery and refined biochemical understanding of the olefin synthase and fatty acid ACP reductase/aldehyde deformylating oxygenase pathways to hydrocarbons, and the curacin A, jamaicamide A, lyngbyabellin, columbamide, and a trans-acyltransferase macrolactone pathway encoding phormidolide. We integrate into this discussion the use of genomics, mass spectrometric networking, biochemical characterization, and isolation and structure elucidation techniques. PMID:26578313

  13. Carotenoids Assist in Cyanobacterial Photosystem II Assembly and Function

    PubMed Central

    Zakar, Tomas; Laczko-Dobos, Hajnalka; Toth, Tunde N.; Gombos, Zoltan

    2016-01-01

    Carotenoids (carotenes and xanthophylls) are ubiquitous constituents of living organisms. They are protective agents against oxidative stresses and serve as modulators of membrane microviscosity. As antioxidants they can protect photosynthetic organisms from free radicals like reactive oxygen species that originate from water splitting, the first step of photosynthesis. We summarize the structural and functional roles of carotenoids in connection with cyanobacterial Photosystem II. Although carotenoids are hydrophobic molecules, their complexes with proteins also allow cytoplasmic localization. In cyanobacterial cells such complexes are called orange carotenoid proteins, and they protect Photosystem II and Photosystem I by preventing their overexcitation through phycobilisomes (PBS). Recently it has been observed that carotenoids are not only required for the proper functioning, but also for the structural stability of PBSs. PMID:27014318

  14. Genetic diversity in cyanobacterial symbionts of thalloid bryophytes.

    PubMed

    Rikkinen, Jouko; Virtanen, Viivi

    2008-01-01

    Two species of thalloid liverworts, Blasia pusilla and Cavicularia densa, form stable symbioses with nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria. Both bryophytes promote the persistence of their cyanobacterial associations by producing specialized gemmae, which facilitate the simultaneous dispersal of the host and its nitrogen-fixing symbionts. Here the genetic diversity of cyanobacterial symbionts of Blasia and Cavicularia is examined. The results indicate that the primary symbionts of both bryophytes are closely related and belong to a specific group of symbiotic Nostoc strains. Related strains have previously been reported from hornworts and cycads, and from many terricolous cyanolichens. The evolutionary origins of all these symbioses may trace back to pre-Permian times. While the laboratory strain Nostoc punctiforme PCC 73102 has been widely used in experimental studies of bryophyte-Nostoc associations, sequence-identical cyanobionts have not yet been identified from thalloid liverworts in the field. PMID:18325923

  15. A single phosphorus treatment doubles growth of cyanobacterial lichen transplants.

    PubMed

    McCune, Bruce; Caldwell, Bruce A

    2009-02-01

    Lichens are reputedly slow growing and become unhealthy or die in response to supplements of the usual limiting resources, such as water and nitrogen. We found, however, that the tripartite cyanobacterial lichen Lobaria pulmonaria doubled in annual biomass growth after a single 20-minute immersion in a phosphorus solution (K2HPO4), as compared to controls receiving no supplemental phosphorus. This stimulation of cyanolichens by phosphorus has direct relevance to community and population ecology of lichens, including improving models of lichen performance in relation to air quality, improving forest management practices affecting old-growth associated cyanolichens, and understanding the distribution and abundance of cyanolichens on the landscape. Phosphorus may be as important a stimulant to cyanobacterial-rich lichen communities as it is to cyanobacteria in aquatic ecosystems. PMID:19323240

  16. Detection of microcystins in Pamvotis lake water and assessment of cyanobacterial bloom toxicity.

    PubMed

    Papadimitriou, Theodoti; Armeni, Euthimia; Stalikas, Constantine D; Kagalou, Ifigeneia; Leonardos, Ioannis D

    2012-05-01

    Lake Pamvotis is a shallow, eutrophic Mediterranean lake with ecological significance. This paper deals with the evaluation of cyanobacterial toxicity in Lake Pamvotis. ELISA and HPLC revealed the presence of significant amounts of MCYST-LR. Danio rerio bioassay confirmed the toxic nature of the bloom. Cyanobacterial extracts had adverse toxic effects on development of D. rerio. Also, it was shown that cyanobacterial extracts containing environmentally detected concentrations of MCYST can cause reduced survival rate of fish species. The results clearly indicate that cyanobacterial blooms in Lake Pamvotis may be regarded as human and fish health hazard. Continuous monitoring of the lake is suggested, in order to prevent future possible intoxications. PMID:21713485

  17. Toxin plasmids of Clostridium perfringens.

    PubMed

    Li, Jihong; Adams, Vicki; Bannam, Trudi L; Miyamoto, Kazuaki; Garcia, Jorge P; Uzal, Francisco A; Rood, Julian I; McClane, Bruce A

    2013-06-01

    In both humans and animals, Clostridium perfringens is an important cause of histotoxic infections and diseases originating in the intestines, such as enteritis and enterotoxemia. The virulence of this Gram-positive, anaerobic bacterium is heavily dependent upon its prolific toxin-producing ability. Many of the ∼16 toxins produced by C. perfringens are encoded by large plasmids that range in size from ∼45 kb to ∼140 kb. These plasmid-encoded toxins are often closely associated with mobile elements. A C. perfringens strain can carry up to three different toxin plasmids, with a single plasmid carrying up to three distinct toxin genes. Molecular Koch's postulate analyses have established the importance of several plasmid-encoded toxins when C. perfringens disease strains cause enteritis or enterotoxemias. Many toxin plasmids are closely related, suggesting a common evolutionary origin. In particular, most toxin plasmids and some antibiotic resistance plasmids of C. perfringens share an ∼35-kb region containing a Tn916-related conjugation locus named tcp (transfer of clostridial plasmids). This tcp locus can mediate highly efficient conjugative transfer of these toxin or resistance plasmids. For example, conjugative transfer of a toxin plasmid from an infecting strain to C. perfringens normal intestinal flora strains may help to amplify and prolong an infection. Therefore, the presence of toxin genes on conjugative plasmids, particularly in association with insertion sequences that may mobilize these toxin genes, likely provides C. perfringens with considerable virulence plasticity and adaptability when it causes diseases originating in the gastrointestinal tract. PMID:23699255

  18. Microsensor measurements of hydrogen gas dynamics in cyanobacterial microbial mats

    PubMed Central

    Nielsen, Michael; Revsbech, Niels P.; Kühl, Michael

    2015-01-01

    We used a novel amperometric microsensor for measuring hydrogen gas production and consumption at high spatio-temporal resolution in cyanobacterial biofilms and mats dominated by non-heterocystous filamentous cyanobacteria (Microcoleus chtonoplastes and Oscillatoria sp.). The new microsensor is based on the use of an organic electrolyte and a stable internal reference system and can be equipped with a chemical sulfide trap in the measuring tip; it exhibits very stable and sulfide-insensitive measuring signals and a high sensitivity (1.5–5 pA per μmol L-1 H2). Hydrogen gas measurements were done in combination with microsensor measurements of scalar irradiance, O2, pH, and H2S and showed a pronounced H2 accumulation (of up to 8–10% H2 saturation) within the upper mm of cyanobacterial mats after onset of darkness and O2 depletion. The peak concentration of H2 increased with the irradiance level prior to darkening. After an initial build-up over the first 1–2 h in darkness, H2 was depleted over several hours due to efflux to the overlaying water, and due to biogeochemical processes in the uppermost oxic layers and the anoxic layers of the mats. Depletion could be prevented by addition of molybdate pointing to sulfate reduction as a major sink for H2. Immediately after onset of illumination, a short burst of presumably photo-produced H2 due to direct biophotolysis was observed in the illuminated but anoxic mat layers. As soon as O2 from photosynthesis started to accumulate, the H2 was consumed rapidly and production ceased. Our data give detailed insights into the microscale distribution and dynamics of H2 in cyanobacterial biofilms and mats, and further support that cyanobacterial H2 production can play a significant role in fueling anaerobic processes like e.g., sulfate reduction or anoxygenic photosynthesis in microbial mats. PMID:26257714

  19. The Extracellular Matrix in Photosynthetic Mats: A Cyanobacterial Gingerbread House

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stuart, R.; Stannard, W.; Bebout, B.; Pett-Ridge, J.; Mayali, X.; Weber, P. K.; Lipton, M. S.; Lee, J.; Everroad, R. C.; Thelen, M.

    2014-12-01

    Hypersaline laminated cyanobacterial mats are excellent model systems for investigating photoautotrophic contributions to biogeochemical cycling on a millimeter scale. These self-sustaining ecosystems are characterized by steep physiochemical gradients that fluctuate dramatically on hour timescales, providing a dynamic environment to study microbial response. However, elucidating the distribution of energy from light absorption into biomass requires a complete understanding of the various constituents of the mat. Extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), which can be composed of proteins, polysaccharides, lipids and DNA are a major component of these mats and may function in the redistribution of nutrients and metabolites within the community. To test this notion, we established a model mat-building culture for comparison with the phylogenetically diverse natural mat communities. In these two systems we determined how proteins and glycans in the matrix changed as a function of light and tracked nutrient flow from the matrix. Using mass spectrometry metaproteomics analysis, we found homologous proteins in both field and culture extracellular matrix that point to cyanobacterial turnover of amino acids, inorganic nutrients, carbohydrates and nucleic acids from the EPS. Other abundant functions identified included oxidative stress response from both the cyanobacteria and heterotrophs and cyanobacterial structural proteins that may play a role in mat cohesion. Several degradative enzymes also varied in abundance in the EPS in response to light availability, suggesting active secretion. To further test cyanobacterial EPS turnover, we generated isotopically-labeled EPS and used NanoSIMS to trace uptake of this labeled EPS. Our findings suggest Cyanobacteria may facilitate nutrient transfer to other groups, as well as uptake of their own products through degradation of EPS components. This work provides evidence for the essential roles of EPS for storage, structural

  20. Monitoring Survival and Preservation of Recent Cyanobacterial Mats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chacon, Elizabeth; Negron-Mendoza, Alicia; Camargo, Claudia

    2010-05-01

    Through geobiological evolution cyanobacterial mats have played a fundamental role through the development of early microbial carbonate ecosystems and through the sustainment of major biogeochemical cycling in the biosphere; nonetheless their sedimentary record is relatively modest in comparison with their biological impact; this apparent under-representation in the fossil record may be due to their intrinsic poor preservation potential but also to our inability to recognize some subtle microbial signatures. Modern studies on cyanobacterial mats involve high-tech molecular approaches to identify, analyze and even quantify the genetic diversity of ancient and modern microbial mats, yet the physical changes of mats, their survival and preservation potential, remain almost unknown and experimentally poorly explored. If we are going to succeed in the astrobiological quest for traces of life we should develop integrated methods and diagnostic features to address biosignatures at both, the phenotypic and genotypic levels when possible. The correct recognition and interpretation of biosignatures in this emerging field needs, aside these fine molecular tools, plain experimental approaches to test microbial resistance, survival and preservation potential of microbial mats after exposure to diagenetic changes. In this work we study some effects on fresh slices of cyanobacterial mats and cultures of specific external simulated agents that normally occur during diagenesis such as dehydratation, heat, abrasion or pressure among others. Samples from different cyanobacterial communities associated to carbonates collected from different rivers and falls around Mexico were subjected to same lab procedures. Physical and textural changes were monitored through microscopic analysis where cell integrity and mat cohesiveness were analyzed before and after treatment. Preliminary results show that mats enriched in halite and clay sediments were preferentially preserved; however those mats

  1. Use of cyanobacterial diazotrophic technology in rice agriculture

    SciTech Connect

    Tiwari, D.N.; Kumar, A.; Mishra, A.K.

    1991-12-31

    Diazotrophic cyanobacteria are photoautotrophic organisms that require sunlight as a sole energy source for the fixation of carbon and nitrogen. Therefore, they have great potential as biofertilizers, and their use will decrease fuel demand for fertilizer production. The agronomic potential of heterocystous cyanobacteria, either free-living or in symbiotic association with water fern Azolla, has long been recognized. This has led to the development of small scale biotechnology involving the use of paddy soils with appropriate cyanobacterial strains as biofertilizers in rice culture, as has been reported from China, Egypt, Philippines, and India. Besides increasing soil fertility and sustaining rice yield, these forms are also reported to benefit rice seedlings by producing growth-promoting substances, the nature of which is said to resemble gibberellins. Whereas the incorporation of nif genes into the rice plants by using tissue culture and modern genetic tools remain one of the ambitious research goals, the use of cyanobacterial diazotrophic technology in rice agriculture offers an immediate or even long-term alternative to synthetic nitrogen fertilizers, particularly in developing countries and the world as a whole. However, one of the weaknesses in this technology is the heavy application of several toxic agrochemicals, especially herbicides, which are reported in most cases as inhibitors of cyanobacterial diazotrophic growth, and in some cases as mutagenic. Naturally, a successful biotechnology requires the selection of suitable diazotrophic strains, as biofertilizers, that could tolerate the field-dose concentrations of herbicides and secrete ammonia.

  2. Revealing the Dynamics of Thylakoid Membranes in Living Cyanobacterial Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stingaciu, Laura-Roxana; O'Neill, Hugh; Liberton, Michelle; Urban, Volker S.; Pakrasi, Himadri B.; Ohl, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Cyanobacteria are photosynthetic prokaryotes that make major contributions to the production of the oxygen in the Earth atmosphere. The photosynthetic machinery in cyanobacterial cells is housed in flattened membrane structures called thylakoids. The structural organization of cyanobacterial cells and the arrangement of the thylakoid membranes in response to environmental conditions have been widely investigated. However, there is limited knowledge about the internal dynamics of these membranes in terms of their flexibility and motion during the photosynthetic process. We present a direct observation of thylakoid membrane undulatory motion in vivo and show a connection between membrane mobility and photosynthetic activity. High-resolution inelastic neutron scattering experiments on the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 assessed the flexibility of cyanobacterial thylakoid membrane sheets and the dependence of the membranes on illumination conditions. We observed softer thylakoid membranes in the dark that have three-to four fold excess mobility compared to membranes under high light conditions. Our analysis indicates that electron transfer between photosynthetic reaction centers and the associated electrochemical proton gradient across the thylakoid membrane result in a significant driving force for excess membrane dynamics. These observations provide a deeper understanding of the relationship between photosynthesis and cellular architecture.

  3. Cyanobacterial diversity in the phyllosphere of a mangrove forest.

    PubMed

    Rigonato, Janaina; Alvarenga, Danillo Oliveira; Andreote, Fernando Dini; Dias, Armando Cavalcante Franco; Melo, Itamar Soares; Kent, Angela; Fiore, Marli Fátima

    2012-05-01

    The cyanobacterial community colonizing phyllosphere in a well-preserved Brazilian mangrove ecosystem was assessed using cultivation-independent molecular approaches. Leaves of trees that occupy this environment (Rhizophora mangle,Avicennia schaueriana and Laguncularia racemosa) were collected along a transect beginning at the margin of the bay and extending upland. The results demonstrated that the phyllosphere of R. mangle and L. racemosa harbor similar assemblages of cyanobacteria at each point along the transect. A. schaueriana, found only in the coastal portions of the transect, was colonized by assemblages with lower richness than the other trees. However, the results indicated that spatial location was a stronger driver of cyanobacterial community composition than plant species. Distinct cyanobacterial communities were observed at each location along the coast-to-upland transect. Clone library analysis allowed identification of 19 genera of cyanobacteria and demonstrated the presence of several uncultivated taxa. A predominance of sequences affiliated with the orders Nostocales and Oscillatoriales was observed, with a remarkable number of sequences similar to genera Symphyonemopsis/Brasilonema (order Nostocales). The results demonstrated that phyllosphere cyanobacteria in this mangrove forest ecosystem are influenced by environmental conditions as the primary driver at the ecosystem scale, with tree species exerting some effect on community structure at the local scale. PMID:22611551

  4. Global change feed-back inhibits cyanobacterial photosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Walter Helbling, E.; Banaszak, Anastazia T.; Villafañe, Virginia E.

    2015-01-01

    Cyanobacteria are an important component of aquatic ecosystems, with a proliferation of massive cyanobacterial blooms predicted worldwide under increasing warming conditions. In addition to temperature, other global change related variables, such as water column stratification, increases in dissolved organic matter (DOM) discharge into freshwater systems and greater wind stress (i.e., more opaque and mixed upper water column/epilimnion) might also affect the responses of cyanobacteria. However, the combined effects of these variables on cyanobacterial photosynthesis remain virtually unknown. Here we present evidence that this combination of global-change conditions results in a feed-back mechanism by which, fluctuations in solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR, 280–400 nm) due to vertical mixing within the epilimnion act synergistically with increased DOM to impair cyanobacterial photosynthesis as the water column progressively darkens. The main consequence of such a feed-back response is that these organisms will not develop large blooms in areas of latitudes higher than 30°, in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, where DOM inputs and surface wind stress are increasing. PMID:26415603

  5. Dynamic Localization of the Cyanobacterial Circadian Clock Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Cohen, Susan E.; Erb, Marcella L.; Selimkhanov, Jangir; Dong, Guogang; Hasty, Jeff; Pogliano, Joe; Golden, Susan S.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Background The cyanobacterial circadian clock system has been extensively studied and the structures, interactions and biochemical activities of the central oscillator proteins (KaiA, KaiB and KaiC) have been well elucidated. Despite this rich repository of information, little is known about the distribution of these proteins within the cell. Results Here we report that KaiA and KaiC localize as discrete foci near a single pole of cells in a clock-dependent fashion, with enhanced polar localization observed at night. KaiA localization is dependent on KaiC; consistent with this notion, KaiA and KaiC co-localize with each other as well as with CikA, a key input/output factor previously reported to display unipolar localization. The molecular mechanism that localizes KaiC to the poles is conserved in Escherichia coli, another Gram-negative rod shaped bacterium, suggesting that KaiC localization is not dependent on other clock- or cyanobacterial-specific factors. Moreover, expression of CikA mutant variants that distribute diffusely results in the striking de-localization of KaiC. Conclusions This work shows that the cyanobacterial circadian system undergoes a circadian orchestration of subcellular organization. We propose that the observed spatiotemporal localization pattern represents a novel layer of regulation that contributes to the robustness of the clock by facilitating protein complex formation and synchronizing the clock with environmental stimuli. PMID:25127213

  6. Global change feed-back inhibits cyanobacterial photosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Walter Helbling, E; Banaszak, Anastazia T; Villafañe, Virginia E

    2015-01-01

    Cyanobacteria are an important component of aquatic ecosystems, with a proliferation of massive cyanobacterial blooms predicted worldwide under increasing warming conditions. In addition to temperature, other global change related variables, such as water column stratification, increases in dissolved organic matter (DOM) discharge into freshwater systems and greater wind stress (i.e., more opaque and mixed upper water column/epilimnion) might also affect the responses of cyanobacteria. However, the combined effects of these variables on cyanobacterial photosynthesis remain virtually unknown. Here we present evidence that this combination of global-change conditions results in a feed-back mechanism by which, fluctuations in solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR, 280-400 nm) due to vertical mixing within the epilimnion act synergistically with increased DOM to impair cyanobacterial photosynthesis as the water column progressively darkens. The main consequence of such a feed-back response is that these organisms will not develop large blooms in areas of latitudes higher than 30°, in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, where DOM inputs and surface wind stress are increasing. PMID:26415603

  7. Cyanobacterial Oxygenic Photosynthesis is Protected by Flavodiiron Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Allahverdiyeva, Yagut; Isojärvi, Janne; Zhang, Pengpeng; Aro, Eva-Mari

    2015-01-01

    Flavodiiron proteins (FDPs, also called flavoproteins, Flvs) are modular enzymes widely present in Bacteria and Archaea. The evolution of cyanobacteria and oxygenic photosynthesis occurred in concert with the modulation of typical bacterial FDPs. Present cyanobacterial FDPs are composed of three domains, the β-lactamase-like, flavodoxin-like and flavin-reductase like domains. Cyanobacterial FDPs function as hetero- and homodimers and are involved in the regulation of photosynthetic electron transport. Whilst Flv2 and Flv4 proteins are limited to specific cyanobacterial species (β-cyanobacteria) and function in photoprotection of Photosystem II, Flv1 and Flv3 proteins, functioning in the “Mehler-like” reaction and safeguarding Photosystem I under fluctuating light conditions, occur in nearly all cyanobacteria and additionally in green algae, mosses and lycophytes. Filamentous cyanobacteria have additional FDPs in heterocyst cells, ensuring a microaerobic environment for the function of the nitrogenase enzyme under the light. Here, the evolution, occurrence and functional mechanisms of various FDPs in oxygenic photosynthetic organisms are discussed. PMID:25761262

  8. Revealing the Dynamics of Thylakoid Membranes in Living Cyanobacterial Cells

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Stingaciu, Laura-Roxana; O’Neill, Hugh; Liberton, Michelle; Urban, Volker S.; Pakrasi, Himadri B.; Ohl, Michael

    2016-01-21

    Cyanobacteria are photosynthetic prokaryotes that make major contributions to the production of the oxygen in the Earth atmosphere. The photosynthetic machinery in cyanobacterial cells is housed in flattened membrane structures called thylakoids. The structural organization of cyanobacterial cells and the arrangement of the thylakoid membranes in response to environmental conditions have been widely investigated. However, there is limited knowledge about the internal dynamics of these membranes in terms of their flexibility and motion during the photosynthetic process. We present a direct observation of thylakoid membrane undulatory motion in vivo and show a connection between membrane mobility and photosynthetic activity. High-resolutionmore » inelastic neutron scattering experiments on the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 assessed the flexibility of cyanobacterial thylakoid membrane sheets and the dependence of the membranes on illumination conditions. We observed softer thylakoid membranes in the dark that have three-to four fold excess mobility compared to membranes under high light conditions. We find our analysis indicates that electron transfer between photosynthetic reaction centers and the associated electrochemical proton gradient across the thylakoid membrane result in a significant driving force for excess membrane dynamics. Lastly, these observations provide a deeper understanding of the relationship between photosynthesis and cellular architecture.« less

  9. Screening of cyanobacterial extracts for synthesis of silver nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Husain, Shaheen; Sardar, Meryam; Fatma, Tasneem

    2015-08-01

    Improvement of reliable and eco-friendly process for synthesis of metallic nanoparticles is a significant step in the field of application nanotechnology. One approach that shows vast potential is based on the biosynthesis of nanoparticles using micro-organisms. In this study, biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles (AgNP) using 30 cyanobacteria were investigated. Cyanobacterial aqueous extracts were subjected to AgNP synthesis at 30 °C. Scanning of these aqueous extracts containing AgNP in UV-Visible range showed single peak. The λ max for different extracts varied and ranged between 440 and 490 nm that correspond to the "plasmon absorbance" of AgNP. Micrographs from scanning electron microscope of AgNP from cyanobacterial extracts showed that though synthesis of nanoparticles occurred in all strains but their reaction time, shape and size varied. Majority of the nanoparticles were spherical. Time taken for induction of nanoparticles synthesis by cyanobacterial extracts ranged from 30 to 360 h and their size from 38 to 88 nm. In terms of size Cylindrospermum stagnale NCCU-104 was the best organism with 38 and 40 nm. But in terms of time Microcheate sp. NCCU-342 was the best organism as it took 30 h for AgNP synthesis. PMID:25971548

  10. Revealing the Dynamics of Thylakoid Membranes in Living Cyanobacterial Cells

    PubMed Central

    Stingaciu, Laura-Roxana; O’Neill, Hugh; Liberton, Michelle; Urban, Volker S.; Pakrasi, Himadri B.; Ohl, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Cyanobacteria are photosynthetic prokaryotes that make major contributions to the production of the oxygen in the Earth atmosphere. The photosynthetic machinery in cyanobacterial cells is housed in flattened membrane structures called thylakoids. The structural organization of cyanobacterial cells and the arrangement of the thylakoid membranes in response to environmental conditions have been widely investigated. However, there is limited knowledge about the internal dynamics of these membranes in terms of their flexibility and motion during the photosynthetic process. We present a direct observation of thylakoid membrane undulatory motion in vivo and show a connection between membrane mobility and photosynthetic activity. High-resolution inelastic neutron scattering experiments on the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 assessed the flexibility of cyanobacterial thylakoid membrane sheets and the dependence of the membranes on illumination conditions. We observed softer thylakoid membranes in the dark that have three-to four fold excess mobility compared to membranes under high light conditions. Our analysis indicates that electron transfer between photosynthetic reaction centers and the associated electrochemical proton gradient across the thylakoid membrane result in a significant driving force for excess membrane dynamics. These observations provide a deeper understanding of the relationship between photosynthesis and cellular architecture. PMID:26790980

  11. Charismatic microfauna alter cyanobacterial production through a trophic cascade

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geange, S. W.; Stier, A. C.

    2010-06-01

    The trophic ecology of cyanobacterial blooms is poorly understood on coral reefs. Blooms of toxic cyanobacteria, Lyngbya majuscula, can quickly form large mats. The herbivorous sea hare, Stylocheilus striatus, and the predatory nudibranch, Gymnodoris ceylonica, often associate with these blooms, forming a linear food chain: nudibranch—sea hare—cyanobacteria. Using laboratory studies, this study quantified (1) the functional response of nudibranchs, (2) the effect of sea hare size on predation rates, and (3) the strength of the indirect effect of sea hare predation on cyanobacteria (i.e., a trophic cascade). Nudibranchs consumed on average 2.4 sea hares d-1, with the consumption of small sea hares 22 times greater than the consumption of large sea hares. Predation of sea hares reduced herbivory. Cyanobacterial biomass was 1.5 times greater when nudibranchs were present relative to when nudibranchs were absent. Although sea hare grazing can substantially reduce cyanobacterial biomass, predation of sea hares may mitigate grazing pressure, and therefore increase the abundance of cyanobacteria.

  12. Structural Dynamics of Community Gene Expression In a Freshwater Cyanobacterial Bloom Over a Day-Night Cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, J.; Fernando, S.; Thompson, J. R.

    2011-12-01

    Cyanobacterial blooms are a major problem in eutrophic lakes and reservoirs, negatively impacting the ecology of the water body through oxygen depletion upon bloom decay and in some cases through production of toxins. Waterborne cyanobacterial toxins pose a public health threat through drinking and recreational exposure. The frequency of harmful cyanobacterial blooms (cyanoHABs) is predicted to increase due to warming regional climates (Paerl et.al, 2011) and increases in non-point source pollution due to urban expansion (Novotny, 2011). CyanoHABs represent complex consortia of cyanobacteria that live in association with diverse assemblages of heterotrophic and anoxygenic photosynthetic bacteria. A better understanding of the structure, function, and interaction between members of the complex microbial communities that support the proliferation of toxigenic cyanobacteria will improve our ability to prevent and control cyanoHABs. Studies of community gene expression, or metatranscriptomics, provide a powerful approach for quantifying changes in both the taxonomic composition (structure) and activity (function) of complex microbial systems in response to dynamic environmental conditions. We have used next-generation Illumina sequencing to characterize the metatranscriptome of a tropical eutrophic drinking water reservoir dominated by the toxigenic cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa over a day/night cycle. Bacterioplankton sampling was carried out at six time points over a 24 hour period to capture variability associated with changes in the balance between phototrophic and heterotrophic activity. Total RNA was extracted and subjected to ribosomal depletion followed by cDNA synthesis and sequencing, generating 493,468 to 678,064 95-101 bp post-quality control reads per sample. Hierarchical Clustering of transcriptional profiles supported sorting of samples into two clusters corresponding to "day" and "night" collection times. Annotation of reads through the MG

  13. CYANOBACTERIA AND THEIR TOXINS.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Science Questions

    Harmful algal blooms (HAB) of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, have recently become more spatially and temporally prevalent in the US and worldwide. Cyanobacteria and their highly potent toxins are a significant hazard for human health and ...

  14. CYANOBACTERIA AND THEIR TOXINS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Science Questions

    Harmful algal blooms (HAB) of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, have recently become more spatially and temporally prevalent in the US and worldwide. Cyanobacteria and their highly potent toxins are a significant hazard for human health and ...

  15. Siderophores: The special ingredient to cyanobacterial blooms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Du, Xue; Creed, Irena; Trick, Charles

    2013-04-01

    Freshwater lakes provide a number of significant ecological services including clean drinking water, habitat for aquatic biota, and economic benefits. The provision of these ecological services, as well as the health of these aquatic systems, is threatened by the excessive growth of algae, specifically, cyanobacteria. Historically, blooms have been linked to eutrophication but recent occurrences indicate that there are less dramatic changes that induce these blooms. Iron is an essential micronutrient required for specific essential metabolic pathways; however, the amount of biologically available iron in naturally occurring lake ranges from saturation to much lower than cell transport affinities. To assist in the modulation of iron availabilities, cyanobacteria in culture produce low molecular weight compounds that function in an iron binding and acquisition system; nevertheless, this has yet to be confirmed in naturally occurring lakes. This project explored the relationship of P, N and in particular, Fe, in the promotion of cyanobacteria harmful algal blooms in 30 natural freshwater lakes located in and around the Elk Island National Park, Alberta. It is hypothesized that cyanobacteria produce and utilize iron chelators called siderophores in low Fe and nitrogen (N) conditions, creating a competitive advantage over other algae in freshwater lakes. Lakes were selected to represent a range of iron availability to explore the nutrient composition of lakes that propagated cyanobacteria harmful algal blooms (cHABs) compared to lakes that did not. Lake water was analyzed for nutrients, microbial composition, siderophore concentration, and toxin concentration. Modifications were made to optimize the Czaky and Arnow tests for hydroxamate- and catecholate-type siderophores, respectively, for field conditions. Preliminary results indicate the presence of iron-binding ligands (0.11-2.34 mg/L) in freshwater lakes characterized by widely ranging Fe regimes (0.04-2.74 mg

  16. Toxin-induced respiratory distress.

    PubMed

    McKay, Charles A

    2014-02-01

    This article describes the impact of various toxic substances on the airway and pulmonary system. Pulmonary anatomy and physiology provide the basis for understanding the response to toxin-induced injury. Simple asphyxiants displace oxygen from the inspired air. Respiratory irritants include water-soluble and water-insoluble compounds. Several inhaled agents produce direct airway injury, which may be mediated by caustic, thermal, and hydrocarbon exposures. Unique pulmonary toxins and toxicants are discussed, as well as inhaled toxin mixtures. Several inhaled toxins may also impair oxygen transport. The pulmonary system may also provide a mechanism for systemic toxin delivery on respiratory exposure. PMID:24275172

  17. [Protein toxins of Staphylococcus aureus].

    PubMed

    Shamsutdinov, A F; Tiurin, Iu A

    2014-01-01

    Main scientific-research studies regarding protein bacterial toxins of the most widespread bacteria that belong to Staphylococcus spp. genus and in particular the most pathogenic species for humans--Staphylococcus aureus, are analyzed. Structural and biological properties of protein toxins that have received the name of staphylococcus pyrogenic toxins (PTSAg) are presented. Data regarding genetic regulation of secretion and synthesis of these toxins and 3 main regulatory genetic systems (agr--accessory gene regulator, xpr--extracellular protein regulator, sar--staphylococcal accessory regulator) that coordinate synthesis of the most important protein toxins and enzymes for virulence of S. aureus, are presented. PMID:25051707

  18. Multi-detection method for five common microalgal toxins based on the use of microspheres coupled to a flow-cytometry system.

    PubMed

    Fraga, María; Vilariño, Natalia; Louzao, M Carmen; Rodríguez, Laura P; Alfonso, Amparo; Campbell, Katrina; Elliott, Christopher T; Taylor, Palmer; Ramos, Vítor; Vasconcelos, Vítor; Botana, Luis M

    2014-11-19

    Freshwater and brackish microalgal toxins, such as microcystins, cylindrospermopsins, paralytic toxins, anatoxins or other neurotoxins are produced during the overgrowth of certain phytoplankton and benthic cyanobacteria, which includes either prokaryotic or eukaryotic microalgae. Although, further studies are necessary to define the biological role of these toxins, at least some of them are known to be poisonous to humans and wildlife due to their occurrence in these aquatic systems. The World Health Organization (WHO) has established as provisional recommended limit 1μg of microcystin-LR per liter of drinking water. In this work we present a microsphere-based multi-detection method for five classes of freshwater and brackish toxins: microcystin-LR (MC-LR), cylindrospermopsin (CYN), anatoxin-a (ANA-a), saxitoxin (STX) and domoic acid (DA). Five inhibition assays were developed using different binding proteins and microsphere classes coupled to a flow-cytometry Luminex system. Then, assays were combined in one method for the simultaneous detection of the toxins. The IC50's using this method were 1.9±0.1μg L(-1) MC-LR, 1.3±0.1μg L(-1) CYN, 61±4μg L(-1) ANA-a, 5.4±0.4μg L(-1) STX and 4.9±0.9μg L(-1) DA. Lyophilized cyanobacterial culture samples were extracted using a simple procedure and analyzed by the Luminex method and by UPLC-IT-TOF-MS. Similar quantification was obtained by both methods for all toxins except for ANA-a, whereby the estimated content was lower when using UPLC-IT-TOF-MS. Therefore, this newly developed multiplexed detection method provides a rapid, simple, semi-quantitative screening tool for the simultaneous detection of five environmentally important freshwater and brackish toxins, in buffer and cyanobacterial extracts. PMID:25441160

  19. Hydrogen from Water in a Novel Recombinant Oxygen-Tolerant Cyanobacterial System (Presentation)

    SciTech Connect

    Xu, Q.; Smith, H. O.; Maness, P.-C.

    2007-05-01

    The objective of this report is to develop an O{sub 2}-tolerant cyanobacterial system for continuous light-driven H{sub 2} production from water. The overall goal is to produce a cyanobacterial recombinant to produce H{sub 2} continuously.

  20. Molecular Analysis of the Cyanobacterial Community in Gastric Contents of Egrets with Symptoms of Steatitis.

    PubMed

    Nishizawa, Tomoyasu; Neagari, Yasuko; Miura, Takamasa; Asayama, Munehiko; Murata, Koichi; Harada, Ken-Ichi; Shirai, Makoto

    2015-01-01

    Many deaths of wild birds that have drunk water contaminated with hepatotoxic microcystin-producing cyanobacteria have been reported. A mass death of egrets and herons with steatitis were found at the agricultural reservoir occurring cyanobacterial waterblooms. This study aimed to verify a hypothesis that the egrets and herons which died in the reservoir drink microcystin-producing cyanobacteria and microcystin involves in the cause of death as well as the symptoms of steatitis. The cyanobacterial community in gastric contents of egrets and herons that died from steatitis was assessed using cyanobacterial 16S rRNA-based terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) profiling and a cyanobacterial 16S rRNA-based clone library analysis. In addition, PCR amplification of the mcyB-C region and the mcyG gene, involved in microcystin biosynthesis, was examined. The cyanobacterial community in the gastric contents of two birds showed a simplistic composition. A comparison of cyanobacterial T-RFLP profiling and cloned sequences suggested that the genus Microcystis predominated in both samples of egrets died. Although we confirmed that two egrets which died in the reservoir have taken in cyanobacterial waterblooms containing the genus Microcystis, no mcy gene was detected in both samples according to the mcy gene-based PCR analysis. This study is the first to show the profiling and traceability of a cyanobacterial community in the gastric contents of wild birds by molecular analysis. Additionally, we consider causing symptoms of steatitis in the dead egrets. PMID:26668668

  1. Molecular Analysis of the Cyanobacterial Community in Gastric Contents of Egrets with Symptoms of Steatitis

    PubMed Central

    Nishizawa, Tomoyasu; Neagari, Yasuko; Miura, Takamasa; Asayama, Munehiko; Murata, Koichi; Harada, Ken-Ichi; Shirai, Makoto

    2015-01-01

    Many deaths of wild birds that have drunk water contaminated with hepatotoxic microcystin-producing cyanobacteria have been reported. A mass death of egrets and herons with steatitis were found at the agricultural reservoir occurring cyanobacterial waterblooms. This study aimed to verify a hypothesis that the egrets and herons which died in the reservoir drink microcystin-producing cyanobacteria and microcystin involves in the cause of death as well as the symptoms of steatitis. The cyanobacterial community in gastric contents of egrets and herons that died from steatitis was assessed using cyanobacterial 16S rRNA-based terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) profiling and a cyanobacterial 16S rRNA-based clone library analysis. In addition, PCR amplification of the mcyB–C region and the mcyG gene, involved in microcystin biosynthesis, was examined. The cyanobacterial community in the gastric contents of two birds showed a simplistic composition. A comparison of cyanobacterial T-RFLP profiling and cloned sequences suggested that the genus Microcystis predominated in both samples of egrets died. Although we confirmed that two egrets which died in the reservoir have taken in cyanobacterial waterblooms containing the genus Microcystis, no mcy gene was detected in both samples according to the mcy gene-based PCR analysis. This study is the first to show the profiling and traceability of a cyanobacterial community in the gastric contents of wild birds by molecular analysis. Additionally, we consider causing symptoms of steatitis in the dead egrets. PMID:26668668

  2. Type II Toxin-Antitoxin Systems in the Unicellular Cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803.

    PubMed

    Kopfmann, Stefan; Roesch, Stefanie K; Hess, Wolfgang R

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are genetic elements, which are encoded by plasmid as well as chromosomal loci. They mediate plasmid and genomic island maintenance through post-segregational killing mechanisms but may also have milder effects, acting as mobile stress response systems that help certain cells of a population in persisting adverse growth conditions. Very few cyanobacterial TA system have been characterized thus far. In this work, we focus on the cyanobacterium Synechocystis 6803, a widely used model organism. We expand the number of putative Type II TA systems from 36 to 69 plus seven stand-alone components. Forty-seven TA pairs are located on the chromosome and 22 are plasmid-located. Different types of toxins are associated with various antitoxins in a mix and match principle. According to protein domains and experimental data, 81% of all toxins in Synechocystis 6803 likely exhibit RNase activity, suggesting extensive potential for toxicity-related RNA degradation and toxin-mediated transcriptome remodeling. Of particular interest is the Ssr8013-Slr8014 system encoded on plasmid pSYSG, which is part of a larger defense island or the pSYSX system Slr6056-Slr6057, which is linked to a bacterial ubiquitin-like system. Consequently, Synechocystis 6803 is one of the most prolific sources of new information about these genetic elements. PMID:27455323

  3. Respiratory toxicity of cyanobacterial aphantoxins from Aphanizomenon flos-aquae DC-1 in the zebrafish gill.

    PubMed

    Zhang, De Lu; Liu, Si Yi; Zhang, Jing; Zhang, Jian Kun; Hu, Chun Xiang; Liu, Yong Ding

    2016-07-01

    Aphantoxins from Aphanizomenon flos-aquae are frequently identified in eutrophic waterbodies worldwide. These toxins severely endanger environmental safety and human health due to the production of paralytic shellfish poisons (PSPs). Although the molecular mechanisms of aphantoxin neurotoxicity have been studied, many questions remain to be resolved such as in vivo alterations in branchial histology and neurotransmitter inactivation induced by these neurotoxins. Aphantoxins extracted from a naturally isolated strain of A. flos-aquae DC-1 were determined by high performance liquid chromatography. The basic components of the isolated aphantoxins identified were gonyautoxin 1 (GTX1), gonyautoxin 5 (GTX5), and neosaxitoxin (neoSTX), which comprised 34.04, 21.28, and 12.77% of the total, respectively. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) was administrated 5.3 or 7.61mg STX equivalents (eq)/kg (low and high doses, respectively) of the A. flos-aquae DC-1 aphantoxins by intraperitoneal injection. Histological alterations and changes in neurotransmitter inactivation in the gills of zebrafish were investigated for 24h following exposure. Aphantoxin exposure significantly increased the activities of gill alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and resulted in histological alterations in the gills during the first 12h of exposure, indicating the induction of functional and structural damage. Gill acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and monoamine oxidase (MAO) activities were inhibited significantly, suggesting an alteration of neurotransmitter inactivation in zebrafish gills. The observed alterations in gill structure and function followed a time- and dose-dependent pattern. The results demonstrate that aphantoxins or PSPs lead to structural damage and altered function in the gills of zebrafish, including changes in histological structure and increases in the activities of AST and ALT. The inhibition of the activities of AChE and MAO suggest that aphantoxins or PSPs

  4. Using a partial least squares (PLS) method for estimating cyanobacterial pigments in eutrophic inland waters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robertson, A. L.; Li, L.; Tedesco, L.; Wilson, J.; Soyeux, E.

    2009-08-01

    Midwestern lakes and reservoirs are commonly exposed to anthropogenic eutrophication. Cyanobacteria thrive in these nutrient rich-waters and some species pose three threats: 1) taste & odor (drinking), 2) toxins (drinking + recreational) and 3) water treatment process disturbance. Managers for drinking water production are interested in the rapid identification of cyanobacterial blooms to minimize effects caused by harmful cyanobacteria. There is potential to monitor cyanobacteria through the remote sensing of two algal pigments: chlorophyll a (CHL) and phycocyanin (PC). Several empirical methods that develop spectral parameters (e.g., simple band ratio) sensitive to these two pigments and map reflectance to the pigment concentration have been used in a number of investigations using field-based spectroradiometers. This study tests a multivariate analysis approach, partial least squares (PLS) regression, for the estimation of CHL and PC. PLS models were trained with 35 spectra collected from three central Indiana reservoirs during a 2007 field campaign with dual-headed Ocean Optics USB4000 field spectroradiometers (355 - 802 nm, nominal 1.0 nm intervals), and CHL and PC concentrations of the corresponding water samples analyzed at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis. Validation of these models with 19 remaining spectra show that PLS (CHL R2=0.90, slope=0.91, RMSE=20.61 μg/L PC R2=0.65, slope=1.15, RMSE=23.04. μg/L) performed equally well to the band tuning model based on Gitelson et al. 2005 (CHL: R2=0.75, slope=0.84, RMSE=40.16 μg/L PC: R2=0.59, slope=1.14, RMSE=20.24 μg/L).

  5. Toxins and drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Harvey, Alan L

    2014-12-15

    Components from venoms have stimulated many drug discovery projects, with some notable successes. These are briefly reviewed, from captopril to ziconotide. However, there have been many more disappointments on the road from toxin discovery to approval of a new medicine. Drug discovery and development is an inherently risky business, and the main causes of failure during development programmes are outlined in order to highlight steps that might be taken to increase the chances of success with toxin-based drug discovery. These include having a clear focus on unmet therapeutic needs, concentrating on targets that are well-validated in terms of their relevance to the disease in question, making use of phenotypic screening rather than molecular-based assays, and working with development partners with the resources required for the long and expensive development process. PMID:25448391

  6. Late Archean mineralised cyanobacterial mats and their modern analogs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kazmierczak, J.; Altermann, W.; Kremer, B.; Kempe, S.; Eriksson, P. G.

    2008-09-01

    Abstract Reported are findings of Neoarchean benthic colonial coccoid cyanobacteria preserved as abundant remnants of mineralized capsules and sheaths visible in SEM images as characteristic patterns after etching highly polished carbonate rock platelets. The samples described herein were collected from the Nauga Formation at Prieska (Kaapvaal craton, South Africa). The stratigraphic position of the sampling horizon (Fig. 1) is bracketed by single zircon ages from intercalated tuffs, of 2588±6 Ma and 2549±7Ma [1]. The cyanobacteria-bearing samples are located within sedimentary sequence which begins with Peritidal Member displaying increasingly transgressive character, passing upward into the Chert Member and followed by the Proto-BIF Member and by the Naute Shale Member of the Nauga Formation successively. All three latter members were deposited below the fair weather wave base. As in our previous report [2], the samples are taken from lenses of massive micritic flat pebble conglomerate occurring in otherwise finely laminated siliceous shales intercalating with thin bedded platy limestone. This part of the Nauga Formation is about 30 m thick. The calcareous, cyanobacteria-bearing flat pebble conglomerate and thin intercalations of fine-grained detrital limestones embedded in the clayey sapropel-rich deposits are interpreted as carbonate sediments winnowed during stormy weather from the nearby located peritidal carbonate platform. The mass occurrence and exceptional preservation of mineralised cyanobacterial remains in the micritic carbonate (Mg-calcite) of the redeposited flat pebbles can be explained by their sudden burial in deeper, probably anoxic clay- and sapropel-rich sediments. When examined with standard petrographic optical microscopic technique, the micritic carbonates show rather obscure structure (Fig. 2a), whereas under the SEM, polished and slightly etched platelets of the same samples reveal surprisingly well preserved patterns (Fig. 2b

  7. Chlorophyll Fluorescence Analysis of Cyanobacterial Photosynthesis and Acclimation

    PubMed Central

    Campbell, Douglas; Hurry, Vaughan; Clarke, Adrian K.; Gustafsson, Petter; Öquist, Gunnar

    1998-01-01

    Cyanobacteria are ecologically important photosynthetic prokaryotes that also serve as popular model organisms for studies of photosynthesis and gene regulation. Both molecular and ecological studies of cyanobacteria benefit from real-time information on photosynthesis and acclimation. Monitoring in vivo chlorophyll fluorescence can provide noninvasive measures of photosynthetic physiology in a wide range of cyanobacteria and cyanolichens and requires only small samples. Cyanobacterial fluorescence patterns are distinct from those of plants, because of key structural and functional properties of cyanobacteria. These include significant fluorescence emission from the light-harvesting phycobiliproteins; large and rapid changes in fluorescence yield (state transitions) which depend on metabolic and environmental conditions; and flexible, overlapping respiratory and photosynthetic electron transport chains. The fluorescence parameters FV/FM, FV′/FM′,qp,qN, NPQ, and φPS II were originally developed to extract information from the fluorescence signals of higher plants. In this review, we consider how the special properties of cyanobacteria can be accommodated and used to extract biologically useful information from cyanobacterial in vivo chlorophyll fluorescence signals. We describe how the pattern of fluorescence yield versus light intensity can be used to predict the acclimated light level for a cyanobacterial population, giving information valuable for both laboratory and field studies of acclimation processes. The size of the change in fluorescence yield during dark-to-light transitions can provide information on respiration and the iron status of the cyanobacteria. Finally, fluorescence parameters can be used to estimate the electron transport rate at the acclimated growth light intensity. PMID:9729605

  8. Cyanobacterial diversity and activity in modern conical microbialites.

    PubMed

    Bosak, T; Liang, B; Wu, T-D; Templer, S P; Evans, A; Vali, H; Guerquin-Kern, J-L; Klepac-Ceraj, V; Sim, M S; Mui, J

    2012-09-01

    Modern conical microbialites are similar to some ancient conical stromatolites, but growth, behavior and diversity of cyanobacteria in modern conical microbialites remain poorly characterized. Here, we analyze the diversity of cyanobacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences in conical microbialites from 14 ponds fed by four thermal sources in Yellowstone National Park and compare cyanobacterial activity in the tips of cones and in the surrounding topographic lows (mats), respectively, by high-resolution mapping of labeled carbon. Cones and adjacent mats contain similar 16S rRNA gene sequences from genetically distinct clusters of filamentous, non-heterocystous cyanobacteria from Subsection III and unicellular cyanobacteria from Subsection I. These sequences vary among different ponds and between two sampling years, suggesting that coniform mats through time and space contain a number of cyanobacteria capable of vertical aggregation, filamentous cyanobacteria incapable of initiating cone formation and unicellular cyanobacteria. Unicellular cyanobacteria are more diverse in topographic lows, where some of these organisms respond to nutrient pulses more rapidly than thin filamentous cyanobacteria. The densest active cyanobacteria are found below the upper 50 μm of the cone tip, whereas cyanobacterial cells in mats are less dense, and are more commonly degraded or encrusted by silica. These spatial differences in cellular activity and density within macroscopic coniform mats imply a strong role for diffusion limitation in the development and the persistence of the conical shape. Similar mechanisms may have controlled the growth, morphology and persistence of small coniform stromatolites in shallow, quiet environments throughout geologic history. PMID:22713108

  9. Method for detecting biological toxins

    SciTech Connect

    Ligler, F.S.; Campbell, J.R.

    1992-01-01

    Biological toxins are indirectly detected by using polymerase chain reaction to amplify unique nucleic acid sequences coding for the toxins or enzymes unique to toxin synthesis. Buffer, primers coding for the unique nucleic acid sequences and an amplifying enzyme are added to a sample suspected of containing the toxin. The mixture is then cycled thermally to exponentially amplify any of these unique nucleic acid sequences present in the sample. The amplified sequences can be detected by various means, including fluorescence. Detection of the amplified sequences is indicative of the presence of toxin in the original sample. By using more than one set of labeled primers, the method can be used to simultaneously detect several toxins in a sample.

  10. Cryptoendolithic lichen and cyanobacterial communities of the Ross Desert, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Friedmann, E. I.; Hua, M.; Ocampo-Friedmann, R.

    1988-01-01

    Cryptoendolithic microbial communities in the Ross Desert (McMurdo Dry Valleys) are characterized on the basis of photosynthetic microorganisms and fungi. Two eukaryotic communities (the lichen-dominated and Hemichloris communities) and three cyanobacterial communities (the red Gloeocapsa, Hormathonema-Gloeocapsa, and Chroococcidiopsis communities) are described. Eleven coccoid, one pleurocapsoid, and five filamentous cyanobacteria occurring in these communities are characterized and illustrated. The moisture grade of the rock substrate seems to affect pH, formation of primary iron stain, and the distribution of microbial communities.

  11. Recent cyanobacterial Kai protein structures suggest a rotary clock.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jimin

    2005-05-01

    The cyanobacterial circadian oscillator consists of three Kai proteins, KaiA, KaiB, and KaiC, in its oscillation feedback loop. Structural comparison reveals that the Kai system resembles the F1-ATPase system in which KaiC is equivalent to alpha(3)beta(3), KaiA to gammadelta, and KaiB to its inhibitory factor. It also suggests that there exists a possible haemagglutinin-like spring-loaded mechanism for the activation of KaiA during the formation of Kai complexes. PMID:15893664

  12. Recombinant Toxins for Cancer Treatment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pastan, Ira; Fitzgerald, David

    1991-11-01

    Recombinant toxins target cell surface receptors and antigens on tumor cells. They kill by mechanisms different from conventional chemotherapy, so that cross resistance to conventional chemotherapeutic agents should not be a problem. Furthermore, they are not mutagens and should not induce secondary malignancies or accelerate progression of benign malignancies. They can be mass-produced cheaply in bacteria as homogeneous proteins. Either growth factor-toxin fusions or antibody-toxin fusions can be chosen, depending on the cellular target.

  13. Toxin Plasmids of Clostridium perfringens

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jihong; Adams, Vicki; Bannam, Trudi L.; Miyamoto, Kazuaki; Garcia, Jorge P.; Uzal, Francisco A.; Rood, Julian I.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY In both humans and animals, Clostridium perfringens is an important cause of histotoxic infections and diseases originating in the intestines, such as enteritis and enterotoxemia. The virulence of this Gram-positive, anaerobic bacterium is heavily dependent upon its prolific toxin-producing ability. Many of the ∼16 toxins produced by C. perfringens are encoded by large plasmids that range in size from ∼45 kb to ∼140 kb. These plasmid-encoded toxins are often closely associated with mobile elements. A C. perfringens strain can carry up to three different toxin plasmids, with a single plasmid carrying up to three distinct toxin genes. Molecular Koch's postulate analyses have established the importance of several plasmid-encoded toxins when C. perfringens disease strains cause enteritis or enterotoxemias. Many toxin plasmids are closely related, suggesting a common evolutionary origin. In particular, most toxin plasmids and some antibiotic resistance plasmids of C. perfringens share an ∼35-kb region containing a Tn916-related conjugation locus named tcp (transfer of clostridial plasmids). This tcp locus can mediate highly efficient conjugative transfer of these toxin or resistance plasmids. For example, conjugative transfer of a toxin plasmid from an infecting strain to C. perfringens normal intestinal flora strains may help to amplify and prolong an infection. Therefore, the presence of toxin genes on conjugative plasmids, particularly in association with insertion sequences that may mobilize these toxin genes, likely provides C. perfringens with considerable virulence plasticity and adaptability when it causes diseases originating in the gastrointestinal tract. PMID:23699255

  14. Ricin detection: tracking active toxin.

    PubMed

    Bozza, William P; Tolleson, William H; Rosado, Leslie A Rivera; Zhang, Baolin

    2015-01-01

    Ricin is a plant toxin with high bioterrorism potential due to its natural abundance and potency in inducing cell death. Early detection of the active toxin is essential for developing appropriate countermeasures. Here we review concepts for designing ricin detection methods, including mechanism of action of the toxin, advantages and disadvantages of current detection assays, and perspectives on the future development of rapid and reliable methods for detecting ricin in environmental samples. PMID:25481398

  15. Environmental influence on cyanobacteria abundance and microcystin toxin production in a shallow temperate lake.

    PubMed

    Lee, Tammy A; Rollwagen-Bollens, Gretchen; Bollens, Stephen M; Faber-Hammond, Joshua J

    2015-04-01

    The increasing frequency of harmful cyanobacterial blooms in freshwater systems is a commonly recognized problem due to detrimental effects on water quality. Vancouver Lake, a shallow, tidally influenced lake in the flood plain of the Columbia River within the city of Vancouver, WA, USA, has experienced numerous summertime cyanobacterial blooms, dominated by Aphanizomenon sp. and Anabaena sp. Cyanobacteria abundance and toxin (microcystin) levels have been monitored in this popular urban lake for several years; however, no previous studies have identified which cyanobacteria species produce toxins, nor analyzed how changes in environmental variables contribute to the fluctuations in toxic cyanobacteria populations. We used a suite of molecular techniques to analyze water samples from Vancouver Lake over two summer bloom cycles (2009 and 2010). Both intracellular and extracellular microcystin concentrations were measured using an ELISA kit. Intracellular microcystin concentrations exceeded WHO guidelines for recreational waters several times throughout the sampling period. PCR results demonstrated that Microcystis sp. was the sole microcystin-producing cyanobacteria species present in Vancouver Lake, although Microcystis sp. was rarely detected in microscopical counts. qPCR results indicated that the majority of the Microcystis sp. population contained the toxin-producing gene (mcyE), although Microcystis sp. abundance rarely exceeded 1 percent of overall cyanobacteria abundance. Non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) revealed that PO4-P was the main environmental variable influencing the abundance of toxic and non-toxic cyanobacteria, as well as intracellular microcystin concentrations. Our study underscores the importance of using molecular genetic techniques, in addition to traditional microscopy, to assess the importance of less conspicuous species in the dynamics of harmful algal blooms. PMID:25060409

  16. Toxin-producing cyanobacteria in freshwater: a review of the problems, impact on drinking water safety, and efforts for protecting public health.

    PubMed

    Cheung, Melissa Y; Liang, Song; Lee, Jiyoung

    2013-02-01

    Cyanobacteria have adapted to survive in a variety of environments and have been found globally. Toxin-producing cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (CHABs) have been increasing in frequency worldwide and pose a threat to drinking and recreational water. In this study, the prevalence, impact of CHABs and mitigation efforts were reviewed, focusing on the Lake Erie region and Ohio's inland lakes that have been impacted heavily as an example so that the findings can be transferrable to other parts of the world that face the similar problems due to the CHABs in their freshwater environments. This paper provides a basic introduction to CHABs and their toxins as well as an overview of public health implications including exposure routes, health effects, and drinking water issues, algal bloom advisory practices in Ohio, toxin measurements results in Ohio public water supplies, and mitigation efforts. PMID:23456705

  17. Bioremediation of hexavalent chromium by a cyanobacterial mat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shukla, Dhara; Vankar, Padma S.; Srivastava, Sarvesh Kumar

    2012-12-01

    The study comprises the use of cyanobacterial mat (collected from tannery effluent site) to remove hexavalent chromium. This mat was consortium of cyanobacteria/blue-green algae such as Chlorella sp., Phormidium sp. and Oscillatoria sp. The adsorption experiments were carried out in batches using chromium concentrations 2-10, 15-30 and 300 ppm at pH 5.5-6.2. The adsorption started within 15 min; however, 96 % reduction in metal concentration was observed within 210 min. The adsorption phenomenon was confirmed by Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy and energy dispersive X-ray analysis. This biosorption fitted Freundlich adsorption isotherm very well. It was observed that the best adsorption was at 4 ppm, and at 25 ppm in the chosen concentration ranges. Scanning electron micrograph showed the physiology of mat, indicating sites for metal uptake. The main focus was collection of the cyanobacterial mat from local environments and its chromium removal potential at pH 5.5-6.2.

  18. Carotenoids are essential for the assembly of cyanobacterial photosynthetic complexes.

    PubMed

    Tóth, Tünde N; Chukhutsina, Volha; Domonkos, Ildikó; Knoppová, Jana; Komenda, Josef; Kis, Mihály; Lénárt, Zsófia; Garab, Győző; Kovács, László; Gombos, Zoltán; van Amerongen, Herbert

    2015-10-01

    In photosynthetic organisms, carotenoids (carotenes and xanthophylls) are important for light harvesting, photoprotection and structural stability of a variety of pigment-protein complexes. Here, we investigated the consequences of altered carotenoid composition for the functional organization of photosynthetic complexes in wild-type and various mutant strains of the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. Although it is generally accepted that xanthophylls do not play a role in cyanobacterial photosynthesis in low-light conditions, we have found that the absence of xanthophylls leads to reduced oligomerization of photosystems I and II. This is remarkable because these complexes do not bind xanthophylls. Oligomerization is even more disturbed in crtH mutant cells, which show limited carotenoid synthesis; in these cells also the phycobilisomes are distorted despite the fact that these extramembranous light-harvesting complexes do not contain carotenoids. The number of phycocyanin rods connected to the phycobilisome core is strongly reduced leading to high amounts of unattached phycocyanin units. In the absence of carotenoids the overall organization of the thylakoid membranes is disturbed: Photosystem II is not formed, photosystem I hardly oligomerizes and the assembly of phycobilisomes remains incomplete. These data underline the importance of carotenoids in the structural and functional organization of the cyanobacterial photosynthetic machinery. PMID:26045333

  19. Potential of cyanobacterial biofilms in phosphate removal and biomass production.

    PubMed

    Rai, Jyoti; Kumar, Dhananjay; Pandey, Lalit K; Yadav, Arpana; Gaur, J P

    2016-07-15

    Four cyanobacterial biofilms, raised from cyanobacterial mats and dominated by Phormidium and Oscillatoria spp., were successfully grown attached to polyester mesh discs, and were tested for their probable application in [Formula: see text] -P removal from domestic sewage and other nutrient enriched wastewaters. Biofilm # 2, dominated by Phormidium fragile, best removed [Formula: see text] -P; nevertheless, some of it also grew outside the substrate making harvesting difficult. Other biofilms also efficiently removed [Formula: see text] -P from the medium in the following order: Biofilm # 1 > Biofilm # 3 > Biofilm # 4. Their growths were restricted to discs and are therefore better candidates as they can be efficiently harvested after [Formula: see text] -P removal. [Formula: see text] -P removal was primarily due to its uptake during growth of the biofilm rather than because of precipitation as pH of the medium remained <8.5. [Formula: see text] -N concentration in the medium determined [Formula: see text] -P removal efficiency of the test biofilms and therefore optimum N:P ratio is necessary for optimizing [Formula: see text] -P removal. The test biofilms could also efficiently remove [Formula: see text] -N from the medium. PMID:27088210

  20. 2-Methylhopanoids as biomarkers for cyanobacterial oxygenic photosynthesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Summons, Roger E.; Jahnke, Linda L.; Hope, Janet M.; Logan, Graham A.

    1999-08-01

    Oxygenic photosynthesis is widely accepted as the most important bioenergetic process happening in Earth's surface environment. It is thought to have evolved within the cyanobacterial lineage, but it has been difficult to determine when it began. Evidence based on the occurrence and appearance of stromatolites and microfossils indicates that phototrophy occurred as long ago as 3,465Myr although no definite physiological inferences can be made from these objects. Carbon isotopes and other geological phenomena, provide clues but are also equivocal. Biomarkers are potentially useful because the three domains of extant life-Bacteria, Archaea and Eukarya-have signature membrane lipids with recalcitrant carbon skeletons. These lipids turn into hydrocarbons in sediments and can be found wherever the recordis sufficiently well preserved. Here we show that 2-methylbacteriohopanepolyols occur in a high proportion of cultured cyanobacteria and cyanobacterial mats. Their 2-methylhopane hydrocarbon derivatives are abundant in organic-rich sediments as old as 2,500Myr. These biomarkers may help constrain the age of the oldest cyanobacteria and the advent of oxygenic photosynthesis. They could also be used to quantify the ecological importance of cyanobacteria through geological time.

  1. Light irradiance and spectral distribution effects on cyanobacterial hydrogen production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fatihah Salleh, Siti; Kamaruddin, Azlina; Hekarl Uzir, Mohamad; Rahman Mohamed, Abdul; Halim Shamsuddin, Abdul

    2016-03-01

    Light is an essential energy source for photosynthetic cyanobacteria. Changes in both light irradiance and spectral distribution will affect their photosynthetic productivity. Compared to the light irradiance, little investigations have been carried out on the effect of light spectra towards cyanobacterial hydrogen production. Hence, this work aims to investigate the effects of both light quantity and quality on biohydrogen productivity of heterocystous cyanobacterium, A.variabilis. Under white light condition, the highest hydrogen production rate of 31 µmol H2 mg chl a -1 h-1 was achieved at 70 µE m-2 s-1. When the experiment was repeated at the same light irradiance but different light spectra of blue, red and green, the accumulations of hydrogen were significantly lower than the white light except for blue light. As the light irradiance was increased to 350 µE m-2 s-1, the accumulated hydrogen under the blue light doubled that of the white light. Besides that, an unusual prolongation of the hydrogen production up to 120 h was observed. The results obtained suggest that blue light could be the most desirable light spectrum for cyanobacterial hydrogen production.

  2. Thermorecovery of cyanobacterial fatty acids at elevated temperatures.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xinyao; Curtiss, Roy

    2012-11-15

    We have developed a genetic system we call "thermorecovery" that allows us to lyse cyanobacterial cultures and hydrolyze membrane lipids to release free fatty acids (FFAs), a biofuel precursor. The system uses thermostable lipases encoded by genes from thermophilic organisms that have been transferred into the cyanobacterial genome and can be synthesized by turning off CO(2) availability and subsequently activated by increasing the concentrated culture temperature. When synthesized in FFA-producing strains, the lipase Fnl from Fervidobacterium nodosum Rt17-B1 released the most FFA. Of the seven candidate lipases investigated, Fnl-synthesizing strains yielded 42.7±1.5 mg/l FFA at 47°C. We also determined that the optimal production conditions for SD338, the Synechocystis strain synthesizing Fnl, was to keep the cell concentrates at 46°C for two days after a one-day CO(2) limitation pretreatment of the culture. A 4-l continuous semi-batch production experiment with SD338 showed that daily harvested cultures (1l) released an average of 43.9±6.6 mg fatty acid and this productivity lasted for at least 20 days without significant decline. This improved thermorecovery process can be used in conjunction with other means to genetically engineer cyanobacteria to produce biofuels or biofuel precursors as the final step in recovery of membrane lipids. PMID:22944207

  3. Molecular insights into the terminal energy acceptor in cyanobacterial phycobilisome.

    PubMed

    Gao, Xiang; Wei, Tian-Di; Zhang, Nan; Xie, Bin-Bin; Su, Hai-Nan; Zhang, Xi-Ying; Chen, Xiu-Lan; Zhou, Bai-Cheng; Wang, Zhi-Xin; Wu, Jia-Wei; Zhang, Yu-Zhong

    2012-09-01

    The linker protein L(CM) (ApcE) is postulated as the major component of the phycobilisome terminal energy acceptor (TEA) transferring excitation energy from the phycobilisome to photosystem II. L(CM) is the only phycobilin-attached linker protein in the cyanobacterial phycobilisome through auto-chromophorylation. However, the underlying mechanism for the auto-chromophorylation of L(CM) and the detailed molecular architecture of TEA is still unclear. Here, we demonstrate that the N-terminal phycobiliprotein-like domain of L(CM) (Pfam00502, LP502) can specifically recognize phycocyanobilin (PCB) by itself. Biochemical assays indicated that PCB binds into the same pocket in LP502 as that in the allophycocyanin α-subunit and that Ser152 and Asp155 play a vital role in LP502 auto-chromophorylation. By carefully conducting computational simulations, we arrived at a rational model of the PCB-LP502 complex structure that was supported by extensive mutational studies. In the PCB-LP502 complex, PCB binds into a deep pocket of LP502 with a distorted conformation, and Ser152 and Asp155 form several hydrogen bonds to PCB fixing the PCB Ring A and Ring D. Finally, based on our results, the dipoles and dipole-dipole interactions in TEA are analysed and a molecular structure for TEA is proposed, which gives new insights into the energy transformation mechanism of cyanobacterial phycobilisome. PMID:22758351

  4. Cyanobacterial Cyclopeptides as Lead Compounds to Novel Targeted Cancer Drugs

    PubMed Central

    Sainis, Ioannis; Fokas, Demosthenes; Vareli, Katerina; Tzakos, Andreas G.; Kounnis, Valentinos; Briasoulis, Evangelos

    2010-01-01

    Cyanobacterial cyclopeptides, including microcystins and nodularins, are considered a health hazard to humans due to the possible toxic effects of high consumption. From a pharmacological standpoint, microcystins are stable hydrophilic cyclic heptapeptides with a potential to cause cellular damage following uptake via organic anion-transporting polypeptides (OATP). Their intracellular biological effects involve inhibition of catalytic subunits of protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) and PP2, glutathione depletion and generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Interestingly, certain OATPs are prominently expressed in cancers as compared to normal tissues, qualifying MC as potential candidates for cancer drug development. In the era of targeted cancer therapy, cyanotoxins comprise a rich source of natural cytotoxic compounds with a potential to target cancers expressing specific uptake transporters. Moreover, their structure offers opportunities for combinatorial engineering to enhance the therapeutic index and resolve organ-specific toxicity issues. In this article, we revisit cyanobacterial cyclopeptides as potential novel targets for anticancer drugs by summarizing existing biomedical evidence, presenting structure-activity data and discussing developmental perspectives. PMID:20411119

  5. Biodegradation of multiple cyanobacterial metabolites in drinking water supplies.

    PubMed

    Ho, Lionel; Tang, Tim; Monis, Paul T; Hoefel, Daniel

    2012-06-01

    The fate of multiple cyanobacterial metabolites was assessed in two Australian source waters. The saxitoxins were the only metabolites shown to be non-biodegradable in Myponga Reservoir water, while microcystin-LR (MCLR) and geosmin were biodegradable in this water source. Likewise, cylindrospermopsin (CYN) was shown to be biodegradable in River Murray water. The order of ease of biodegradability followed the trend: MCLR>CYN>geosmin>saxitoxins. Biodegradation of the metabolites was affected by temperature and seasonal variations with more rapid degradation at 24°C and during autumn compared with 14°C and during winter. A microcystin-degrading bacterium was isolated and shown to degrade four microcystin variants within 4 h. This bacterium, designated as TT25, was shown to be 99% similar to a Sphingopyxis sp. based on a 16S rRNA gene fragment. Isolate TT25 was shown to contain a homologue of the mlrA gene; the sequence of which was 99% similar to that of a previously reported microcystin-degrader. Furthermore, isolate TT25 could degrade the microcystins in the presence of copper sulphate (0.5 mg L(-1) as Cu(2+)) which is advantageous for water authorities dosing such algicides into water bodies to control cyanobacterial blooms. PMID:22386459

  6. Contribution of cyanobacterial alkane production to the ocean hydrocarbon cycle.

    PubMed

    Lea-Smith, David J; Biller, Steven J; Davey, Matthew P; Cotton, Charles A R; Perez Sepulveda, Blanca M; Turchyn, Alexandra V; Scanlan, David J; Smith, Alison G; Chisholm, Sallie W; Howe, Christopher J

    2015-11-01

    Hydrocarbons are ubiquitous in the ocean, where alkanes such as pentadecane and heptadecane can be found even in waters minimally polluted with crude oil. Populations of hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria, which are responsible for the turnover of these compounds, are also found throughout marine systems, including in unpolluted waters. These observations suggest the existence of an unknown and widespread source of hydrocarbons in the oceans. Here, we report that strains of the two most abundant marine cyanobacteria, Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus, produce and accumulate hydrocarbons, predominantly C15 and C17 alkanes, between 0.022 and 0.368% of dry cell weight. Based on global population sizes and turnover rates, we estimate that these species have the capacity to produce 2-540 pg alkanes per mL per day, which translates into a global ocean yield of ∼ 308-771 million tons of hydrocarbons annually. We also demonstrate that both obligate and facultative marine hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria can consume cyanobacterial alkanes, which likely prevents these hydrocarbons from accumulating in the environment. Our findings implicate cyanobacteria and hydrocarbon degraders as key players in a notable internal hydrocarbon cycle within the upper ocean, where alkanes are continually produced and subsequently consumed within days. Furthermore we show that cyanobacterial alkane production is likely sufficient to sustain populations of hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria, whose abundances can rapidly expand upon localized release of crude oil from natural seepage and human activities. PMID:26438854

  7. Contribution of cyanobacterial alkane production to the ocean hydrocarbon cycle

    PubMed Central

    Lea-Smith, David J.; Biller, Steven J.; Davey, Matthew P.; Cotton, Charles A. R.; Perez Sepulveda, Blanca M.; Turchyn, Alexandra V.; Scanlan, David J.; Smith, Alison G.; Chisholm, Sallie W.; Howe, Christopher J.

    2015-01-01

    Hydrocarbons are ubiquitous in the ocean, where alkanes such as pentadecane and heptadecane can be found even in waters minimally polluted with crude oil. Populations of hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria, which are responsible for the turnover of these compounds, are also found throughout marine systems, including in unpolluted waters. These observations suggest the existence of an unknown and widespread source of hydrocarbons in the oceans. Here, we report that strains of the two most abundant marine cyanobacteria, Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus, produce and accumulate hydrocarbons, predominantly C15 and C17 alkanes, between 0.022 and 0.368% of dry cell weight. Based on global population sizes and turnover rates, we estimate that these species have the capacity to produce 2–540 pg alkanes per mL per day, which translates into a global ocean yield of ∼308–771 million tons of hydrocarbons annually. We also demonstrate that both obligate and facultative marine hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria can consume cyanobacterial alkanes, which likely prevents these hydrocarbons from accumulating in the environment. Our findings implicate cyanobacteria and hydrocarbon degraders as key players in a notable internal hydrocarbon cycle within the upper ocean, where alkanes are continually produced and subsequently consumed within days. Furthermore we show that cyanobacterial alkane production is likely sufficient to sustain populations of hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria, whose abundances can rapidly expand upon localized release of crude oil from natural seepage and human activities. PMID:26438854

  8. Shifts in Cyanobacterial Strain Dominance during the Onset of Harmful Algal Blooms in Florida Bay, USA.

    PubMed

    Berry, Dianna L; Goleski, Jennifer A; Koch, Florian; Wall, Charles C; Peterson, Bradley J; Anderson, O Roger; Gobler, Christopher J

    2015-08-01

    Cyanobacteria are fundamental components of aquatic phytoplankton communities and some taxa can cause harmful blooms in coastal ecosystems. Harmful cyanobacterial blooms are typically comprised of multiple strains of a single genus or species that cannot be resolved microscopically. Florida Bay, USA, has experienced harmful cyanobacterial blooms that have been associated with the loss of eelgrass, spiny lobsters, and general food web disruption for more than two decades. To identify the strain or strains of cyanobacteria forming blooms in Florida Bay, samples were collected across the system over an annual cycle and analyzed via DNA sequencing using cyanobacterial-specific 16S rRNA gene primers, flow cytometry, and scanning electron microscopy. Analyses demonstrated that the onset of blooms in Florida Bay was coincident with a transformation of the cyanobacterial populations. When blooms were absent, the cyanobacterial population in Florida Bay was dominated by phycoerythrin-containing Synechococcus cells that were most similar to strains within Clade III. As blooms developed, the cyanobacterial community transitioned to dominance by phycocyanin-containing Synechococcus cells that were coated with mucilage, chain-forming, and genetically most similar to the coastal strains within Clade VIII. Clade VIII strains of Synechococcus are known to grow rapidly, utilize organic nutrients, and resist top-down control by protozoan grazers and viruses, all characteristics consistent with observations of cyanobacterial blooms in Florida Bay. Further, the strains of Synechococcus blooming in this system are genetically distinct from the species previously thought to cause blooms in Florida Bay, Synechococcus elongatus. Collectively, this study identified the causative organism of harmful cyanobacterial blooms in Florida Bay, demonstrates the dynamic nature of cyanobacterial stains within genera in an estuary, and affirms factors promoting Synechococcus blooms. PMID:25661475

  9. Lymphocyte receptors for pertussis toxin

    SciTech Connect

    Clark, C.G.; Armstrong, G.D. )

    1990-12-01

    We have investigated human T-lymphocyte receptors for pertussis toxin by affinity isolation and photoaffinity labeling procedures. T lymphocytes were obtained from peripheral human blood, surface iodinated, and solubilized in Triton X-100. The iodinated mixture was then passed through pertussis toxin-agarose, and the fractions were analyzed by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Autoradiography of the fixed, dried gels revealed several bands in the pertussis toxin-bound fraction that were not observed in fractions obtained from histone or fetuin-agarose. Further investigations employed a photoaffinity labeling reagent, sulfosuccinimidyl 2-(p-azido-salicylamido)-1,3'-dithiopropionate, to identify pertussis toxin receptors in freshly isolated peripheral blood monocytic cells, T lymphocytes, and Jurkat cells. In all three cell systems, the pertussis toxin affinity probe specifically labeled a single protein species with an apparent molecular weight of 70,000 that was not observed when the procedure was performed in the presence of excess unmodified pertussis toxin. A protein comparable in molecular weight to the one detected by the photoaffinity labeling technique was also observed among the species that bound to pertussis toxin-agarose. The results suggest that pertussis toxin may bind to a 70,000-Da receptor in human T lymphocytes.

  10. The assay of diphtheria toxin

    PubMed Central

    Gerwing, Julia; Long, D. A.; Mussett, Marjorie V.

    1957-01-01

    A precise assay of diphtheria toxin is described, based on the linear relationship between the diameter of the skin reaction to, and logarithm of the dose of, toxin. It eliminates the need for preliminary titrations, is economical, provides information about the slope of the log-dose response lines and, therefore, of the validity of the assay, and yields limits of error of potency from the internal evidence of the assay. A study has been made of the effects of avidity, combining power, toxicity and buffering on the assay of diphtheria toxins against the International Standards for both Diphtheria Antitoxin and Schick-Test Toxin. All the toxins assayed against the standard toxin, whatever their other properties might be, gave log-dose response lines of similar slope provided that they were diluted in buffered physiological saline. The assays were therefore valid. These experiments were repeated concurrently in non-immune and in actively immunized guinea-pigs, and comparable figures for potency obtained in both groups. The result was not significantly affected by the avidity or combining power of the toxin. However, non-avid toxins gave low values in Schick units when assayed, by the Römer & Sames technique, in terms of the International Standard for Diphtheria Antitoxin. The problem of the ultimate standard and the implications of these findings are discussed. PMID:13511133

  11. TOXINS FROM CYANOBACTERIA IN WATER

    EPA Science Inventory

    This project is part of a larger U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) effort, which includes the Office of Water, to investigate algal toxins in surface water supplies and drinking water. Toxins produced by cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) are among the most potent known ...

  12. Botulinum toxin: Bioweapon & magic drug

    PubMed Central

    Dhaked, Ram Kumar; Singh, Manglesh Kumar; Singh, Padma; Gupta, Pallavi

    2010-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins, causative agents of botulism in humans, are produced by Clostridium botulinum, an anaerobic spore-former Gram positive bacillus. Botulinum neurotoxin poses a major bioweapon threat because of its extreme potency and lethality; its ease of production, transport, and misuse; and the need for prolonged intensive care among affected persons. A single gram of crystalline toxin, evenly dispersed and inhaled, can kill more than one million people. The basis of the phenomenal potency of botulinum toxin is enzymatic; the toxin is a zinc proteinase that cleaves neuronal vesicle associated proteins responsible for acetylcholine release into the neuromuscular junction. As a military or terrorist weapon, botulinum toxin could be disseminated via aerosol or by contamination of water or food supplies, causing widespread casualties. A fascinating aspect of botulinum toxin research in recent years has been development of the most potent toxin into a molecule of significant therapeutic utility. It is the first biological toxin which is licensed for treatment of human diseases. In the late 1980s, Canada approved use of the toxin to treat strabismus, in 2001 in the removal of facial wrinkles and in 2002, the FDA in the United States followed suit. The present review focuses on both warfare potential and medical uses of botulinum neurotoxin. PMID:21149997

  13. Determination of rate constants and half-lives for the simultaneous biodegradation of several cyanobacterial metabolites in Australian source waters.

    PubMed

    Ho, Lionel; Tang, Tim; Hoefel, Daniel; Vigneswaran, Bala

    2012-11-01

    The fate of five cyanobacterial metabolites was assessed in water sourced from Lake Burragorang (Warragamba Dam) in New South Wales, Australia. All of the studied metabolites were shown to be biodegradable in this water source. For some metabolites, biodegradation was influenced by factors, including temperature, location (within the water body) and seasonal variations. The biodegradation of the metabolites was shown to follow pseudo-first-order kinetics with rate constants ranging from 8.0 × 10(-4) to 1.3 × 10(-2) h(-1). Half-lives of the metabolites were also estimated and ranged from 2.2 to 36.1 d. The order of ease of biodegradability in this water source followed the trend: microcystin-LR ≥ cylindrospermopsin > saxitoxins > geosmin ≥ 2-methylisoborneol. The lack of detection of the mlrA gene during microcystin biodegradation suggests that these toxins may be degraded via a different pathway. While no metabolite-degrading organisms were isolated in this study, the inoculation of previously isolated geosmin- and microcystin-degrading bacteria into Lake Burragorang water resulted in efficient biodegradation of the respective metabolites. For example, microcystin-degrading isolate TT25 was able to degrade three microcystin variants to concentrations below analytical detection within 24 h, suggesting that inoculation of such bacteria has the potential to enhance biodegradation in Lake Burragorang. PMID:22921397

  14. Late Archean mineralised cyanobacterial mats and their modern analogs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kazmierczak, J.; Altermann, W.; Kremer, B.; Kempe, S.; Eriksson, P. G.

    2008-09-01

    Abstract Reported are findings of Neoarchean benthic colonial coccoid cyanobacteria preserved as abundant remnants of mineralized capsules and sheaths visible in SEM images as characteristic patterns after etching highly polished carbonate rock platelets. The samples described herein were collected from the Nauga Formation at Prieska (Kaapvaal craton, South Africa). The stratigraphic position of the sampling horizon (Fig. 1) is bracketed by single zircon ages from intercalated tuffs, of 2588±6 Ma and 2549±7Ma [1]. The cyanobacteria-bearing samples are located within sedimentary sequence which begins with Peritidal Member displaying increasingly transgressive character, passing upward into the Chert Member and followed by the Proto-BIF Member and by the Naute Shale Member of the Nauga Formation successively. All three latter members were deposited below the fair weather wave base. As in our previous report [2], the samples are taken from lenses of massive micritic flat pebble conglomerate occurring in otherwise finely laminated siliceous shales intercalating with thin bedded platy limestone. This part of the Nauga Formation is about 30 m thick. The calcareous, cyanobacteria-bearing flat pebble conglomerate and thin intercalations of fine-grained detrital limestones embedded in the clayey sapropel-rich deposits are interpreted as carbonate sediments winnowed during stormy weather from the nearby located peritidal carbonate platform. The mass occurrence and exceptional preservation of mineralised cyanobacterial remains in the micritic carbonate (Mg-calcite) of the redeposited flat pebbles can be explained by their sudden burial in deeper, probably anoxic clay- and sapropel-rich sediments. When examined with standard petrographic optical microscopic technique, the micritic carbonates show rather obscure structure (Fig. 2a), whereas under the SEM, polished and slightly etched platelets of the same samples reveal surprisingly well preserved patterns (Fig. 2b

  15. Binding of ATP by pertussis toxin and isolated toxin subunits

    SciTech Connect

    Hausman, S.Z.; Manclark, C.R.; Burns, D.L. )

    1990-07-03

    The binding of ATP to pertussis toxin and its components, the A subunit and B oligomer, was investigated. Whereas, radiolabeled ATP bound to the B oligomer and pertussis toxin, no binding to the A subunit was observed. The binding of ({sup 3}H)ATP to pertussis toxin and the B oligomer was inhibited by nucleotides. The relative effectiveness of the nucleotides was shown to be ATP > GTP > CTP > TTP for pertussis toxin and ATP > GTP > TTP > CTP for the B oligomer. Phosphate ions inhibited the binding of ({sup 3}H)ATP to pertussis toxin in a competitive manner; however, the presence of phosphate ions was essential for binding of ATP to the B oligomer. The toxin substrate, NAD, did not affect the binding of ({sup 3}H)ATP to pertussis toxin, although the glycoprotein fetuin significantly decreased binding. These results suggest that the binding site for ATP is located on the B oligomer and is distinct from the enzymatically active site but may be located near the eukaryotic receptor binding site.

  16. A pair of chiral flavonolignans as novel anti-cyanobacterial allelochemicals derived from barley straw (Hordeum vulgare): characterization and comparison of their anti-cyanobacterial activities.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Xi; Huang, Haomin; Ge, Zhiwei; Rounge, Trine B; Shi, Jiyan; Xu, Xinhua; Li, Ruobing; Chen, Yingxu

    2014-05-01

    The inhibitory effect of barley straw (Hordeum vulgare) on cyanobacteria has been observed in many field and laboratory studies for over 30 years, although the compounds responsible for this anti-cyanobacterial effect have remained unknown. In this study, a pair of chiral flavonolignans were isolated from barley straw extract using a bioassay-guided isolation procedure against Microcystis sp. The structures of the allelopathic compounds were elucidated by NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) and HPLC-MS (high performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry), and turned out to be salcolin A and B. The enantiomers differ in their anti-cyanobacterial abilities. Both enantiomers exhibited inhibitory effects on Microcystis sp., and the EC50 (concentration for 50% of maximal effect) of salcolin A and B were 6.02 × 10(-5) and 9.60 × 10(-5 ) mol l(-1) , respectively. Furthermore, the modes of actions of the enantiomers were investigated and compared at a single cell level by flow cytometry. Salcolin A was found to induce an increase on cyanobacterial intracellular ROS (reactive oxygen species) levels and to inhibit esterase activity, whereas salcolin B caused leakages of cyanobacterial cytoplasms. Thus, salcolin A was more 'algistatic', and salcolin B was more 'algicidal'. This study suggests that salcolin is the key allelochemical in barley straw's inhibitory effect on cyanobacteria and could be used as an agent in the future control of cyanobacterial harmful algae blooms. PMID:24034604

  17. Algal toxin profiles in Nigerian coastal waters (Gulf of Guinea) using passive sampling and liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Zendong, Zita; Kadiri, Medina; Herrenknecht, Christine; Nézan, Elisabeth; Mazzeo, Antonia; Hess, Philipp

    2016-05-01

    Algal toxins may accumulate in fish and shellfish and thus cause poisoning in consumers of seafood. Such toxins and the algae producing them are regularly surveyed in many countries, including Europe, North America, Japan and others. However, very little is known regards the occurrence of such algae and their toxins in most African countries. This paper reports on a survey of phytoplankton and algal toxins in Nigerian coastal waters. Seawater samples were obtained from four sites for phytoplankton identification, on three occasions between the middle of October 2014 and the end of February 2015 (Bar Beach and Lekki in Lagos State, Port Harcourt in Rivers State and Uyo in Akwa Ibom State). The phytoplankton community was generally dominated by diatoms and cyanobacteria; however several species of dinoflagellates were also identified: Dinophysis caudata, Lingulodinium polyedrum and two benthic species of Prorocentrum. Passive samplers (containing Diaion(®) HP-20 resin) were deployed for several 1-week periods on the same four sites to obtain profiles of algal toxins present in the seawater. Quantifiable amounts of okadaic acid (OA) and pectenotoxin 2 (PTX2), as well as traces of dinophysistoxin 1 (DTX1) were detected at several sites. Highest concentrations (60 ng OA g(-1) HP-20 resin) were found at Lekki and Bar Beach stations, which also had the highest salinities. Non-targeted analysis using full-scan high resolution mass spectrometry showed that algal metabolites differed from site to site and for different sampling occasions. Screening against a marine natural products database indicated the potential presence of cyanobacterial compounds in the water column, which was also consistent with phytoplankton analysis. During this study, the occurrence of the marine dinoflagellate toxins OA and PTX2 has been demonstrated in coastal waters of Nigeria, despite unfavourable environmental conditions, with regards to the low salinities measured. Hence shellfish samples

  18. Growth inhibition of the cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa and degradation of its microcystin toxins by the fungus Trichoderma citrinoviride.

    PubMed

    Mohamed, Zakaria A; Hashem, Mohamed; Alamri, Saad A

    2014-08-01

    Harmful cyanobacterial blooms are recognized as a rapidly expanding global problem that threatens human and ecosystem health. Many bacterial strains have been reported as possible agents for inhibiting and controlling these blooms. However, such algicidal activity is largely unexplored for fungi. In this study, a fungal strain kkuf-0955, isolated from decayed cyanobacterial bloom was tested for its capability to inhibit phytoplankton species in batch cultures. The strain was identified as Trichoderma citrinoviride Based on its morphological characteristics and DNA sequence. Microcystis aeruginosa co-cultivated with living fungal mycelia rapidly decreased after one day of incubation, and all cells completely died and lysed after 2 days. The fungal filtrate of 5-day culture also exhibited an inhibitory effect on M. aeruginosa, and this inhibition increased with the amount of filtrate and incubation time. Conversely, green algae and diatoms have not been influenced by either living fungal mycelia or culture filtrate. Interestingly, the fungus was not only able to inhibit Microcystis growth but also degraded microcystin produced by this cyanobacterium. The toxins were completely degraded within 5 days of incubation with living fungal mycelia, but not significantly changed with fungal filtrate. This fungus could be a potential bioagent to selectively control Microcystis blooms and degrade microcystin toxins. PMID:24874888

  19. Cyanobacterium sp. host cell and vector for production of chemical compounds in cyanobacterial cultures

    DOEpatents

    Piven, Irina; Friedrich, Alexandra; Duhring, Ulf; Uliczka, Frank; Baier, Kerstin; Inaba, Masami; Shi, Tuo; Wang, Kui; Enke, Heike; Kramer, Dan

    2014-09-30

    A cyanobacterial host cell, Cyanobacterium sp., that harbors at least one recombinant gene for the production of a chemical compounds is provided, as well as vectors derived from an endogenous plasmid isolated from the cell.

  20. Cyanobacterium sp. host cell and vector for production of chemical compounds in Cyanobacterial cultures

    DOEpatents

    Piven, Irina; Friedrich, Alexandra; Duhring, Ulf; Uliczka, Frank; Baier, Kerstin; Inaba, Masami; Shi, Tuo; Wang, Kui; Enke, Heike; Kramer, Dan

    2016-04-19

    A cyanobacterial host cell, Cyanobacterium sp., that harbors at least one recombinant gene for the production of a chemical compounds is provided, as well as vectors derived from an endogenous plasmid isolated from the cell.

  1. Cylindrospermopsis in Lake Erie: Testing its association with other cyanobacterial genera and major limnological parameters

    EPA Science Inventory

    We report the first documented observation of the potentially toxic cyanobacterium Cylindrospermopsis in lake Erie and Sandusky Bay in 2005 and quantify the physical and chemical parameters and the cyanobacterial community composition contemporaneous to its occurrence. We hypothe...

  2. Intricate protein-protein interactions in the cyanobacterial circadian clock.

    PubMed

    Egli, Martin

    2014-08-01

    The cyanobacterial circadian clock consists of a post-translational oscillator (PTO) and a PTO-dependent transcription-translation feedback loop (TTFL). The PTO can be reconstituted in vitro with the KaiA, KaiB, and KaiC proteins, enabling detailed biochemical and biophysical investigations. Both the CI and the CII halves of the KaiC hexamer harbor ATPases, but only the C-terminal CII ring exhibits kinase and phospho-transferase activities. KaiA stimulates the kinase and KaiB associates with KaiC during the dephosphorylation phase and sequesters KaiA. Recent research has led to conflicting models of the KaiB-KaiC interaction, precluding a clear understanding of KaiB function and KaiABC clock mechanism. PMID:24936066

  3. Intricate Protein-Protein Interactions in the Cyanobacterial Circadian Clock*

    PubMed Central

    Egli, Martin

    2014-01-01

    The cyanobacterial circadian clock consists of a post-translational oscillator (PTO) and a PTO-dependent transcription-translation feedback loop (TTFL). The PTO can be reconstituted in vitro with the KaiA, KaiB, and KaiC proteins, enabling detailed biochemical and biophysical investigations. Both the CI and the CII halves of the KaiC hexamer harbor ATPases, but only the C-terminal CII ring exhibits kinase and phospho-transferase activities. KaiA stimulates the kinase and KaiB associates with KaiC during the dephosphorylation phase and sequesters KaiA. Recent research has led to conflicting models of the KaiB-KaiC interaction, precluding a clear understanding of KaiB function and KaiABC clock mechanism. PMID:24936066

  4. Design of riboregulators for control of cyanobacterial (Synechocystis) protein expression.

    PubMed

    Abe, Koichi; Sakai, Yuta; Nakashima, Saki; Araki, Masataka; Yoshida, Wataru; Sode, Koji; Ikebukuro, Kazunori

    2014-02-01

    Cyanobacteria are attractive host bacteria for biofuel production because they can covert CO2 to biofuel lipids using only sunlight, water, and inorganic ions. For genetically engineering an ideal cyanobacterium, a synthetic biological approach is promising but few genetic components have been characterized in cyanobacteria. Here for controlling cyanobacterial protein expression, we constructed riboregulators, that one of the post-transcriptional regulators composed of RNAs. Riboregulators harboring a ribosome-binding site suitable for Synechocystis sp. were designed by trial and error using Escherichia coli as host bacteria. The designed riboregulators were effective in Synechocystis sp. as well as E. coli with slight interference on growth only observed in E. coli. They will therefore be useful tools for controlling target gene expression. PMID:24068508

  5. [Laboratory analogs of cyanobacterial mats of the alkaline geochemical barrier].

    PubMed

    Zavarzin, G A; Orleanskiĭ, V K; Gerasimenko, L M; Pushko, S N; Ushatinskaia, G T

    2003-01-01

    The goal of this work was to illustrate a possible interaction between the "soda continent" and the ocean. A laboratory simulation was undertaken of the development of alkaliphilic mat with calcium carbonate and calcium phosphate interlayers in the zone where ocean waters, containing calcium and manganese, come into contact with carbonate- and phosphate-rich alkaline waters. The macrostructure of the layered cyanobacterial mat turned out to little dependent on the chemical conditions causing sediment formation. The chemical composition of freshly formed mineral interlayers of the mat was found to vary with the medium composition. The mineralogical composition of the sediment is determined by diagenesis conditions in its depth, which can cause mineral phase conversions. PMID:12698798

  6. Food toxin detection with atomic force microscope

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Externally introduced toxins or internal spoilage correlated pathogens and their metabolites are all potential sources of food toxins. To prevent and protect unsafe food, many food toxin detection techniques have been developed to detect various toxins for quality control. Although several routine m...

  7. Detecting and discriminating among Shiga toxins

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The virulence associated with Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infections is from the Shiga toxins produced by the E. coli strain. Although Shiga toxins are associated with E. coli, the expression of the toxins is actually controlled by a temperate lambdoid phage that infects the host. ...

  8. Botulinum toxin for pain.

    PubMed

    Casale, Roberto; Tugnoli, Valeria

    2008-01-01

    Botulinum toxin (BTX) injection is being increasingly used 'off label' in the management of chronic pain. Data support the hypothesis of a direct analgesic effect of BTX, different to that exerted on muscle. Although the pain-reducing effect of BTX is mainly due to its ability to block acetylcholine release at the synapse, other effects on the nervous system are also thought to be involved. BTX affects cholinergic transmission in both the somatic and the autonomic nervous systems. Proposed mechanisms of action of BTX for pain relief of trigger points, muscular spasms, fibromyalgia and myofascial pain include direct action on muscle and indirect effects via action at the neuromuscular junction. Invitro and invivo data have shown that BTX has specific antinociceptive activity relating to its effects on inflammation, axonal transport, ganglion inhibition, and spinal and suprasegmental level inhibition. Our review of the mechanisms of action, efficacy, administration techniques and therapeutic dosage of BTX for the management of chronic pain in a variety of conditions shows that although muscular tone and movement disorders remain the most important therapeutic applications for BTX, research suggests that BTX can also provide benefits related to effects on cholinergic control of the vascular system, autonomic function, and cholinergic control of nociceptive and antinociceptive systems. Furthermore, it appears that BTX may influence the peripheral and central nervous systems. The therapeutic potential of BTX depends mainly on the ability to deliver the toxin to the target structures, cholinergic or otherwise. Evidence suggests that BTX can be administered at standard dosages in pain disorders, where the objective is alteration of muscle tone. For conditions requiring an analgesic effect, the optimal therapeutic dosage of BTX remains to be defined. PMID:18095750

  9. Coupling membranes as energy-transmitting cables. II. Cyanobacterial trichomes.

    PubMed

    Severina, I I; Skulachev, V P; Zorov, D B

    1988-08-01

    Power transmission along trichomes of filamentous cyanobacteria Phormidium uncinatum has been studied with the use of ethylrhodamine fluorescence as a probe for the transmembrane electric potential difference (delta psi). It is found that agents preventing the light-induced delta psi formation (photosynthetic redox chain inhibitor dibromothymoquinone) or dissipating delta psi (uncoupler tetrachlorotrifluoromethylbenzimidazole) strongly decrease the fluorescence of the ethyl-rhodamine-stained trichomes. K+-H+ antiporter nigericin converting delta pH to delta psi increases the fluorescence. These relationships are in agreement with the assumption that ethylrhodamine electrophoretically accumulates inside the cyanobacterial cells. Illumination of a single cell in the P. uncinatum trichome gives rise to quenching of the fluorescence in this cell and usually in one or two neighbor cells, whereas the rest of trichome remains fluorescing. A small light spot (5% of the trichome length) causes an increase in the ethylrhodamine fluorescence not only in the illuminated but also in the nonilluminated parts of the trichome up to the laser-treated cell or its neighbor(s). It is concluded ethylrhodamine can be used to monitor the power transmission which was previously demonstrated by microelectrode studies of the cyanobacterial trichomes. In certain trichomes, several "dark" cells appear during the storage of the trichomes without energy sources. Illumination for several minutes results in dark cells becoming fluorescing. Thus some cells or cell clusters can be reversibly excluded from the lateral delta psi-transmitting system of the trichome, the rest being still electrically connected. This means that filamentous cyanobacteria possess mechanisms to transmit power along the trichome and to switch off this transmission. PMID:3138245

  10. Microalgal and cyanobacterial cultivation: the supply of nutrients.

    PubMed

    Markou, Giorgos; Vandamme, Dries; Muylaert, Koenraad

    2014-11-15

    Microalgae and cyanobacteria are a promising new source of biomass that may complement agricultural crops to meet the increasing global demand for food, feed, biofuels and chemical production. Microalgae and cyanobacteria cultivation does not interfere directly with food production, but care should be taken to avoid indirect competition for nutrient (fertilizer) supply. Microalgae and cyanobacteria production requires high concentrations of essential nutrients (C,N,P,S,K,Fe, etc.). In the present paper the application of nutrients and their uptake by microalgae and cyanobacteria is reviewed. The main focus is on the three most significant nutrients, i.e. carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus; however other nutrients are also reviewed. Nutrients are generally taken up in the inorganic form, but several organic forms of them are also assimilable. Some nutrients do not display any inhibition effect on microalgal or cyanobacterial growth, while others, such as NO2 or NH3 have detrimental effects when present in high concentrations. Nutrients in the gaseous form, such as CO2 and NO face a major limitation which is related mainly to their mass transfer from the gaseous to the liquid state. Since the cultivation of microalgae and cyanobacteria consumes considerable quantities of nutrients, strategies to improve the nutrient application efficiency are needed. Additionally, a promising strategy to improve microalgal and cyanobacterial production sustainability is the utilization of waste streams by recycling of waste nutrients. However, major constraints of using waste streams are the reduction of the range of the biomass applications due to production of contaminated biomass and the possible low bio-availability of some nutrients. PMID:25113948

  11. Cyanobacterial emergence at 2.8 gya and greenhouse feedbacks.

    PubMed

    Schwartzman, David; Caldeira, Ken; Pavlov, Alex

    2008-02-01

    Apparent cyanobacterial emergence at about 2.8 Gya coincides with the negative excursion in the organic carbon isotope record, which is the first strong evidence for the presence of atmospheric methane. The existence of weathering feedbacks in the carbonate-silicate cycle suggests that atmospheric and oceanic CO2 concentrations would have been high prior to the presence of a methane greenhouse (and thus the ocean would have had high bicarbonate concentrations). With the onset of a methane greenhouse, carbon dioxide concentrations would decrease. Bicarbonate has been proposed as the preferred reductant that preceded water for oxygenic photosynthesis in a bacterial photosynthetic precursor to cyanobacteria; with the drop of carbon dioxide level, Archean cyanobacteria emerged using water as a reductant instead of bicarbonate (Dismukes et al., 2001). Our thermodynamic calculations, with regard to this scenario, give at least a tenfold drop in aqueous CO2 levels with the onset of a methane-dominated greenhouse, assuming surface temperatures of about 60 degrees C and a drop in the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide from about 1 to 0.1 bars. The buildup of atmospheric methane could have been triggered by the boost in oceanic organic productivity that arose from the emergence of pre-cyanobacterial oxygenic phototrophy at about 2.8-3.0 Gya; high temperatures may have precluded an earlier emergence. A greenhouse transition timescale on the order of 50-100 million years is consistent with results from modeling the carbonate-silicate cycle. This is an alternative hypothesis to proposals of a tectonic driver for this apparent greenhouse transition. PMID:18237259

  12. Cyanobacterial blue color formation during lysis under natural conditions.

    PubMed

    Arii, Suzue; Tsuji, Kiyomi; Tomita, Koji; Hasegawa, Masateru; Bober, Beata; Harada, Ken-ichi

    2015-04-01

    Cyanobacteria produce numerous volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as β-cyclocitral, geosmin, and 2-methylisoborneol, which show lytic activity against cyanobacteria. Among these compounds, only β-cyclocitral causes a characteristic color change from green to blue (blue color formation) in the culture broth during the lysis process. In August 2008 and September 2010, the lysis of cyanobacteria involving blue color formation was observed at Lake Tsukui in northern Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. We collected lake water containing the cyanobacteria and investigated the VOCs, such as β-cyclocitral, β-ionone, 1-propanol, 3-methyl-1-butanol, and 2-phenylethanol, as well as the number of cyanobacterial cells and their damage and pH changes. As a result, the following results were confirmed: the detection of several VOCs, including β-cyclocitral and its oxidation product, 2,2,6-trimethylcyclohexene-1-carboxylic acid; the identification of phycocyanin based on its visible spectrum; the lower pH (6.7 and 5.4) of the lysed samples; and characteristic morphological change in the damaged cyanobacterial cells. We also encountered the same phenomenon on 6 September 2013 in Lake Sagami in northern Kanagawa Prefecture and obtained almost the same results, such as blue color formation, decreasing pH, damaged cells, and detection of VOCs, including the oxidation products of β-cyclocitral. β-Cyclocitral derived from Microcystis has lytic activity against Microcystis itself but has stronger inhibitory activity against other cyanobacteria and algae, suggesting that the VOCs play an important role in the ecology of aquatic environments. PMID:25662969

  13. Cyanobacterial Blue Color Formation during Lysis under Natural Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Tsuji, Kiyomi; Tomita, Koji; Hasegawa, Masateru; Bober, Beata; Harada, Ken-Ichi

    2015-01-01

    Cyanobacteria produce numerous volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as β-cyclocitral, geosmin, and 2-methylisoborneol, which show lytic activity against cyanobacteria. Among these compounds, only β-cyclocitral causes a characteristic color change from green to blue (blue color formation) in the culture broth during the lysis process. In August 2008 and September 2010, the lysis of cyanobacteria involving blue color formation was observed at Lake Tsukui in northern Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. We collected lake water containing the cyanobacteria and investigated the VOCs, such as β-cyclocitral, β-ionone, 1-propanol, 3-methyl-1-butanol, and 2-phenylethanol, as well as the number of cyanobacterial cells and their damage and pH changes. As a result, the following results were confirmed: the detection of several VOCs, including β-cyclocitral and its oxidation product, 2,2,6-trimethylcyclohexene-1-carboxylic acid; the identification of phycocyanin based on its visible spectrum; the lower pH (6.7 and 5.4) of the lysed samples; and characteristic morphological change in the damaged cyanobacterial cells. We also encountered the same phenomenon on 6 September 2013 in Lake Sagami in northern Kanagawa Prefecture and obtained almost the same results, such as blue color formation, decreasing pH, damaged cells, and detection of VOCs, including the oxidation products of β-cyclocitral. β-Cyclocitral derived from Microcystis has lytic activity against Microcystis itself but has stronger inhibitory activity against other cyanobacteria and algae, suggesting that the VOCs play an important role in the ecology of aquatic environments. PMID:25662969

  14. Shiga Toxin Producing Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Bryan, Allen; Youngster, Ilan; McAdam, Alexander J

    2015-06-01

    Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is among the common causes of foodborne gastroenteritis. STEC is defined by the production of specific toxins, but within this pathotype there is a diverse group of organisms. This diversity has important consequences for understanding the pathogenesis of the organism, as well as for selecting the optimum strategy for diagnostic testing in the clinical laboratory. This review includes discussions of the mechanisms of pathogenesis, the range of manifestations of infection, and the several different methods of laboratory detection of Shiga toxin-producing E coli. PMID:26004641

  15. Diphtheria toxin-based targeted toxin therapy for brain tumors.

    PubMed

    Li, Yan Michael; Vallera, Daniel A; Hall, Walter A

    2013-09-01

    Targeted toxins (TT) are molecules that bind cell surface antigens or receptors such as the transferrin or interleukin-13 receptor that are overexpressed in cancer. After internalization, the toxin component kills the cell. These recombinant proteins consist of an antibody or carrier ligand coupled to a modified plant or bacterial toxin such as diphtheria toxin (DT). These fusion proteins are very effective against brain cancer cells that are resistant to radiation therapy and chemotherapy. TT have shown an acceptable profile for toxicity and safety in animal studies and early clinical trials have demonstrated a therapeutic response. This review summarizes the characteristics of DT-based TT, the animal studies in malignant brain tumors and early clinical trial results. Obstacles to the successful treatment of brain tumors include poor penetration into tumor, the immune response to DT and cancer heterogeneity. PMID:23695514

  16. [Shiga toxin and tetanus toxin as a potential biologic weapon].

    PubMed

    Toczyska, Izabela; Płusa, Tadeusz

    2015-09-01

    Toxins produced by the bacteria are of particular interest as potential cargo combat possible for use in a terrorist attack or war. Shiga toxin is usually produced by shiga toxigenic strains of Escherichia coli (STEC - shigatoxigenic Escherichia coli). To infection occurs mostly after eating contaminated beef. Clinical syndromes associated with Shiga toxin diarrhea, hemorrhagic colitis, hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS - hemolytic uremic syndrome) or thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. Treatment is symptomatic. In HUS, in which mortality during an epidemic reaches 20%, extending the kidney injury dialysis may be necessary. Exposure to tetanus toxin produced by Clostridium tetani, resulting in the most generalized tetanus, characterized by increased muscle tension and painful contractions of individual muscle groups. In the treatment beyond symptomatic behavior (among others spasticity medications, anticonvulsants, muscle relaxants) is used tetanus antitoxin and antibiotics (metronidazole choice). A common complication is acute respiratory failure - then it is necessary to implement mechanical ventilation. PMID:26449578

  17. Nitrogen Forms Influence Microcystin Concentration and Composition via Changes in Cyanobacterial Community Structure

    PubMed Central

    Monchamp, Marie-Eve; Pick, Frances R.; Beisner, Beatrix E.; Maranger, Roxane

    2014-01-01

    The eutrophication of freshwaters is a global health concern as lakes with excess nutrients are often subject to toxic cyanobacterial blooms. Although phosphorus is considered the main element regulating cyanobacterial biomass, nitrogen (N) concentration and more specifically the availability of different N forms may influence the overall toxicity of blooms. In this study of three eutrophic lakes prone to cyanobacterial blooms, we examined the effects of nitrogen species and concentrations and other environmental factors in influencing cyanobacterial community structure, microcystin (MC) concentrations and MC congener composition. The identification of specific MC congeners was of particular interest as they vary widely in toxicity. Different nitrogen forms appeared to influence cyanobacterial community structure leading to corresponding effects on MC concentrations and composition. Total MC concentrations across the lakes were largely explained by a combination of abiotic factors: dissolved organic nitrogen, water temperature and ammonium, but Microcystis spp. biomass was overall the best predictor of MC concentrations. Environmental factors did not appear to affect MC congener composition directly but there were significant associations between specific MC congeners and particular species. Based on redundancy analyses (RDA), the relative biomass of Microcystis aeruginosa was associated with MC-RR, M. wesenbergii with MC-LA and Aphanizomenon flos-aquae with MC-YR. The latter two species are not generally considered capable of MC production. Total nitrogen, water temperature, ammonium and dissolved organic nitrogen influenced the cyanobacterial community structure, which in turn resulted in differences in the dominant MC congener and the overall toxicity. PMID:24427318

  18. A computational analysis of stoichiometric constraints and trade-offs in cyanobacterial biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Knoop, Henning; Steuer, Ralf

    2015-01-01

    Cyanobacteria are a promising biological chassis for the synthesis of renewable fuels and chemical bulk commodities. Significant efforts have been devoted to improve the yields of cyanobacterial products. However, while the introduction and heterologous expression of product-forming pathways is often feasible, the interactions and incompatibilities of product synthesis with the host metabolism are still insufficiently understood. In this work, we investigate the stoichiometric properties and trade-offs that underlie cyanobacterial product formation using a computational reconstruction of cyanobacterial metabolism. First, we evaluate the synthesis requirements of a selection of cyanobacterial products of potential biotechnological interest. Second, the large-scale metabolic reconstruction allows us to perform in silico experiments that mimic and predict the metabolic changes that must occur in the transition from a growth-only phenotype to a production-only phenotype. Applied to the synthesis of ethanol, ethylene, and propane, these in silico transition experiments point to bottlenecks and potential modification targets in cyanobacterial metabolism. Our analysis reveals incompatibilities between biotechnological product synthesis and native host metabolism, such as shifts in ATP/NADPH demand and the requirement to reintegrate metabolic by-products. Similar strategies can be employed for a large class of cyanobacterial products to identify potential stoichiometric bottlenecks. PMID:25941672

  19. Functional profiling of cyanobacterial genomes and its role in ecological adaptations.

    PubMed

    Prabha, Ratna; Singh, Dhananjaya P; Somvanshi, Pallavi; Rai, Anil

    2016-09-01

    With the availability of complete genome sequences of many cyanobacterial species, it is becoming feasible to study the broad prospective of the environmental adaptation and the overall changes at transcriptional and translational level in these organisms. In the evolutionary phase, niche-specific competitive forces have resulted in specific features of the cyanobacterial genomes. In this study, functional composition of the 84 different cyanobacterial genomes and their adaptations to different environments was examined by identifying the genomic composition for specific cellular processes, which reflect their genomic functional profile and ecological adaptation. It was identified that among cyanobacterial genomes, metabolic genes have major share over other categories and differentiation of genomic functional profile was observed for the species inhabiting different habitats. The cyanobacteria of freshwater and other habitats accumulate large number of poorly characterized genes. Strain specific functions were also reported in many cyanobacterial members, of which an important feature was the occurrence of phage-related sequences. From this study, it can be speculated that habitat is one of the major factors in giving the shape of functional composition of cyanobacterial genomes towards their ecological adaptations. PMID:27408818

  20. A Computational Analysis of Stoichiometric Constraints and Trade-Offs in Cyanobacterial Biofuel Production

    PubMed Central

    Knoop, Henning; Steuer, Ralf

    2015-01-01

    Cyanobacteria are a promising biological chassis for the synthesis of renewable fuels and chemical bulk commodities. Significant efforts have been devoted to improve the yields of cyanobacterial products. However, while the introduction and heterologous expression of product-forming pathways is often feasible, the interactions and incompatibilities of product synthesis with the host metabolism are still insufficiently understood. In this work, we investigate the stoichiometric properties and trade-offs that underlie cyanobacterial product formation using a computational reconstruction of cyanobacterial metabolism. First, we evaluate the synthesis requirements of a selection of cyanobacterial products of potential biotechnological interest. Second, the large-scale metabolic reconstruction allows us to perform in silico experiments that mimic and predict the metabolic changes that must occur in the transition from a growth-only phenotype to a production-only phenotype. Applied to the synthesis of ethanol, ethylene, and propane, these in silico transition experiments point to bottlenecks and potential modification targets in cyanobacterial metabolism. Our analysis reveals incompatibilities between biotechnological product synthesis and native host metabolism, such as shifts in ATP/NADPH demand and the requirement to reintegrate metabolic by-products. Similar strategies can be employed for a large class of cyanobacterial products to identify potential stoichiometric bottlenecks. PMID:25941672

  1. Evaluating methods for purifying cyanobacterial cultures by qPCR and high-throughput Illumina sequencing.

    PubMed

    Heck, Karina; Machineski, Gabriela Silva; Alvarenga, Danillo Oliveira; Vaz, Marcelo Gomes Marçal Vieira; Varani, Alessandro de Mello; Fiore, Marli Fátima

    2016-10-01

    Cyanobacteria are commonly found in association with other microorganisms, which constitutes a great challenge during the isolation of cyanobacterial strains. Although several methods have been published for obtaining axenic cyanobacterial cultures, their efficiency is usually evaluated by observing the growth of non-cyanobacteria in culture media. In order to verify whether uncultured bacteria should be a concern during cyanobacterial isolation, this work aimed to detect by molecular methods sequences from cyanobacteria and other bacteria present before and after a technique for obtaining axenic cultures from plating and exposure of Fischerella sp. CENA161 akinetes to the Extran detergent and sodium hypochlorite. Solutions containing 0.5, 1, and 2% sodium hypochlorite were able to remove contaminant bacterial CFUs from the culture. However, qPCR pointed that the quantity of sequences amplified with universal bacteria primers was higher than the number of cyanobacteria-specific sequences before and after treatments. The presence of uncultured bacteria in post-hypochlorite cultures was confirmed by high-throughput Illumina sequencing. These results suggest that culturing may overlook the presence of uncultured bacteria associated to cyanobacterial strains and is not sufficient for monitoring the success of cyanobacterial isolation by itself. Molecular methods such as qPCR could be employed as an additional measure for evaluating axenity in cyanobacterial strains. PMID:27476485

  2. Epsilon toxin: a fascinating pore-forming toxin.

    PubMed

    Popoff, Michel R

    2011-12-01

    Epsilon toxin (ETX) is produced by strains of Clostridium perfringens classified as type B or type D. ETX belongs to the heptameric β-pore-forming toxins including aerolysin and Clostridium septicum alpha toxin, which are characterized by the formation of a pore through the plasma membrane of eukaryotic cells consisting in a β-barrel of 14 amphipatic β strands. By contrast to aerolysin and C. septicum alpha toxin, ETX is a much more potent toxin and is responsible for enterotoxemia in animals, mainly sheep. ETX induces perivascular edema in various tissues and accumulates in particular in the kidneys and brain, where it causes edema and necrotic lesions. ETX is able to pass through the blood-brain barrier and stimulate the release of glutamate, which accounts for the symptoms of nervous excitation observed in animal enterotoxemia. At the cellular level, ETX causes rapid swelling followed by cell death involving necrosis. The precise mode of action of ETX remains to be determined. ETX is a powerful toxin, however, it also represents a unique tool with which to vehicle drugs into the central nervous system or target glutamatergic neurons. PMID:21535407

  3. Comparative Transcriptome Analysis of a Toxin-Producing Dinoflagellate Alexandrium catenella and Its Non-Toxic Mutant

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yong; Zhang, Shu-Fei; Lin, Lin; Wang, Da-Zhi

    2014-01-01

    The dinoflagellates and cyanobacteria are two major kingdoms of life producing paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs), a large group of neurotoxic alkaloids causing paralytic shellfish poisonings around the world. In contrast to the well elucidated PST biosynthetic genes in cyanobacteria, little is known about the dinoflagellates. This study compared transcriptome profiles of a toxin-producing dinoflagellate, Alexandrium catenella (ACHK-T), and its non-toxic mutant form (ACHK-NT) using RNA-seq. All clean reads were assembled de novo into a total of 113,674 unigenes, and 66,812 unigenes were annotated in the known databases. Out of them, 35 genes were found to express differentially between the two strains. The up-regulated genes in ACHK-NT were involved in photosynthesis, carbon fixation and amino acid metabolism processes, indicating that more carbon and energy were utilized for cell growth. Among the down-regulated genes, expression of a unigene assigned to the long isoform of sxtA, the initiator of toxin biosynthesis in cyanobacteria, was significantly depressed, suggesting that this long transcript of sxtA might be directly involved in toxin biosynthesis and its depression resulted in the loss of the ability to synthesize PSTs in ACHK-NT. In addition, 101 putative homologs of 12 cyanobacterial sxt genes were identified, and the sxtO and sxtZ genes were identified in dinoflagellates for the first time. The findings of this study should shed light on the biosynthesis of PSTs in the dinoflagellates. PMID:25421324

  4. [Today's threat of ricin toxin].

    PubMed

    From, Sławomir; Płusa, Tadeusz

    2015-09-01

    Since the late 70s of the last century there were more than 700 incidents related to the use of the ricin toxin. For this reason, CDC (Center of Disease Control and Prevention) recognized toxin as a biological weapon category B. The lethal dose of ricin toxin after parenteral administration is 0.0001 mg/kg and after oral administration 0.2 mg. The first symptoms of poisoning occur within a few hours after application of toxin as a nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In the final stage there are observed: cardiac arrhythmia, collapse and symptoms suggestive of involvement of the central nervous system. Stage immediately preceding death is a state of coma. The ricin toxin is still the substance against which action has no optimal antidote. Developed a vaccine called RiVax is waiting for its registration. It should be pointed out that the availability of a ricin toxin makes it possible to use it for real bioterrorists. PMID:26449579

  5. [Toxins of Clostridium perfringens].

    PubMed

    Morris, W E; Fernández-Miyakawa, M E

    2009-01-01

    Clostridium perfringens is an anaerobic gram-positive spore-forming bacillus. It is one of the pathogens with larger distribution in the environment; it can be isolated from soil and water samples, which also belongs to the intestinal flora of animals and humans. However, on some occasions it can act as an opportunistic pathogen, causing diseases such as gas gangrene, enterotoxemia in sheep and goats and lamb dysentery, among others. In human beings, it is associated to diseases such as food poisoning, necrotic enterocolitis of the infant and necrotic enteritis or pigbel in Papua-New Guinea tribes. The renewed interest existing nowadays in the study of C. perfringens as a veterinarian and human pathogen, together with the advance of molecular biology, had enabled science to have deeper knowledge of the biology and pathology of these bacteria. In this review, we discuss and update the principal aspects of C. perfringens intestinal pathology, in terms of the toxins with major medical relevance at present. PMID:20085190

  6. Induction of apoptosis by Shiga toxins

    PubMed Central

    Tesh, Vernon L

    2010-01-01

    Shiga toxins comprise a family of structurally and functionally related protein toxins expressed by Shigella dysenteriae serotype 1 and multiple serotypes of Escherichia coli. While the capacity of Shiga toxins to inhibit protein synthesis by catalytic inactivation of eukaryotic ribosomes has been well described, it is also apparent that Shiga toxins trigger apoptosis in many cell types. This review presents evidence that Shiga toxins induce apoptosis of epithelial, endothelial, leukocytic, lymphoid and neuronal cells. Apoptotic signaling pathways activated by the toxins are reviewed with an emphasis on signaling mechanisms that are shared among different cell types. Data suggesting that Shiga toxins induce apoptosis through the endoplasmic reticulum stress response and clinical evidence demonstrating apoptosis in humans infected with Shiga toxin-producing bacteria are briefly discussed. The potential for use of Shiga toxins to induce apoptosis in cancer cells is briefly reviewed. PMID:20210553

  7. Antibody-based biological toxin detection

    SciTech Connect

    Menking, D.E.; Goode, M.T.

    1995-12-01

    Fiber optic evanescent fluorosensors are under investigation in our laboratory for the study of drug-receptor interactions for detection of threat agents and antibody-antigen interactions for detection of biological toxins. In a direct competition assay, antibodies against Cholera toxin, Staphylococcus Enterotoxin B or ricin were noncovalently immobilized on quartz fibers and probed with fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) - labeled toxins. In the indirect competition assay, Cholera toxin or Botulinum toxoid A was immobilized onto the fiber, followed by incubation in an antiserum or partially purified anti-toxin IgG. These were then probed with FITC-anti-IgG antibodies. Unlabeled toxins competed with labeled toxins or anti-toxin IgG in a dose dependent manner and the detection of the toxins was in the nanomolar range.

  8. Cylindrospermopsin, a cyanobacterial alkaloid: evaluation of its toxicologic activity.

    PubMed

    Shaw, G R; Seawright, A A; Moore, M R; Lam, P K

    2000-02-01

    This paper describes the natural occurrence of the toxin, cylindrospermopsin, in two species of cyanobacteria found in Australia. The structure and chemical properties of this compound are described along with a nontoxic analog of cylindrospermopsin. The results of both intraperitoneal (IP) and oral dosing of mice show that hepatotoxicity is the main effect of cylindrospermopsin in vivo, but that a thrombohemorrhagic phenomenon is observed in a proportion of dosed animals. It has been shown that the toxin can be metabolized in vivo and that a bound metabolite occurs in the liver. Cytotoxicity experiments using cell cultures show that cylindrospermopsin is more cytotoxic to isolated rat liver hepatocytes than to other cell types. Risk assessment calculations show that guideline values for cylindrospernopsin in drinking water should lie in the low microgram per liter range. PMID:10688267

  9. Is there a role for naturally occurring cyanobacterial toxins in neurodegeneration? The beta-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) paradigm.

    PubMed

    Papapetropoulos, Spiridon

    2007-06-01

    The naturally occurring, non-essential amino acid beta-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) has been recently found in high concentrations in brain tissues of patients with tauopathies such as the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis-Parkinsonism-Dementia Complex (ALS/PDC) in the South Pacific island of Guam and in a small number of Caucasian, North American patients with sporadic Alzheimer's disease. BMAA is produced by cyanobacteria that are present in all conceivable aquatic and/or terrestrial ecosystems and may be accumulated in living tissues in free and protein-bound forms through the process of biomagnification. Although its role in human degenerative disease is highly debated, there is mounting evidence in support of the neurotoxic properties of BMAA that may be mediated via mechanisms involving among others the regulation of glutamate. Glutamate-related excitotoxicity is among the most prominent factors in the etiopathogenesis of human neurodegenerative diseases. Due to the wide geographical distribution of cyanobacteria and the possible implications of BMAA neurotoxic properties in public health more research towards this direction is warranted. PMID:17296249

  10. Carbon pools and isotopic trends in a hypersaline cyanobacterial mat.

    PubMed

    Wieland, A; Pape, T; Möbius, J; Klock, J-H; Michaelis, W

    2008-03-01

    The fine-scale depth distribution of major carbon pools and their stable carbon isotopic signatures (delta(13)C) were determined in a cyanobacterial mat (Salin-de-Giraud, Camargue, France) to study early diagenetic alterations and the carbon preservation potential in hypersaline mat ecosystems. Particular emphasis was placed on the geochemical role of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS). Total carbon (C(tot)), organic carbon (C(org)), total nitrogen (N(tot)), total hydrolysable amino acids (THAA), carbohydrates, cyanobacteria-derived hydrocarbons (8-methylhexadecane, n-heptadec-5-ene, n-heptadecane) and EPS showed highest concentrations in the top millimetre of the mat and decreased with depth. The hydrocarbons attributed to cyanobacteria showed the strongest decrease in concentration with depth. This correlated well with the depth profiles of oxygenic photosynthesis and oxygen, which were detected in the top 0.6 and 1.05 mm, respectively, at a high down-welling irradiance (1441 micromol photons m(-2) s(-1)). At depths beneath the surface layer, the C(org) was composed mainly of amino acids and carbohydrates. A resistance towards microbial degradation could have resulted from interactions with diverse functional groups present in biopolymers (EPS) and with minerals deposited in the mat. A (13)C enrichment with depth for the total carbon pool (C(tot)) was observed, with delta(13)C values ranging from -16.3 per thousand at the surface to -11.3 per thousand at 9-10 mm depth. Total lipids depicted a delta(13)C value of -17.2 per thousand in the top millimetre and then became depleted in (13)C with depth (-21.7 to -23.3 per thousand). The delta(13)C value of EPS varied only slightly with depth (-16.1 to -17.3 per thousand) and closely followed the delta(13)C value of C(org) at depths beneath 4 mm. The EPS represents an organic carbon pool of preservation potential during early stages of diagenesis in recent cyanobacterial mats as a result of a variety of possible

  11. Cyanobacterial community composition in Arctic soil crusts at different stages of development.

    PubMed

    Pushkareva, Ekaterina; Pessi, Igor S; Wilmotte, Annick; Elster, Josef

    2015-12-01

    Cyanobacterial diversity in soil crusts has been extensively studied in arid lands of temperate regions, particularly semi-arid steppes and warm deserts. Nevertheless, Arctic soil crusts have received far less attention than their temperate counterparts. Here, we describe the cyanobacterial communities from various types of soil crusts from Svalbard, High Arctic. Four soil crusts at different development stages (ranging from poorly-developed to well-developed soil crusts) were analysed using 454 pyrosequencing of the V3-V4 variable region of the cyanobacterial 16S rRNA gene. Analyses of 95 660 cyanobacterial sequences revealed a dominance of OTUs belonging to the orders Synechococcales, Oscillatoriales and Nostocales. The most dominant OTUs in the four studied sites were related to the filamentous cyanobacteria Leptolyngbya sp. Phylotype richness estimates increased from poorly- to mid-developed soil crusts and decreased in the well-developed lichenized soil crust. Moreover, pH, ammonium and organic carbon concentrations appeared significantly correlated with the cyanobacterial community structure. PMID:26564957

  12. Artificially accelerating the reversal of desertification: cyanobacterial inoculation facilitates the succession of vegetation communities.

    PubMed

    Lan, Shubin; Zhang, Qingyi; Wu, Li; Liu, Yongding; Zhang, Delu; Hu, Chunxiang

    2014-01-01

    Desertification has been recognized as a global environmental problem, and one region experiencing ongoing desertification is the eastern edge of Qubqi Desert (Inner Mongolia). To investigate the facilitating effects of cyanobacterial inoculation technology on the desertification control along this steppe-desert transition region, artificial cyanobacterial crusts were constructed with two filamentous cyanobacteria 3 and 8 years ago combined with Salix planting. The results showed that no crusts formed after 3 years of fixation only with Salix planting, whereas after cyanobacterial inoculation, the crusts formed quickly and gradually succeed to moss crusts. During that course, topsoil environments were gradually improved, providing the necessary material basis for the regeneration of vascular plants. In this investigation, total 27 species of vascular plants had regenerated in the experimental region, mainly belonging to Asteraceae, Poaceae, Chenopodiaceae and Leguminosae. Using space time substitution, the dominant species along with the application of cyanobacterial inoculation technology succeeded from Agriophyllum squarrosum ultimately to Leymus chinensis. In addition, it was found that the shady side of the dunes is more conducive to crust development and succession of vegetation communities. Conclusively, our results indicate artificial cyanobacterial inoculation technology is an effective and desirable path for desertification control. PMID:24303976

  13. Cyanobacterial community composition in Arctic soil crusts at different stages of development

    PubMed Central

    Pushkareva, Ekaterina; Pessi, Igor S.; Wilmotte, Annick; Elster, Josef

    2015-01-01

    Cyanobacterial diversity in soil crusts has been extensively studied in arid lands of temperate regions, particularly semi-arid steppes and warm deserts. Nevertheless, Arctic soil crusts have received far less attention than their temperate counterparts. Here, we describe the cyanobacterial communities from various types of soil crusts from Svalbard, High Arctic. Four soil crusts at different development stages (ranging from poorly-developed to well-developed soil crusts) were analysed using 454 pyrosequencing of the V3-V4 variable region of the cyanobacterial 16S rRNA gene. Analyses of 95 660 cyanobacterial sequences revealed a dominance of OTUs belonging to the orders Synechococcales, Oscillatoriales and Nostocales. The most dominant OTUs in the four studied sites were related to the filamentous cyanobacteria Leptolyngbya sp. Phylotype richness estimates increased from poorly- to mid-developed soil crusts and decreased in the well-developed lichenized soil crust. Moreover, pH, ammonium and organic carbon concentrations appeared significantly correlated with the cyanobacterial community structure. PMID:26564957

  14. Estimating cyanobacterial bloom transport by coupling remotely sensed imagery and a hydrodynamic model.

    PubMed

    Wynne, Timothy T; Stumpf, Richard P; Tomlinson, Michelle C; Schwab, David J; Watabayashi, Glen Y; Christensen, John D

    2011-10-01

    The ability to forecast the transport of harmful cyanobacterial blooms in the Laurentian Great Lakes is beneficial to natural resource managers concerned with public health. This manuscript describes a method that improves the prediction of cyanobacterial bloom transport with the use of a preoperational hydrodynamic model and high temporal resolution satellite imagery. Two scenarios were examined from separate cyanobacterial blooms in western Lake Erie, USA. The first scenario modeled bloom position and extent over the span of 13 days. A geographic center, or centroid, was calculated and assigned to the bloom from observed satellite imagery. The bloom centroid was projected forward in time, and the projected position was compared to the final observed bloom centroid. Image pixels flagged as cyanobacterial bloom were compared between the initial image and the final image, and this was assumed as persistence. The second bloom scenario was modeled for a period of 12 days, and the results were framed in an ecological context in an effort to gain further understanding of cyanobacterial bloom dynamics. These modeling techniques can be incorporated into an operational forecasting system. PMID:22073654

  15. Separation of wind's influence on harmful cyanobacterial blooms.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hua; Zhang, Zhizhang; Liang, Dongfang; du, Hanbei; Pang, Yong; Hu, Kaimin; Wang, Jianjian

    2016-07-01

    Wind is an important physical factor involved in Harmful Cyanobacterial blooms (CyanoHABs). Its integrated influence was separated to three components: (a) Direct Disturbance Impact (DDI) on cyanbacterial proliferation, (b) Indirect Nutrient Impact (INI) by sediment release and (c) Direct Transportation Impact (DTI) by both gentle wind-induced surface drift and wave-generated Stokes drift. By the combination of field investigation, laboratory experiment and numerical simulation their individual contributions to the severe bloom event in May 2007 in Meiliang Bay, Lake Taihu, was explored. Wind synthetically made 10.5 percent promotion to the bloom on May 28, 2007, but the impact varied with locations. DTI was featured with the strongest contribution of wind's impacts on CyanoHABs, while INI stood at the lowest level and DDI played an intermediate role. From the point of whole Meiliang Bay, the influencing weights of DTI, DDI and INI were approximately 48.55%, 32.30% and 19.15% respectively. DTI exerted the higher promotion in the regions of middle-east (ME), southwest (SW) and southeast (SE), and its actual contribution rate on CyanoHABs ranged from 6.41% to 7.46%. Due to the background nutrient load, INI was characterized by a tiny effect with the contribution rate being 2.18% on average. From the south bay to the north, DDI was detected with a decreasing tendency, with the practical contribution rate generally falling from 4.13% to 2.7%. PMID:27108214

  16. Anionic complexes of MWCNT with supergiant cyanobacterial polyanions.

    PubMed

    Okajima, Maiko K; Kumar, Amit; Fujiwara, Akihiko; Mitsumata, Tetsu; Kaneko, Daisaku; Ogawa, Tetsuya; Kurata, Hiroki; Isoda, Seiji; Kaneko, Tatsuo

    2013-01-01

    Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) were well dispersed in an aqueous solution of the cyanobacterial polysaccharide, sacran, with an ultra-high molecular weight >10 million g/mol. MWCNTs powder was put into aqueous solutions of various polysaccharides including sacran and was dispersed under sonication. As a result of the turbidity measurement of the supernatant, it was found that sacran showed the highest MWCNT-dispersion efficiency of all the polysaccharides used here. Cryogenic transmission electron microscopic (Cryo-TEM) studies directly demonstrated the existence of MWCNTs in the supernatant, and high-resolution TEM observation revealed that MWCNTs covered by sacran chains made their efficient dispersion in water. Raman spectroscopy demonstrated the existence of MWCNT in dried sample from supernatant and the interaction between MWCNT and sacran. The ζ-potential measurement of the dispersion indicated the negative surface charges of the sacran/MWCNT complexes. Then the MWCNT complexes were able to fabricate by ionic interaction; electrophoresis of the anionic complex formed the sacran/MWCNT gels on the anode while the droplet of sacran/MWCNT dispersion formed gel beads in the presence of the lanthanoid cations. PMID:23097225

  17. Microcystin in cyanobacterial blooms in a Chilean lake.

    PubMed

    Campos, V; Cantarero, S; Urrutia, H; Heinze, R; Wirsing, B; Neumann, U; Weckesser, J

    1999-05-01

    Cyanobacterial blooms dominated by Microcystis sp. occurred in lake Rocuant ("marisma", near Concepción/Chile) in February 1995 and 1996. In the bloom samples collected in both years the hepatotoxin microcystin was detected by RP-HPLC in both samples and in the sample of 1995 also by a toxicity assay using primary rat hepatocytes. In the bloom of 1995, the microcystin content of the dry bloom biomass was determined to be 130 micrograms/g on the basis of the RP-HPLC peak area and 800 micrograms/g on the basis of the rat hepatotoxicity assay, respectively. In the bloom of 1996, RP-HPLC analysis revealed a microcystin content of 8.13 micrograms/g bloom material dry weight. In this year no hepatotoxicity was measured using a concentration range up to 0.8 mg (d. w.) of bloom material per ml in the rat hepatotoxicity assay. This is the first report on the detection of microcystins in Chilean water bodies. PMID:10390867

  18. Cyanobacterial Metabolite Calothrixins: Recent Advances in Synthesis and Biological Evaluation

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Su; Nijampatnam, Bhavitavya; Dutta, Shilpa; Velu, Sadanandan E.

    2016-01-01

    The marine environment is host to unparalleled biological and chemical diversity, making it an attractive resource for the discovery of new therapeutics for a plethora of diseases. Compounds that are extracted from cyanobacteria are of special interest due to their unique structural scaffolds and capacity to produce potent pharmaceutical and biotechnological traits. Calothrixins A and B are two cyanobacterial metabolites with a structural assembly of quinoline, quinone, and indole pharmacophores. This review surveys recent advances in the synthesis and evaluation of the biological activities of calothrixins. Due to the low isolation yields from the marine source and the promise this scaffold holds for anticancer and antimicrobial drugs, organic and medicinal chemists around the world have embarked on developing efficient synthetic routes to produce calothrixins. Since the first review appeared in 2009, 11 novel syntheses of calothrixins have been published in the efforts to develop methods that contain fewer steps and higher-yielding reactions. Calothrixins have shown their potential as topoisomerase I poisons for their cytotoxicity in cancer. They have also been observed to target various aspects of RNA synthesis in bacteria. Further investigation into the exact mechanism for their bioactivity is still required for many of its analogs. PMID:26771620

  19. Cyanobacterial cytotoxicity versus toxicity to brine shrimp Artemia salina.

    PubMed

    Hisem, Daniel; Hrouzek, Pavel; Tomek, Petr; Tomšíčková, Jana; Zapomělová, Eliška; Skácelová, Kateřina; Lukešová, Alena; Kopecký, Jiří

    2011-01-01

    Heterocytous cyanobacteria from various habitats were screened for toxicity to brine shrimp Artemia salina and the murine lymphoblastic cell line Sp/2 in order to compare these two testing models for evaluation of risk posed by cyanobacteria to human health. Methanol extracts of biomass and cultivation media were tested for toxicity and selected extracts were fractionated to determine the active fraction. We found a significant toxic effect to A. salina and to Sp/2 cells in 5.2% and 31% of studied extracts, respectively. Only 8.6% of the tested strains were highly toxic to both A. salina and the Sp/2 cell line, and only two of the tested strains were toxic to A. salina and not to the murine cell line. Therefore, it is likely that the toxic effect of cyanobacterial secondary metabolites mostly targets basal metabolic pathways present in mammal cells and so is not manifested in A. salina. We conclude that it is insufficient to monitor cytotoxicity of cyanobacteria using only the brine shrimp bioassay as was usual in the past, since cytotoxicity is a more frequent feature in cyanobacteria in comparison with toxicity to A. salina. A. salina toxicity test should not be used when estimating the possible health risk for humans. We suggest that in vitro mammal cells be used for these purposes. PMID:20946912

  20. Costs of Clock-Environment Misalignment in Individual Cyanobacterial Cells.

    PubMed

    Lambert, Guillaume; Chew, Justin; Rust, Michael J

    2016-08-23

    Circadian rhythms are endogenously generated daily oscillations in physiology that are found in all kingdoms of life. Experimental studies have shown that the fitness of Synechococcus elongatus, a photosynthetic microorganism, is severely affected in non-24-h environments. However, it has been difficult to study the effects of clock-environment mismatch on cellular physiology because such measurements require a precise determination of both clock state and growth rate in the same cell. Here, we designed a microscopy platform that allows us to expose cyanobacterial cells to pulses of light and dark while quantitatively measuring their growth, division rate, and circadian clock state over many days. Our measurements reveal that decreased fitness can result from a catastrophic growth arrest caused by unexpected darkness in a small subset of cells with incorrect clock times corresponding to the subjective morning. We find that the clock generates rhythms in the instantaneous growth rate of the cell, and that the time of darkness vulnerability coincides with the time of most rapid growth. Thus, the clock mediates a fundamental trade-off between growth and starvation tolerance in cycling environments. By measuring the response of the circadian rhythm to dark pulses of varying lengths, we constrain a mathematical model of a population's fitness under arbitrary light/dark schedules. This model predicts that the circadian clock is only advantageous in highly regular cycling environments with frequencies sufficiently close to the natural frequency of the clock. PMID:27558731

  1. Engineering a cyanobacterial cell factory for production of lactic acid.

    PubMed

    Angermayr, S Andreas; Paszota, Michal; Hellingwerf, Klaas J

    2012-10-01

    Metabolic engineering of microorganisms has become a versatile tool to facilitate production of bulk chemicals, fuels, etc. Accordingly, CO(2) has been exploited via cyanobacterial metabolism as a sustainable carbon source of biofuel and bioplastic precursors. Here we extended these observations by showing that integration of an ldh gene from Bacillus subtilis (encoding an l-lactate dehydrogenase) into the genome of Synechocystis sp. strain PCC6803 leads to l-lactic acid production, a phenotype which is shown to be stable for prolonged batch culturing. Coexpression of a heterologous soluble transhydrogenase leads to an even higher lactate production rate and yield (lactic acid accumulating up to a several-millimolar concentration in the extracellular medium) than those for the single ldh mutant. The expression of a transhydrogenase alone, however, appears to be harmful to the cells, and a mutant carrying such a gene is rapidly outcompeted by a revertant(s) with a wild-type growth phenotype. Furthermore, our results indicate that the introduction of a lactate dehydrogenase rescues this phenotype by preventing the reversion. PMID:22865063

  2. Carbon and Oxygen Budgets of Subtidal and Intertidal Cyanobacterial Mats

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DesMarais, David J.; Discipulo, Mykell; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Intertidal cyanobacterial mats (Lyngbya-dominated) are contrasted with mats (Microcoleus-dominated) that grow in subtidal (0.7m water depth) hypersaline (90-110 permil) environments. In benthic chamber experiments conducted in Oct., 1999, mats exhibited greater net uptake of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) from overlying water during the daylight period than Microcoleus mats (e.g., 200 vs 120 mmol C/m. at 26 deg C, respectively). Net DIC release at night was similar for both mats (approx. 80 mmol C/m). Daytime net O2 release by Lyngby mats exceeded that by Microcoleus mats (150 vs 100 mmol O2/m), and O2 uptake at night was comparable for both mats (60-80 mmol O2/m). Nonphotosynthetic populations are more prominent within the subtidal versus intertidal mats, and accordingly exhibited greater internal 02 uptake and DIC production during the day. Over 24 hours, Lyngby-dominated mats exhibited greater net uptake of DIC than subtidal Microcoleus mats, consistent with these intertidal mats being "pioneer" communities that constantly recover from periodic physical disruption in energetic environments. The Microcoleus-dominated mats achieve steady-state mat thicknesses by balancing primary production against diagenetic decomposition of cellular and extracellular organic constituents.

  3. An allele of the crm gene blocks cyanobacterial circadian rhythms

    PubMed Central

    Boyd, Joseph S.; Bordowitz, Juliana R.; Bree, Anna C.; Golden, Susan S.

    2013-01-01

    The SasA-RpaA two-component system constitutes a key output pathway of the cyanobacterial Kai circadian oscillator. To date, rhythm of phycobilisome associated (rpaA) is the only gene other than kaiA, kaiB, and kaiC, which encode the oscillator itself, whose mutation causes completely arrhythmic gene expression. Here we report a unique transposon insertion allele in a small ORF located immediately upstream of rpaA in Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942 termed crm (for circadian rhythmicity modulator), which results in arrhythmic promoter activity but does not affect steady-state levels of RpaA. The crm ORF complements the defect when expressed in trans, but only if it can be translated, suggesting that crm encodes a small protein. The crm1 insertion allele phenotypes are distinct from those of an rpaA null; crm1 mutants are able to grow in a light:dark cycle and have no detectable oscillations of KaiC phosphorylation, whereas low-amplitude KaiC phosphorylation rhythms persist in the absence of RpaA. Levels of phosphorylated RpaA in vivo measured over time are significantly altered compared with WT in the crm1 mutant as well as in the absence of KaiC. Taken together, these results are consistent with the hypothesis that the Crm polypeptide modulates a circadian-specific activity of RpaA. PMID:23918383

  4. Mutational Analysis of the Cyanobacterial Nitrogen Regulator PipX

    PubMed Central

    Laichoubi, Karim Boumediene; Espinosa, Javier; Castells, Miguel Angel; Contreras, Asunción

    2012-01-01

    PipX provides a functional link between the cyanobacterial global transcriptional regulator NtcA and the signal transduction protein PII, a protein found in all three domains of life as integrators of signals of the nitrogen and carbon balance. PipX, which is toxic in the absence of PII, can form alternative complexes with NtcA and PII and these interactions are respectively stimulated and inhibited by 2-oxoglutarate, providing a mechanism by which PII can modulate expression at the NtcA regulon. Structural information on PipX-NtcA complexes suggests that PipX coactivates NtcA controlled genes by stabilizing the active conformation of NtcA bound to 2-oxoglutarate and by possibly helping recruit RNA polymerase. To get insights into PipX functions, we perform here a mutational analysis of pipX informed by the structures of PipX-PII and PipX-NtcA complexes and evaluate the impact of point mutations on toxicity and gene expression. Two amino acid substitutions (Y32A and E4A) were of particular interest, since they increased PipX toxicity and activated NtcA dependent genes in vivo at lower 2-oxoglutarate levels than wild type PipX. While both mutations impaired complex formation with PII, only Y32A had a negative impact on PipX-NtcA interactions. PMID:22558239

  5. Dynamic Inhomogeneity in the Photodynamics of Cyanobacterial Phytochrome Cph1

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Phytochromes are widespread red/far-red photosensory proteins well known as critical regulators of photomorphogenesis in plants. It is often assumed that natural selection would have optimized the light sensing efficiency of phytochromes to minimize nonproductive photochemical deexcitation pathways. Surprisingly, the quantum efficiency for the forward Pr-to-Pfr photoconversion of phytochromes seldom exceeds 15%, a value very much lower than that of animal rhodopsins. Exploiting ultrafast excitation wavelength- and temperature-dependent transient absorption spectroscopy, we resolve multiple pathways within the ultrafast photodynamics of the N-terminal PAS-GAF-PHY photosensory core module of cyanobacterial phytochrome Cph1 (termed Cph1Δ) that are primarily responsible for the overall low quantum efficiency. This inhomogeneity primarily reflects a long-lived fluorescent subpopulation that exists in equilibrium with a spectrally distinct, photoactive subpopulation. The fluorescent subpopulation is favored at elevated temperatures, resulting in anomalous excited-state dynamics (slower kinetics at higher temperatures). The spectral and kinetic behavior of the fluorescent subpopulation strongly resembles that of the photochemically compromised and highly fluorescent Y176H variant of Cph1Δ. We present an integrated, heterogeneous model for Cph1Δ that is based on the observed transient and static spectroscopic signals. Understanding the molecular basis for this dynamic inhomogeneity holds potential for rational design of efficient phytochrome-based fluorescent and photoswitchable probes. PMID:24742290

  6. Insights into the Cyanobacterial Deg/HtrA Proteases

    PubMed Central

    Cheregi, Otilia; Wagner, Raik; Funk, Christiane

    2016-01-01

    Proteins are the main machinery for all living processes in a cell; they provide structural elements, regulate biochemical reactions as enzymes, and are the interface to the outside as receptors and transporters. Like any other machinery proteins have to be assembled correctly and need maintenance after damage, e.g., caused by changes in environmental conditions, genetic mutations, and limitations in the availability of cofactors. Proteases and chaperones help in repair, assembly, and folding of damaged and misfolded protein complexes cost-effective, with low energy investment compared with neo-synthesis. Despite their importance for viability, the specific biological role of most proteases in vivo is largely unknown. Deg/HtrA proteases, a family of serine-type ATP-independent proteases, have been shown in higher plants to be involved in the degradation of the Photosystem II reaction center protein D1. The objective of this review is to highlight the structure and function of their cyanobacterial orthologs. Homology modeling was used to find specific features of the SynDeg/HtrA proteases of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. Based on the available data concerning their location and their physiological substrates we conclude that these Deg proteases not only have important housekeeping and chaperone functions within the cell, but also are needed for remodeling the cell exterior. PMID:27252714

  7. Lake Level Fluctuations Boost Toxic Cyanobacterial “Oligotrophic Blooms”

    PubMed Central

    Callieri, Cristiana; Bertoni, Roberto; Contesini, Mario; Bertoni, Filippo

    2014-01-01

    Global warming has been shown to strongly influence inland water systems, producing noticeable increases in water temperatures. Rising temperatures, especially when combined with widespread nutrient pollution, directly favour the growth of toxic cyanobacteria. Climate changes have also altered natural water level fluctuations increasing the probability of extreme events as dry periods followed by heavy rains. The massive appearance of Dolichospermum lemmermannii ( = planktonic Anabaena), a toxic species absent from the pelagic zone of the subalpine oligotrophic Lake Maggiore before 2005, could be a consequence of the unusual fluctuations of lake level in recent years. We hypothesized that these fluctuations may favour the cyanobacterium as result of nutrient pulses from the biofilms formed in the littoral zone when the lake level is high. To help verify this, we exposed artificial substrates in the lake, and evaluated their nutrient enrichment and release after desiccation, together with measurements of fluctuations in lake level, precipitation and D.lemmermannii population. The highest percentage of P release and the lowest C∶P molar ratio of released nutrients coincided with the summer appearance of the D.lemmermannii bloom. The P pulse indicates that fluctuations in level counteract nutrient limitation in this lake and it is suggested that this may apply more widely to other oligotrophic lakes. In view of the predicted increase in water level fluctuations due to climate change, it is important to try to minimize such fluctuations in order to mitigate the occurrence of cyanobacterial blooms. PMID:25295866

  8. Biosynthesis of fluorescent cyanobacterial allophycocyanin trimer in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shaofang; Chen, Yingjie; Lu, Yandu; Chen, Huaxin; Li, Fuchao; Qin, Song

    2010-08-01

    Allophycocyanin (APC), a cyanobacterial photosynthetic phycobiliprotein, functions in energy transfer as a light-harvesting protein. One of the prominent spectroscopic characteristics of APC is a strong red-shift in the absorption and emission maxima when monomers are assembled into a trimer. Previously, holo-APC alpha and beta subunits (holo-ApcA and ApcB) were successfully synthesized in Escherichia coli. In this study, both holo-subunits from Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 were co-expressed in E. coli, and found to self-assemble into trimers. The recombinant APC trimer was purified by metal affinity and size-exclusion chromatography, and had a native structure identical to native APC, as determined by characteristic spectroscopic measurements, fluorescence quantum yield, tryptic digestion analysis, and molecular weight measurements. Combined with results from a study in which only the monomer was formed, our results indicate that bilin synthesis and the subsequent attachment to apo-subunits are important for the successful assembly of APC trimers. This is the first study to report on the assembly of recombinant ApcA and ApcB into a trimer with native structure. Our study provides a promising method for producing better fluorescent tags, as well as a method to facilitate the genetic analysis of APC trimer assembly and biological function. PMID:20607408

  9. Regulation of Orange Carotenoid Protein Activity in Cyanobacterial Photoprotection.

    PubMed

    Thurotte, Adrien; Lopez-Igual, Rocio; Wilson, Adjélé; Comolet, Léa; Bourcier de Carbon, Céline; Xiao, Fugui; Kirilovsky, Diana

    2015-09-01

    Plants, algae, and cyanobacteria have developed mechanisms to decrease the energy arriving at reaction centers to protect themselves from high irradiance. In cyanobacteria, the photoactive Orange Carotenoid Protein (OCP) and the Fluorescence Recovery Protein are essential elements in this mechanism. Absorption of strong blue-green light by the OCP induces carotenoid and protein conformational changes converting the orange (inactive) OCP into a red (active) OCP. Only the red orange carotenoid protein (OCP(r)) is able to bind to phycobilisomes, the cyanobacterial antenna, and to quench excess energy. In this work, we have constructed and characterized several OCP mutants and focused on the role of the OCP N-terminal arm in photoactivation and excitation energy dissipation. The N-terminal arm largely stabilizes the closed orange OCP structure by interacting with its C-terminal domain. This avoids photoactivation at low irradiance. In addition, it slows the OCP detachment from phycobilisomes by hindering fluorescence recovery protein interaction with bound OCP(r). This maintains thermal dissipation of excess energy for a longer time. Pro-22, at the beginning of the N-terminal arm, has a key role in the correct positioning of the arm in OCP(r), enabling strong OCP binding to phycobilisomes, but is not essential for photoactivation. Our results also show that the opening of the OCP during photoactivation is caused by the movement of the C-terminal domain with respect to the N-terminal domain and the N-terminal arm. PMID:26195570

  10. Dynamic inhomogeneity in the photodynamics of cyanobacterial phytochrome Cph1.

    PubMed

    Kim, Peter W; Rockwell, Nathan C; Martin, Shelley S; Lagarias, J Clark; Larsen, Delmar S

    2014-05-01

    Phytochromes are widespread red/far-red photosensory proteins well known as critical regulators of photomorphogenesis in plants. It is often assumed that natural selection would have optimized the light sensing efficiency of phytochromes to minimize nonproductive photochemical deexcitation pathways. Surprisingly, the quantum efficiency for the forward Pr-to-Pfr photoconversion of phytochromes seldom exceeds 15%, a value very much lower than that of animal rhodopsins. Exploiting ultrafast excitation wavelength- and temperature-dependent transient absorption spectroscopy, we resolve multiple pathways within the ultrafast photodynamics of the N-terminal PAS-GAF-PHY photosensory core module of cyanobacterial phytochrome Cph1 (termed Cph1Δ) that are primarily responsible for the overall low quantum efficiency. This inhomogeneity primarily reflects a long-lived fluorescent subpopulation that exists in equilibrium with a spectrally distinct, photoactive subpopulation. The fluorescent subpopulation is favored at elevated temperatures, resulting in anomalous excited-state dynamics (slower kinetics at higher temperatures). The spectral and kinetic behavior of the fluorescent subpopulation strongly resembles that of the photochemically compromised and highly fluorescent Y176H variant of Cph1Δ. We present an integrated, heterogeneous model for Cph1Δ that is based on the observed transient and static spectroscopic signals. Understanding the molecular basis for this dynamic inhomogeneity holds potential for rational design of efficient phytochrome-based fluorescent and photoswitchable probes. PMID:24742290

  11. Cyanobacterial Metabolite Calothrixins: Recent Advances in Synthesis and Biological Evaluation.

    PubMed

    Xu, Su; Nijampatnam, Bhavitavya; Dutta, Shilpa; Velu, Sadanandan E

    2016-01-01

    The marine environment is host to unparalleled biological and chemical diversity, making it an attractive resource for the discovery of new therapeutics for a plethora of diseases. Compounds that are extracted from cyanobacteria are of special interest due to their unique structural scaffolds and capacity to produce potent pharmaceutical and biotechnological traits. Calothrixins A and B are two cyanobacterial metabolites with a structural assembly of quinoline, quinone, and indole pharmacophores. This review surveys recent advances in the synthesis and evaluation of the biological activities of calothrixins. Due to the low isolation yields from the marine source and the promise this scaffold holds for anticancer and antimicrobial drugs, organic and medicinal chemists around the world have embarked on developing efficient synthetic routes to produce calothrixins. Since the first review appeared in 2009, 11 novel syntheses of calothrixins have been published in the efforts to develop methods that contain fewer steps and higher-yielding reactions. Calothrixins have shown their potential as topoisomerase I poisons for their cytotoxicity in cancer. They have also been observed to target various aspects of RNA synthesis in bacteria. Further investigation into the exact mechanism for their bioactivity is still required for many of its analogs. PMID:26771620

  12. Local nutrient regimes determine site-specific environmental triggers of cyanobacterial and microcystin variability in urban lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sinang, S. C.; Reichwaldt, E. S.; Ghadouani, A.

    2014-10-01

    Toxic cyanobacterial blooms in urban lakes present serious health hazards to humans and animals and require effective management strategies. In the management of toxic cyanobacteria blooms, understanding the roles of environmental factors is crucial. To date, a range of environmental factors have been proposed as potential triggers for the spatiotemporal variability of cyanobacterial biomass and microcystins in freshwater systems. However, the environmental triggers of cyanobacteria and microcystin variability remain a subject of debate due to contrasting findings. This issue has raised the question if the environmental triggers are site-specific and unique between water bodies. In this study, we investigated the site-specificity of environmental triggers for cyanobacterial bloom and cyanotoxins dynamics. Our study suggests that cyanobacterial dominance and cyanobacterial microcystin content variability were significantly correlated to phosphorus and iron concentrations. However, the correlations between phosphorus and iron with cyanobacterial biomass and microcystin variability were not consistent between lakes, thus suggesting a site specificity of these environmental factors. The discrepancies in the correlations could be explained by differences in local nutrient concentration and the cyanobacterial community in the systems. The findings of this study suggest that identification of site-specific environmental factors under unique local conditions is an important strategy to enhance positive outcomes in cyanobacterial bloom control measures.

  13. Sodium Channel Inhibiting Marine Toxins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Llewellyn, Lyndon E.

    Saxitoxin (STX), tetrodotoxin (TTX) and their many chemical relatives are part of our daily lives. From killing people who eat seafood containing these toxins, to being valuable research tools unveiling the invisible structures of their pharmacological receptor, their global impact is beyond measure. The pharmacological receptor for these toxins is the voltage-gated sodium channel which transports Na ions between the exterior to the interior of cells. The two structurally divergent families of STX and TTX analogues bind at the same location on these Na channels to stop the flow of ions. This can affect nerves, muscles and biological senses of most animals. It is through these and other toxins that we have developed much of our fundamental understanding of the Na channel and its part in generating action potentials in excitable cells.

  14. Plastid-localized amino acid biosynthetic pathways of Plantae are predominantly composed of non-cyanobacterial enzymes

    PubMed Central

    Reyes-Prieto, Adrian; Moustafa, Ahmed

    2012-01-01

    Studies of photosynthetic eukaryotes have revealed that the evolution of plastids from cyanobacteria involved the recruitment of non-cyanobacterial proteins. Our phylogenetic survey of >100 Arabidopsis nuclear-encoded plastid enzymes involved in amino acid biosynthesis identified only 21 unambiguous cyanobacterial-derived proteins. Some of the several non-cyanobacterial plastid enzymes have a shared phylogenetic origin in the three Plantae lineages. We hypothesize that during the evolution of plastids some enzymes encoded in the host nuclear genome were mistargeted into the plastid. Then, the activity of those foreign enzymes was sustained by both the plastid metabolites and interactions with the native cyanobacterial enzymes. Some of the novel enzymatic activities were favored by selective compartmentation of additional complementary enzymes. The mosaic phylogenetic composition of the plastid amino acid biosynthetic pathways and the reduced number of plastid-encoded proteins of non-cyanobacterial origin suggest that enzyme recruitment underlies the recompartmentation of metabolic routes during the evolution of plastids. PMID:23233874

  15. Cyanobacterial-algal cenoses in ordinary chernozems under the impact of different phytoameliorants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubovik, I. E.; Suyundukov, Ya. T.; Khasanova, R. F.; Shalygina, R. R.

    2016-04-01

    General ecological and taxonomic characteristics of cyanobacterial-algal cenoses in ordinary chernozems under different ameliorative plants (phytoameliorants) were studied in the Trans-Ural region of the Republic of Bashkortostan. A comparative analysis of the taxa of studied cenoses in the soils under leguminous herbs and grasses was performed. The phytoameliorative effect of different herbs and their relationships with cyanobacterial-algal cenoses were examined. Overall, 134 cyanoprokaryotic and algal species belonging to 70 genera, 36 families, 15 orders, and 9 classes were identified. Cyanobacterial-algal cenoses included the divisions of Chlorophyta, Cyanoprokaryota, Xanthophyta, Bacillariophyta, and Euglenophyta. Representatives of Ch-, X-, CF-, and P-forms were the leading ecobiomorphs in the studied cenoses.

  16. A review of pharmacological and toxicological potentials of marine cyanobacterial metabolites.

    PubMed

    Nagarajan, M; Maruthanayagam, V; Sundararaman, M

    2012-03-01

    Novel toxic metabolites from marine cyanobacteria have been thoroughly explored. Biologically active and chemically diverse compounds that could be hepatotoxic, neurotoxic or cytotoxic, such as cyclic peptides, lipopeptides, fatty acid amides, alkaloids and saccharides, have been produced from marine cyanobacteria. Many reports have revealed that biosynthesis of active metabolites is predominant during cyanobacterial bloom formation. Marine cyanobacterial toxic metabolites exhibit important biological properties, such as interfering in signal transduction either by activation or blockage of sodium channels or by targeting signaling proteins; inducing apoptosis by disrupting cytoskeletal proteins; and inhibiting membrane transporters, receptors, serine proteases and topoisomerases. The pharmacological importance of these metabolites resides in their proliferation and growth-controlling abilities towards cancer cell lines and disease-causing potent microbial agents (bacteria, virus, fungi and protozoa). Besides their toxic and pharmacological potentials, the present review discusses structural and functional resemblance of marine cyanobacterial metabolites to marine algae, sponges and mollusks. PMID:21910132

  17. Cloning of a marine cyanobacterial promoter for foreign gene expression using a promoter probe vector

    SciTech Connect

    Sode, Koji; Hatano, Naoaki; Tatara, Masahiro

    1996-06-01

    A marine cyanobacterial promoter was cloned to allow efficient foreign gene expression. This was carried out using chloramphenicol acetyl transferase (CAT) as a marker protein. For rapid and simple measurement of CAT activity, a method based on a fluorescently labeled substrate was improved by utilizing HPLC equipped with a flow-through fluorescent spectrophotometer. This method was used in conjunction with a newly constructed promoter probe vector. Cyanobacterial transformants, harboring plasmid containing a cloned 2-kbp marine cyanobacterial genomic fragment, showed a 10-fold higher CAT activity, compared with that achieved using the kanamycin-resistant gene promoter. From the sequence analysis of the cloned fragment, a putative promoter region was found. 20 refs., 7 figs., 2 tabs.

  18. Cyanobacterial CO2-concentrating mechanism components: function and prospects for plant metabolic engineering.

    PubMed

    Long, Benedict M; Rae, Benjamin D; Rolland, Vivien; Förster, Britta; Price, G Dean

    2016-06-01

    Global population growth is projected to outpace plant-breeding improvements in major crop yields within decades. To ensure future food security, multiple creative efforts seek to overcome limitations to crop yield. Perhaps the greatest limitation to increased crop yield is photosynthetic inefficiency, particularly in C3 crop plants. Recently, great strides have been made toward crop improvement by researchers seeking to introduce the cyanobacterial CO2-concentrating mechanism (CCM) into plant chloroplasts. This strategy recognises the C3 chloroplast as lacking a CCM, and being a primordial cyanobacterium at its essence. Hence the collection of solute transporters, enzymes, and physical structures that make cyanobacterial CO2-fixation so efficient are viewed as a natural source of genetic material for C3 chloroplast improvement. Also we highlight recent outstanding research aimed toward the goal of introducing a cyanobacterial CCM into C3 chloroplasts and consider future research directions. PMID:26999306

  19. Toxin yet not toxic: Botulinum toxin in dentistry.

    PubMed

    Archana, M S

    2016-04-01

    Paracelsus contrasted poisons from nonpoisons, stating that "All things are poisons, and there is nothing that is harmless; the dose alone decides that something is a poison". Living organisms, such as plants, animals, and microorganisms, constitute a huge source of pharmaceutically useful medicines and toxins. Depending on their source, toxins can be categorized as phytotoxins, mycotoxins, or zootoxins, which include venoms and bacterial toxins. Any toxin can be harmful or beneficial. Within the last 100 years, the perception of botulinum neurotoxin (BTX) has evolved from that of a poison to a versatile clinical agent with various uses. BTX plays a key role in the management of many orofacial and dental disorders. Its indications are rapidly expanding, with ongoing trials for further applications. However, despite its clinical use, what BTX specifically does in each condition is still not clear. The main aim of this review is to describe some of the unclear aspects of this potentially useful agent, with a focus on the current research in dentistry. PMID:27486290

  20. Local nutrient regimes determine site-specific environmental triggers of cyanobacterial and microcystin variability in urban lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sinang, S. C.; Reichwaldt, E. S.; Ghadouani, A.

    2015-05-01

    Toxic cyanobacterial blooms in urban lakes present serious health hazards to humans and animals and require effective management strategies. Managing such blooms requires a sufficient understanding of the controlling environmental factors. A range of them has been proposed in the literature as potential triggers for cyanobacterial biomass development and cyanotoxin (e.g. microcystin) production in freshwater systems. However, the environmental triggers of cyanobacteria and microcystin variability remain a subject of debate due to contrasting findings. This issue has raised the question of whether the relevance of environmental triggers may depend on site-specific combinations of environmental factors. In this study, we investigated the site-specificity of environmental triggers for cyanobacterial bloom and microcystin dynamics in three urban lakes in Western Australia. Our study suggests that cyanobacterial biomass, cyanobacterial dominance and cyanobacterial microcystin content variability were significantly correlated to phosphorus and iron concentrations. However, the correlations were different between lakes, thus suggesting a site-specific effect of these environmental factors. The discrepancies in the correlations could be explained by differences in local nutrient concentration. For instance, we found no correlation between cyanobacterial fraction and total phosphorous (TP) in the lake with the highest TP concentration, while correlations were significant and negative in the other two lakes. In addition, our study indicates that the difference of the correlation between total iron (TFe) and the cyanobacterial fraction between lakes might have been a consequence of differences in the cyanobacterial community structure, specifically the presence or absence of nitrogen-fixing species. In conclusion, our study suggests that identification of significant environmental factors under site-specific conditions is an important strategy to enhance successful outcomes

  1. Cytotoxicity evaluation of large cyanobacterial strain set using selected human and murine in vitro cell models.

    PubMed

    Hrouzek, Pavel; Kapuścik, Aleksandra; Vacek, Jan; Voráčová, Kateřina; Paichlová, Jindřiška; Kosina, Pavel; Voloshko, Ludmila; Ventura, Stefano; Kopecký, Jiří

    2016-02-01

    The production of cytotoxic molecules interfering with mammalian cells is extensively reported in cyanobacteria. These compounds may have a use in pharmacological applications; however, their potential toxicity needs to be considered. We performed cytotoxicity tests of crude cyanobacterial extracts in six cell models in order to address the frequency of cyanobacterial cytotoxicity to human cells and the level of specificity to a particular cell line. A set of more than 100 cyanobacterial crude extracts isolated from soil habitats (mainly genera Nostoc and Tolypothrix) was tested by MTT test for in vitro toxicity on the hepatic and non-hepatic human cell lines HepG2 and HeLa, and three cell systems of rodent origin: Yac-1, Sp-2 and Balb/c 3T3 fibroblasts. Furthermore, a subset of the extracts was assessed for cytotoxicity against primary cultures of human hepatocytes as a model for evaluating potential hepatotoxicity. Roughly one third of cyanobacterial extracts caused cytotoxic effects (i.e. viability<75%) on human cell lines. Despite the sensitivity differences, high correlation coefficients among the inhibition values were obtained for particular cell systems. This suggests a prevailing general cytotoxic effect of extracts and their constituents. The non-transformed immortalized fibroblasts (Balb/c 3T3) and hepatic cancer line HepG2 exhibited good correlations with primary cultures of human hepatocytes. The presence of cytotoxic fractions in strongly cytotoxic extracts was confirmed by an activity-guided HPLC fractionation, and it was demonstrated that cyanobacterial cytotoxicity is caused by a mixture of components with similar hydrophobic/hydrophilic properties. The data presented here could be used in further research into in vitro testing based on human models for the toxicological monitoring of complex cyanobacterial samples. PMID:26519817

  2. Grain trapping by filamentous cyanobacterial and algal mats: implications for stromatolite microfabrics through time.

    PubMed

    Frantz, C M; Petryshyn, V A; Corsetti, F A

    2015-09-01

    Archean and Proterozoic stromatolites are sparry or fine-grained and finely laminated; coarse-grained stromatolites, such as many found in modern marine systems, do not appear until quite late in the fossil record. The cause of this textural change and its relevance to understanding the evolutionary history of stromatolites is unclear. Cyanobacteria are typically considered the dominant stromatolite builders through time, but studies demonstrating the trapping and binding abilities of cyanobacterial mats are limited. With this in mind, we conducted experiments to test the grain trapping and binding capabilities of filamentous cyanobacterial mats and trapping in larger filamentous algal mats in order to better understand grain size trends in stromatolites. Mats were cut into squares, inclined in saltwater tanks at angles from 0 to 75° (approximating the angle of lamina in typical stromatolites), and grains of various sizes (fine sand, coarse sand, and fine pebbles) were delivered to their surface. Trapping of grains by the cyanobacterial mats depended strongly on (i) how far filaments protruded from the sediment surface, (ii) grain size, and (iii) the mat's incline angle. The cyanobacterial mats were much more effective at trapping fine grains beyond the abiotic slide angle than larger grains. In addition, the cyanobacterial mats actively bound grains of all sizes over time. In contrast, the much larger algal mats trapped medium and coarse grains at all angles. Our experiments suggest that (i) the presence of detrital grains beyond the abiotic slide angle can be considered a biosignature in ancient stromatolites where biogenicity is in question, and, (ii) where coarse grains are present within stromatolite laminae at angles beyond the abiotic angle of slide (e.g., most modern marine stromatolites), typical cyanobacterial-type mats are probably not solely responsible for the construction, giving insight into the evolution of stromatolite microfabrics through time

  3. Computational prediction of cAMP receptor protein (CRP) binding sites in cyanobacterial genomes

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Minli; Su, Zhengchang

    2009-01-01

    Background Cyclic AMP receptor protein (CRP), also known as catabolite gene activator protein (CAP), is an important transcriptional regulator widely distributed in many bacteria. The biological processes under the regulation of CRP are highly diverse among different groups of bacterial species. Elucidation of CRP regulons in cyanobacteria will further our understanding of the physiology and ecology of this important group of microorganisms. Previously, CRP has been experimentally studied in only two cyanobacterial strains: Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 and Anabaena sp. PCC 7120; therefore, a systematic genome-scale study of the potential CRP target genes and binding sites in cyanobacterial genomes is urgently needed. Results We have predicted and analyzed the CRP binding sites and regulons in 12 sequenced cyanobacterial genomes using a highly effective cis-regulatory binding site scanning algorithm. Our results show that cyanobacterial CRP binding sites are very similar to those in E. coli; however, the regulons are very different from that of E. coli. Furthermore, CRP regulons in different cyanobacterial species/ecotypes are also highly diversified, ranging from photosynthesis, carbon fixation and nitrogen assimilation, to chemotaxis and signal transduction. In addition, our prediction indicates that crp genes in modern cyanobacteria are likely inherited from a common ancestral gene in their last common ancestor, and have adapted various cellular functions in different environments, while some cyanobacteria lost their crp genes as well as CRP binding sites during the course of evolution. Conclusion The CRP regulons in cyanobacteria are highly diversified, probably as a result of divergent evolution to adapt to various ecological niches. Cyanobacterial CRPs may function as lineage-specific regulators participating in various cellular processes, and are important in some lineages. However, they are dispensable in some other lineages. The loss of CRPs in these species

  4. Anti-cyanobacterial activity of Moringa oleifera seeds

    PubMed Central

    Beekman, Wendy

    2009-01-01

    Filtrates from crushed Moringa oleifera seeds were tested for their effects on growth and Photosystem II efficiency of the common bloom-forming cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa. M. aeruginosa populations exhibited good growth in controls and treatments with 4- and 8-mg crushed Moringa seeds per liter, having similar growth rates of 0.50 (±0.01) per day. In exposures of 20- to 160-mg crushed Moringa seeds L−1, growth rates were negative and on average −0.23 (±0.05) .day−1. Presumably, in the higher doses of 20- to 160-mg crushed seeds per liter, the cyanobacteria died, which was supported by a rapid drop in the Photosystem II efficiency (ΦPSII), while the ΦPSII was high and unaffected in 0, 4, and 8 mg L−1. High-density populations of M. aeruginosa (chlorophyll-a concentrations of ∼270 µg L−1) were reduced to very low levels within 2 weeks of exposure to ≥80-mg crushed seeds per liter. At the highest dosage of 160 mg L−1, the ΦPSII dropped to zero rapidly and remained nil during the course of the experiment (14 days). Hence, under laboratory conditions, a complete wipeout of the bloom could be achieved. This is the first study that yielded evidence for cyanobactericidal activity of filtrate from crushed Moringa seeds, suggesting that Moringa seed extracts might have a potential as an effect-oriented measure lessening cyanobacterial nuisance. PMID:20676212

  5. Cyanobacterial Two-Component Proteins: Structure, Diversity, Distribution, and Evolution†

    PubMed Central

    Ashby, Mark K.; Houmard, Jean

    2006-01-01

    A survey of the already characterized and potential two-component protein sequences that exist in the nine complete and seven partially annotated cyanobacterial genome sequences available (as of May 2005) showed that the cyanobacteria possess a much larger repertoire of such proteins than most other bacteria. By analysis of the domain structure of the 1,171 potential histidine kinases, response regulators, and hybrid kinases, many various arrangements of about thirty different modules could be distinguished. The number of two-component proteins is related in part to genome size but also to the variety of physiological properties and ecophysiologies of the different strains. Groups of orthologues were defined, only a few of which have representatives with known physiological functions. Based on comparisons with the proposed phylogenetic relationships between the strains, the orthology groups show that (i) a few genes, some of them clustered on the genome, have been conserved by all species, suggesting their very ancient origin and an essential role for the corresponding proteins, and (ii) duplications, fusions, gene losses, insertions, and deletions, as well as domain shuffling, occurred during evolution, leading to the extant repertoire. These mechanisms are put in perspective with the different genetic properties that cyanobacteria have to achieve genome plasticity. This review is designed to serve as a basis for orienting further research aimed at defining the most ancient regulatory mechanisms and understanding how evolution worked to select and keep the most appropriate systems for cyanobacteria to develop in the quite different environments that they have successfully colonized. PMID:16760311

  6. Proteomics with a pinch of salt: A cyanobacterial perspective

    PubMed Central

    Pandhal, Jagroop; Wright, Phillip C; Biggs, Catherine A

    2008-01-01

    Cyanobacteria are ancient life forms and have adapted to a variety of extreme environments, including high salinity. Biochemical, physiological and genetic studies have contributed to uncovering their underlying survival mechanisms, and as recent studies demonstrate, proteomics has the potential to increase our overall understanding further. To date, most salt-related cyanobacterial proteomic studies have utilised gel electrophoresis with the model organism Synechocystis sp. PCC6803. Moreover, focus has been on 2–4% w/v NaCl concentrations within different cellular compartments. Under these conditions, Synechocystis sp. PCC6803 was found to respond and adapt to salt stress through synthesis of general and specific stress proteins, altering the protein composition of extracellular layers, and re-directing control of complex central intermediary pathways. Post-transcriptional control was also predicted through non-correlating transcript level data and identification of protein isoforms. In this paper, we also review technical developments with emphasis on improving the quality and quantity of proteomic data and overcoming the detrimental effects of salt on sample preparation and analysis. Developments in gel-free methods include protein and peptide fractionation workflows, which can increase coverage of the proteome (20% in Synechocystis sp. PCC6803). Quantitative techniques have also improved in accuracy, resulting in confidence in quantitation approaching or even surpassing that seen in transcriptomic techniques (better than 1.5-fold in differential expression). Furthermore, in vivo metabolic labelling and de novo protein sequencing software have improved the ability to apply proteomics to unsequenced environmental isolates. The example used in this review is a cyanobacterium isolated from a Saharan salt lake. PMID:18412952

  7. Risk assessment of shellfish toxins.

    PubMed

    Munday, Rex; Reeve, John

    2013-11-01

    Complex secondary metabolites, some of which are highly toxic to mammals, are produced by many marine organisms. Some of these organisms are important food sources for marine animals and, when ingested, the toxins that they produce may be absorbed and stored in the tissues of the predators, which then become toxic to animals higher up the food chain. This is a particular problem with shellfish, and many cases of poisoning are reported in shellfish consumers each year. At present, there is no practicable means of preventing uptake of the toxins by shellfish or of removing them after harvesting. Assessment of the risk posed by such toxins is therefore required in order to determine levels that are unlikely to cause adverse effects in humans and to permit the establishment of regulatory limits in shellfish for human consumption. In the present review, the basic principles of risk assessment are described, and the progress made toward robust risk assessment of seafood toxins is discussed. While good progress has been made, it is clear that further toxicological studies are required before this goal is fully achieved. PMID:24226039

  8. Risk Assessment of Shellfish Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Munday, Rex; Reeve, John

    2013-01-01

    Complex secondary metabolites, some of which are highly toxic to mammals, are produced by many marine organisms. Some of these organisms are important food sources for marine animals and, when ingested, the toxins that they produce may be absorbed and stored in the tissues of the predators, which then become toxic to animals higher up the food chain. This is a particular problem with shellfish, and many cases of poisoning are reported in shellfish consumers each year. At present, there is no practicable means of preventing uptake of the toxins by shellfish or of removing them after harvesting. Assessment of the risk posed by such toxins is therefore required in order to determine levels that are unlikely to cause adverse effects in humans and to permit the establishment of regulatory limits in shellfish for human consumption. In the present review, the basic principles of risk assessment are described, and the progress made toward robust risk assessment of seafood toxins is discussed. While good progress has been made, it is clear that further toxicological studies are required before this goal is fully achieved. PMID:24226039

  9. MCEARD - CYANOBACTERIA AND THEIR TOXINS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Harmful algal blooms (HAB) of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, have recently become more spatially and temporally prevalent in the US and worldwide. Waterborne cyanobacteria and their highly potent toxins are a significant hazard for human health and the ecosystem....

  10. Dietary exposure to an environmental toxin triggers neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid deposits in the brain.

    PubMed

    Cox, Paul Alan; Davis, David A; Mash, Deborah C; Metcalf, James S; Banack, Sandra Anne

    2016-01-27

    Neurofibrillary tangles (NFT) and β-amyloid plaques are the neurological hallmarks of both Alzheimer's disease and an unusual paralytic illness suffered by Chamorro villagers on the Pacific island of Guam. Many Chamorros with the disease suffer dementia, and in some villages one-quarter of the adults perished from the disease. Like Alzheimer's, the causal factors of Guamanian amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/parkinsonism dementia complex (ALS/PDC) are poorly understood. In replicated experiments, we found that chronic dietary exposure to a cyanobacterial toxin present in the traditional Chamorro diet, β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA), triggers the formation of both NFT and β-amyloid deposits similar in structure and density to those found in brain tissues of Chamorros who died with ALS/PDC. Vervets (Chlorocebus sabaeus) fed for 140 days with BMAA-dosed fruit developed NFT and sparse β-amyloid deposits in the brain. Co-administration of the dietary amino acid l-serine with l-BMAA significantly reduced the density of NFT. These findings indicate that while chronic exposure to the environmental toxin BMAA can trigger neurodegeneration in vulnerable individuals, increasing the amount of l-serine in the diet can reduce the risk. PMID:26791617

  11. Dietary exposure to an environmental toxin triggers neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid deposits in the brain

    PubMed Central

    Cox, Paul Alan; Davis, David A.; Mash, Deborah C.; Metcalf, James S.; Banack, Sandra Anne

    2016-01-01

    Neurofibrillary tangles (NFT) and β-amyloid plaques are the neurological hallmarks of both Alzheimer's disease and an unusual paralytic illness suffered by Chamorro villagers on the Pacific island of Guam. Many Chamorros with the disease suffer dementia, and in some villages one-quarter of the adults perished from the disease. Like Alzheimer's, the causal factors of Guamanian amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/parkinsonism dementia complex (ALS/PDC) are poorly understood. In replicated experiments, we found that chronic dietary exposure to a cyanobacterial toxin present in the traditional Chamorro diet, β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA), triggers the formation of both NFT and β-amyloid deposits similar in structure and density to those found in brain tissues of Chamorros who died with ALS/PDC. Vervets (Chlorocebus sabaeus) fed for 140 days with BMAA-dosed fruit developed NFT and sparse β-amyloid deposits in the brain. Co-administration of the dietary amino acid l-serine with l-BMAA significantly reduced the density of NFT. These findings indicate that while chronic exposure to the environmental toxin BMAA can trigger neurodegeneration in vulnerable individuals, increasing the amount of l-serine in the diet can reduce the risk. PMID:26791617

  12. Toxins as Weapons: A Historical Review.

    PubMed

    Pita, R; Romero, A

    2014-07-01

    This review article summarizes the use of toxins as weapons dating from the First World War until today, when there is a high concern of possible terrorist attacks with weapons of mass destruction. All through modern history, military programs and terrorist groups have favored toxins because of their high toxicity. However, difficulties of extraction or synthesis, as well as effective dissemination to cause a large number of casualties, have been the most important drawbacks. Special emphasis is focused on ricin and botulinum toxin, the most important toxins that have attracted the attention of military programs and terrorist groups. Other toxins like trichothecenes, saxitoxin, and Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) are also discussed. A short section about anthrax is also included: Although Bacillus anthracis is considered a biological weapon rather than a toxin weapon, it produces a toxin that is finally responsible for the anthrax disease. PMID:26227025

  13. Nemertean toxin genes revealed through transcriptome sequencing.

    PubMed

    Whelan, Nathan V; Kocot, Kevin M; Santos, Scott R; Halanych, Kenneth M

    2014-12-01

    Nemerteans are one of few animal groups that have evolved the ability to utilize toxins for both defense and subduing prey, but little is known about specific nemertean toxins. In particular, no study has identified specific toxin genes even though peptide toxins are known from some nemertean species. Information about toxin genes is needed to better understand evolution of toxins across animals and possibly provide novel targets for pharmaceutical and industrial applications. We sequenced and annotated transcriptomes of two free-living and one commensal nemertean and annotated an additional six publicly available nemertean transcriptomes to identify putative toxin genes. Approximately 63-74% of predicted open reading frames in each transcriptome were annotated with gene names, and all species had similar percentages of transcripts annotated with each higher-level GO term. Every nemertean analyzed possessed genes with high sequence similarities to known animal toxins including those from stonefish, cephalopods, and sea anemones. One toxin-like gene found in all nemerteans analyzed had high sequence similarity to Plancitoxin-1, a DNase II hepatotoxin that may function well at low pH, which suggests that the acidic body walls of some nemerteans could work to enhance the efficacy of protein toxins. The highest number of toxin-like genes found in any one species was seven and the lowest was three. The diversity of toxin-like nemertean genes found here is greater than previously documented, and these animals are likely an ideal system for exploring toxin evolution and industrial applications of toxins. PMID:25432940

  14. Nemertean Toxin Genes Revealed through Transcriptome Sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Whelan, Nathan V.; Kocot, Kevin M.; Santos, Scott R.; Halanych, Kenneth M.

    2014-01-01

    Nemerteans are one of few animal groups that have evolved the ability to utilize toxins for both defense and subduing prey, but little is known about specific nemertean toxins. In particular, no study has identified specific toxin genes even though peptide toxins are known from some nemertean species. Information about toxin genes is needed to better understand evolution of toxins across animals and possibly provide novel targets for pharmaceutical and industrial applications. We sequenced and annotated transcriptomes of two free-living and one commensal nemertean and annotated an additional six publicly available nemertean transcriptomes to identify putative toxin genes. Approximately 63–74% of predicted open reading frames in each transcriptome were annotated with gene names, and all species had similar percentages of transcripts annotated with each higher-level GO term. Every nemertean analyzed possessed genes with high sequence similarities to known animal toxins including those from stonefish, cephalopods, and sea anemones. One toxin-like gene found in all nemerteans analyzed had high sequence similarity to Plancitoxin-1, a DNase II hepatotoxin that may function well at low pH, which suggests that the acidic body walls of some nemerteans could work to enhance the efficacy of protein toxins. The highest number of toxin-like genes found in any one species was seven and the lowest was three. The diversity of toxin-like nemertean genes found here is greater than previously documented, and these animals are likely an ideal system for exploring toxin evolution and industrial applications of toxins. PMID:25432940

  15. Effects of hydrogen peroxide and ultrasound on biomass reduction and toxin release in the cyanobacterium, Microcystis aeruginosa.

    PubMed

    Lürling, Miquel; Meng, Debin; Faassen, Elisabeth J

    2014-01-01

    Cyanobacterial blooms are expected to increase, and the toxins they produce threaten human health and impair ecosystem services. The reduction of the nutrient load of surface waters is the preferred way to prevent these blooms; however, this is not always feasible. Quick curative measures are therefore preferred in some cases. Two of these proposed measures, peroxide and ultrasound, were tested for their efficiency in reducing cyanobacterial biomass and potential release of cyanotoxins. Hereto, laboratory assays with a microcystin (MC)-producing cyanobacterium (Microcystis aeruginosa) were conducted. Peroxide effectively reduced M. aeruginosa biomass when dosed at 4 or 8 mg L-1, but not at 1 and 2 mg L-1. Peroxide dosed at 4 or 8 mg L-1 lowered total MC concentrations by 23%, yet led to a significant release of MCs into the water. Dissolved MC concentrations were nine-times (4 mg L-1) and 12-times (8 mg L-1 H2O2) higher than in the control. Cell lysis moreover increased the proportion of the dissolved hydrophobic variants, MC-LW and MC-LF (where L = Leucine, W = tryptophan, F = phenylalanine). Ultrasound treatment with commercial transducers sold for clearing ponds and lakes only caused minimal growth inhibition and some release of MCs into the water. Commercial ultrasound transducers are therefore ineffective at controlling cyanobacteria. PMID:25513892

  16. Effects of Hydrogen Peroxide and Ultrasound on Biomass Reduction and Toxin Release in the Cyanobacterium, Microcystis aeruginosa

    PubMed Central

    Lürling, Miquel; Meng, Debin; Faassen, Elisabeth J.

    2014-01-01

    Cyanobacterial blooms are expected to increase, and the toxins they produce threaten human health and impair ecosystem services. The reduction of the nutrient load of surface waters is the preferred way to prevent these blooms; however, this is not always feasible. Quick curative measures are therefore preferred in some cases. Two of these proposed measures, peroxide and ultrasound, were tested for their efficiency in reducing cyanobacterial biomass and potential release of cyanotoxins. Hereto, laboratory assays with a microcystin (MC)-producing cyanobacterium (Microcystis aeruginosa) were conducted. Peroxide effectively reduced M. aeruginosa biomass when dosed at 4 or 8 mg L−1, but not at 1 and 2 mg L−1. Peroxide dosed at 4 or 8 mg L−1 lowered total MC concentrations by 23%, yet led to a significant release of MCs into the water. Dissolved MC concentrations were nine-times (4 mg L−1) and 12-times (8 mg L−1 H2O2) higher than in the control. Cell lysis moreover increased the proportion of the dissolved hydrophobic variants, MC-LW and MC-LF (where L = Leucine, W = tryptophan, F = phenylalanine). Ultrasound treatment with commercial transducers sold for clearing ponds and lakes only caused minimal growth inhibition and some release of MCs into the water. Commercial ultrasound transducers are therefore ineffective at controlling cyanobacteria. PMID:25513892

  17. Dynamics of the toxin cylindrospermopsin and of its producer, Aphanizomenon ovalisporum, in Karaoun Reservoir, Lebanon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fadel, Ali; Lemaire, Bruno J.; Atoui, Ali; Vinçon-Leite, Brigitte; Slim, Kamal; Tassin, Bruno

    2014-05-01

    Cyanobacterial toxins threaten human and environmental health and the usages of many lakes and reservoirs throughout the world. Except in Lake Kinneret, toxins produced by cyanobacteria are poorly documented in lakes and reservoirs in the Middle East. The hepatotoxin cylindrospermopsin is produced by several cyanobacterial species, amongst which the widely distributed Aphanizomenon ovalisporum. Its gas vacuoles enable it to migrate in stratified conditions between surface layers with high light availability and deeper layers with higher nutrient concentrations. We investigated the physicochemical factors controlling the growth of this cyanobacterium and the occurrence and vertical distribution of cylindrospermopsin. Our study site is Karaoun Reservoir, also known as Qaroun, Qaraoun or Qarun, the largest water body in Lebanon. It was built for irrigation and hydropower production. The reservoir is eutrophic. Its volume varies by 75 % every year. The only cylindrospermopsin-producing cyanobacterium in Lake Karaoun, Aphanizomenon ovalisporum, was first reported in 2009. We conducted sampling campaigns around midday at 0.5 m depth from May to November 2012 and at 0.5, 5 and 10 m depths from March to August 2013. Phytoplankton microscopic counting and toxin quantification (ELISA) were performed within 24 hours. Aphanizomenon ovalisporum was observed in late winter (March 2013), spring (May and June 2012), early summer (July 2013) and autumn (October and November 2012), both during periods of stratification and mixing, in a wide range of water levels ( 10 - 28 m), daily average irradiances (100 - 260 W/m2) and water temperatures (13 - 25 °C). Aphanizomenon ovalisporum bloomed in 2012. The highest biovolume, 9.8 mm3/L, was observed under the surface in October, at a water temperature of 22 °C, while the reservoir was weakly stratified (difference of 0.9 °C in the water column). In 2013 however, its biovolume did not exceed 0.3 mm3/L. No correlation existed betweeen

  18. Mining Metatranscriptomic Data of a Cyanobacterial Bloom for Patterns of Secondary Metabolism Gene Expression

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Penn, K.; Wang, J.; Thompson, J. R.

    2012-12-01

    The secondary metabolism of bacterial cells produces small molecules that can have both medicinal properties and toxigenic effects. This study focuses on mining metatranscriptomes from a tropical eutrophic water reservoir in Singapore experiencing a cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Bloom dominated by Microcystis, to identify the types of secondary metabolites genes being expressed and by what taxa. A phylogenomic approach as implemented in the online tool Natural Product Domain Seeker (NaPDoS) was used. NaPDoS was recently developed to classify ketosynthase and condensation domains from polyketide synthases and non-ribosomal peptide synthetases, respectively, to provide insight into potential types of pathway products. Water samples from the reservoir were collected six times over a day/night cycle. Total RNA was extracted and subjected to ribosomal depletion followed by cDNA synthesis and next-generation Illumina DNA sequencing, generating 493,468 to 678,064 95-101 base pairs post-quality control reads per sample. Evidence for expression of PKS and NRPS type genes based on identification of a ketosynthase and condensation domains are present in all time points. KS domains fall into to two main phylogenetic groups, type I and type II, within the type II group of domains are domains for fatty acid biosynthesis (fab), which is considered a part of primary metabolism. Type I KS domains are part of the classic PKS natural product biosynthetic genes that make things such as antibiotics and other toxins such as microcystin. 2849 KS domains were detected in the combined reservoir samples, of these 1141 were likely from fatty acid biosynthesis and 1708 were related to secondary metabolism type KS domains. The most abundant KS domains (485) besides the fab genes are closely related to a KS domain that is not currently experimentally linked to a known secondary metabolite but the domain is found in four Microcystis genomes along with two other species of cyanobacteria. The three

  19. Cyanobacterial diversity of western European biological soil crusts along a latitudinal gradient.

    PubMed

    Williams, Laura; Loewen-Schneider, Katharina; Maier, Stefanie; Büdel, Burkhard

    2016-10-01

    Cyanobacteria associated with biological soil crusts (BSCs) have important attributes, such as nitrogen fixation and soil stabilisation. However, research on these organisms has been minimal, and their diversity and distribution throughout temperate Europe is currently unknown. The SCIN (Soil Crust International) project is a multidisciplinary research initiative that aims to achieve improved understanding of the BSCs of Europe, one facet being an investigation into the cyanobacterial communities of BSCs across a latitudinal gradient. Cyanobacteria assemblages were analysed by both morphological and molecular analysis. Two treatments were applied prior to DNA extraction, continued sample wetting and a dry sample process, and 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) amplicons were processed by Illumina MiSeq sequencing. The results reveal high and variable cyanobacterial diversity with each site showing a unique assemblage. Many common cyanobacterial genera, for example Nostoc and Microcoleus, were found in all sites but the abundances of different genera varied considerably. The polyphasic approach was found to be essential in recording the presence of important cyanobacteria that a single method itself did not highlight. The wet and dry treatments showed some differences in diversity, but mainly in abundance, this may suggest how cyanobacterial composition of BSCs changes with seasonal variability. PMID:27411981

  20. Total synthesis of the cyanobacterial metabolite nostodione A: discovery of its antiparasitic activity against Toxoplasma gondii.

    PubMed

    McNulty, J; Keskar, K; Bordón, C; Yolken, R; Jones-Brando, L

    2014-08-18

    A total synthesis of the cyanobacterial natural product nostodione A is reported involving a convergent, diversity-oriented route. A small assemblage of structural analogues were prepared and their cytotoxicity and anti-invasion activity against the protozoal parasite Toxoplasma gondii is reported for the first time. PMID:24970332

  1. Characterization of cyanobacterial communities from high-elevation lakes in the Bolivian Andes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fleming, Erich D.; Prufert-Bebout, Leslie

    2010-06-01

    The Bolivian Altiplano is a harsh environment for life with high solar irradiation (visible and UVR), below freezing temperatures, and some of the lowest precipitation rates on the planet. However, microbial life is visibly abundant in small isolated refugia of spring or snowmelt-fed lakes. In this study, we characterized the cyanobacterial composition of a variety of microbial mats present in three lake systems: Laguna Blanca, Laguna Verde (elevation 4300 m), and a summit lake in the Licancabur Volcano cone (elevation 5970 m). These lakes and their adjacent geothermal springs present an interesting diversity of environments within a geographically small region (5 km2). From these sites, 78 cyanobacterial cultures were isolated in addition to ˜400 cyanobacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences from environmental genomic DNA. Based on microscopy, cultivation, and molecular analyses, these communities contained many heterocytous, nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria (e.g., Calothrix, Nostoc, Nodularia) as well as a large number of cyanobacteria belonging to the form-genus Leptolyngbya. More than a third (37%) of all taxa in this study were new species (≤96% 16S rRNA gene sequence identity), and 11% represented new and novel taxa distantly related (≤93% identity) to any known cyanobacteria. This is one of the few studies to characterize cyanobacterial communities based on both cultivation-dependent and cultivation-independent analyses.

  2. Cyanobacterial diversity of western European biological soil crusts along a latitudinal gradient

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Laura; Loewen-Schneider, Katharina; Maier, Stefanie; Büdel, Burkhard

    2016-01-01

    Cyanobacteria associated with biological soil crusts (BSCs) have important attributes, such as nitrogen fixation and soil stabilisation. However, research on these organisms has been minimal, and their diversity and distribution throughout temperate Europe is currently unknown. The SCIN (Soil Crust International) project is a multidisciplinary research initiative that aims to achieve improved understanding of the BSCs of Europe, one facet being an investigation into the cyanobacterial communities of BSCs across a latitudinal gradient. Cyanobacteria assemblages were analysed by both morphological and molecular analysis. Two treatments were applied prior to DNA extraction, continued sample wetting and a dry sample process, and 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) amplicons were processed by Illumina MiSeq sequencing. The results reveal high and variable cyanobacterial diversity with each site showing a unique assemblage. Many common cyanobacterial genera, for example Nostoc and Microcoleus, were found in all sites but the abundances of different genera varied considerably. The polyphasic approach was found to be essential in recording the presence of important cyanobacteria that a single method itself did not highlight. The wet and dry treatments showed some differences in diversity, but mainly in abundance, this may suggest how cyanobacterial composition of BSCs changes with seasonal variability. PMID:27411981

  3. Cyanobacterial Community Structure In Lithifying Mats of A Yellowstone Hotspring-Implications for Precambrian Stromatolite Biocomplexity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lau, Evan; Nash, C. Z.; Vogler, D. R.; Cullings, K.; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE) of partial 16S rRNA gene sequences was used to investigate the molecular biodiversity of cyanobacterial communities inhabiting various lithified morpho-structures in two hotsprings of Yellowstone National Park. These morpho-structures - flat-topped columns, columnar cones, and ridged cones - resemble ancient stromatolites, which are possibly biogenic in origin. The top, middle and bottom sections of these lithified morpho-structures, as well as surrounding non-lithified mats were analyzed to determine the vertical and spatial distribution of cyanobacterial communities. Results from DGGE indicate that the cyanobacterial community composition of lithified morpho-structures (flat-topped columns, columnar cones, and ridged cones) were largely similar in vertical distribution as well as among the morpho-structures being studied. Preliminary results indicate that the cyanobacterial communities in these lithified morpho-structures were significantly different from communities in surrounding non-lithified mats. These results provide additional support to the theory that certain Phormidium/Leptolyngbya species are involved in the morphogenesis of lithifying morpho-structures in hotsprings and may have played a role in the formation of ancient stromatolites.

  4. A Cyanobacterial Gene, sqdX, Required for Biosynthesis of the Sulfolipid Sulfoquinovosyldiacylglycerol

    PubMed Central

    Güler, Sinan; Essigmann, Bernd; Benning, Christoph

    2000-01-01

    The sulfolipid sulfoquinovosyldiacylglycerol is present in the photosynthetic membranes of plants and many photosynthetic bacteria. A novel gene, sqdX, essential for sulfolipid biosynthesis in the cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. strain PCC7942 is proposed to encode the cyanobacterial sulfolipid synthase catalyzing the last reaction of the pathway. PMID:10629209

  5. Visually assessing the level of development and soil surface stability of cyanobacterially dominated biological soil crusts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, J.; Phillips, S.L.; Witwicki, D.L.; Miller, M.E.

    2008-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are an integral part of dryland ecosystems and often included in long-term ecological monitoring programs. Estimating moss and lichen cover is fairly easy and non-destructive, but documenting cyanobacterial level of development (LOD) is more difficult. It requires sample collection for laboratory analysis, which causes soil surface disturbance. Assessing soil surface stability also requires surface disturbance. Here we present a visual technique to assess cyanobacterial LOD and soil surface stability. We define six development levels of cyanobacterially dominated soils based on soil surface darkness. We sampled chlorophyll a concentrations (the most common way of assessing cyanobacterial biomass), exopolysaccharide concentrations, and soil surface aggregate stability from representative areas of each LOD class. We found that, in the laboratory and field, LOD classes were effective at predicting chlorophyll a soil concentrations (R2=68-81%), exopolysaccharide concentrations (R2=71%), and soil aggregate stability (R2=77%). We took representative photos of these classes to construct a field guide. We then tested the ability of field crews to distinguish these classes and found this technique was highly repeatable among observers. We also discuss how to adjust this index for the different types of BSCs found in various dryland regions.

  6. Quantifying cyanobacterial phycocyanin concentration in turbid productive waters: a quasi-analytical approach

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In this research, we present a novel technique to monitor cyanobacterial algal bloom using remote sensing measurements. We have used a multi-band quasi analytical algorithm that determines phytoplankton absorption coefficients, aF('), from above-surface remote sensing reflectance, Rrs('). In situ da...

  7. Investigation on extracellular polymeric substances from mucilaginous cyanobacterial blooms in eutrophic freshwater lakes.

    PubMed

    Xu, Huacheng; Yu, Guanghui; Jiang, Helong

    2013-09-01

    Enhanced knowledge on extracellular polymeric substances (EPSs) of mucilaginous cyanobacterial blooms could improve our understanding of its ecological significance. This study for the first time investigated the extraction and fractionation of EPS matrix from cyanobacterial blooms in a eutrophic freshwater lake, and the changes in chemical compositions in EPS matrix during extraction were systematically investigated by two-dimensional correlation spectroscopy (2D-COS). The analyses demonstrated that organic matters were unevenly distributed among the EPS matrix, with most of organic matters being tightly bound to cyanobacterial cells. In addition, the soluble and loosely bound EPS fractions mainly consisted of proteins, while polysaccharides became the predominant compounds in the tightly bound EPS fraction. Heating extraction at 60°C for 30min led to a high EPS yield and low cell lysis when compared with other extraction methods. The 2D-COS results revealed a preferential release of OH in polysaccharides versus amide I in proteins in the initial heating; whereas further extension of heating resulted in EPS degradation, with degradation rates arranging in a decreased order from amide I, amide II, polysaccharides-like substances to polysaccharides. These results obtained would help enhance our insights into EPS characterization from cyanobacterial blooms in eutrophic lakes. PMID:23726883

  8. Flow-induced Development of Unicellular Cyanobacterial Mats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gong, J.; Tice, M. M.

    2011-12-01

    Microbial mats/biofilms are abundant microbial growth structures throughout the history of life on Earth. Understanding the mechanisms for their morphogenesis and interactions with physical sedimentary forces are important topics that allow deeper understanding of related records. When subjected to hydrodynamic influences, mats are known to vary in morphology and structure in response to fluid shear, yet mechanistically, the underlying cellular architecture due to interactions with flow remain unexplained. Moreover, mats are found to emerge larger scale roughness elements and modified cohesive strength growing under flow. It is a mystery how and why these mat-community-level features are linked in association with modified boundary layers at the mats surface. We examined unicellular cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 in a circular flow bioreactor designed to maintain a fixed set of hydrodynamic conditions. The use of monoculture strains and unidirectional currents, while not replicating natural mat systems (almost certainly multi-species and often multi-directional currents under complex wind or tidal wave actions), helps to simplify these systems and allows for specific testing of hypotheses regarding how mats evolve distinctive morphologies induced by flow. The unique design of the reactor also makes measurements such as critical erosional shear stress of the mats possible, in addition to microscopic, macroscopic imaging and weeks of continuous mats growth monitoring. We report the finding that linear chains, filament-like cell groups were present from unicellular cyanobacterial mats growing under flow (~1-5 cm/s) and these structures are organized within ~1-3mm size streamers and ~0.5-1mm size nodular macrostructures. Ultra-small, sub-micron thick EPS strings are observed under TEM and are likely the cohesive architectural elements in mats across different fluid regimes. Mat cohesion generally grows with and adapts to increasing flow shear stress within

  9. Application of a model to predict cyanobacterial growth patterns in response to climatic change at Farmoor reservoir, Oxfordshire, UK.

    PubMed

    Howard, Alan; Easthope, Mark P

    2002-01-23

    The cyanobacterial growth for the next 90 years at Farmoor Reservoir, Oxfordshire is predicted using the cyanobacterial growth model, CLAMM, with data obtained from HADCM2 climate change model. It is predicted that solar radiation at the water-body surface will decrease slightly due to increased cloud cover. Predictions of cyanobacterial growth indicate little change in total production although the main summer growing season may be extended. It is also suggested that increased wind velocities may affect the frequency of 'blooming incidents'. PMID:11846084

  10. Why do we study animal toxins?

    PubMed Central

    ZHANG, Yun

    2015-01-01

    Venom (toxins) is an important trait evolved along the evolutionary tree of animals. Our knowledges on venoms, such as their origins and loss, the biological relevance and the coevolutionary patterns with other organisms are greatly helpful in understanding many fundamental biological questions, i.e., the environmental adaptation and survival competition, the evolution shaped development and balance of venoms, and the sophisticated correlations among venom, immunity, body power, intelligence, their genetic basis, inherent association, as well as the cost-benefit and trade-offs of biological economy. Lethal animal envenomation can be found worldwide. However, from foe to friend, toxin studies have led lots of important discoveries and exciting avenues in deciphering and fighting human diseases, including the works awarded the Nobel Prize and lots of key clinic therapeutics. According to our survey, so far, only less than 0.1% of the toxins of the venomous animals in China have been explored. We emphasize on the similarities shared by venom and immune systems, as well as the studies of toxin knowledge-based physiological toxin-like proteins/peptides (TLPs). We propose the natural pairing hypothesis. Evolution links toxins with humans. Our mission is to find out the right natural pairings and interactions of our body elements with toxins, and with endogenous toxin-like molecules. Although, in nature, toxins may endanger human lives, but from a philosophical point of view, knowing them well is an effective way to better understand ourselves. So, this is why we study toxins. PMID:26228472

  11. Why do we study animal toxins?

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yun

    2015-07-18

    Venom (toxins) is an important trait evolved along the evolutionary tree of animals. Our knowledges on venoms, such as their origins and loss, the biological relevance and the coevolutionary patterns with other organisms are greatly helpful in understanding many fundamental biological questions, i.e., the environmental adaptation and survival competition, the evolution shaped development and balance of venoms, and the sophisticated correlations among venom, immunity, body power, intelligence, their genetic basis, inherent association, as well as the cost-benefit and trade-offs of biological economy. Lethal animal envenomation can be found worldwide. However, from foe to friend, toxin studies have led lots of important discoveries and exciting avenues in deciphering and fighting human diseases, including the works awarded the Nobel Prize and lots of key clinic therapeutics. According to our survey, so far, only less than 0.1% of the toxins of the venomous animals in China have been explored. We emphasize on the similarities shared by venom and immune systems, as well as the studies of toxin knowledge-based physiological toxin-like proteins/peptides (TLPs). We propose the natural pairing hypothesis. Evolution links toxins with humans. Our mission is to find out the right natural pairings and interactions of our body elements with toxins, and with endogenous toxin-like molecules. Although, in nature, toxins may endanger human lives, but from a philosophical point of view, knowing them well is an effective way to better understand ourselves. So, this is why we study toxins. PMID:26228472

  12. Botulinum Toxin in Pediatric Neurology

    PubMed Central

    Abdallah, Enas Abdallah Ali

    2015-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins are natural molecules produced by anaerobic spore-forming bacteria called Clostradium boltulinum. The toxin has a peculiar mechanism of action by preventing the release of acetylcholine from the presynaptic membrane. Consequently, it has been used in the treatment of various neurological conditions related to muscle hyperactivity and/or spasticity. Also, it has an impact on the autonomic nervous system by acting on smooth muscle, leading to its use in the management of pain syndromes. The use of botulinum toxin in children separate from adults has received very little attention in the literature. This review presents the current data on the use of botulinum neurotoxin to treat various neurological disorders in children. PMID:27335961

  13. The toxin and antidote puzzle

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Insects carry out essential ecological functions, such as pollination, but also cause extensive damage to agricultural crops and transmit human diseases such as malaria and dengue fever. Advances in insect transgenesis are making it increasingly feasible to engineer genes conferring desirable phenotypes, and gene drive systems are required to spread these genes into wild populations. Medea provides one solution, being able to spread into a population from very low initial frequencies through the action of a maternally-expressed toxin linked to a zygotically-expressed antidote. Several other toxin-antidote combinations are imaginable that distort the offspring ratio in favor of a desired transgene, or drive the population towards an all-male crash. We explore two such systems—Semele, which is capable of spreading a desired transgene into an isolated population in a confined manner; and Merea, which is capable of inducing a local population crash when located on the Z chromosome of a Lepidopteron pest. PMID:21876382

  14. Monitoring levels of cyanobacterial blooms using the visual cyanobacteria index (VCI) and floating algae index (FAI)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oyama, Yoichi; Fukushima, Takehiko; Matsushita, Bunkei; Matsuzaki, Hana; Kamiya, Koichi; Kobinata, Hisao

    2015-06-01

    Cyanobacterial bloom is a growing environmental problem in inland waters. In this study, we propose a method for monitoring levels of cyanobacterial blooms from Landsat/ETM+ images. The visual cyanobacteria index (VCI) is a simple index for in-situ visual interpretation of cyanobacterial blooms levels, by classifying them into six categories based on aggregation (e.g., subsurface blooms, surface scum). The floating algae index (FAI) and remote sensing reflectance in the red wavelength domain, which can be obtained from Landsat/ETM+ images, were related to the VCI for estimating cyanobacteria bloom levels from the Landsat/ETM+ images. Nine field campaigns were carried out at Lakes Nishiura and Kitaura (Lake Kasumigaura group), Japan, from June to August 2012. We also collected reflectance spectra at 20 stations for different VCI levels on August 3, 2012. The reflectance spectra were recalculated in correspondence to each ETM+ band, and used to calculate the FAI. The FAI values were then used to determine thresholds for classifying cyanobacterial blooms into different VCI levels. These FAI thresholds were validated using three Landsat/ETM+ images. Results showed that FAI values differed significantly at the respective VCI levels except between levels 1 and 2 (subsurface blooms) and levels 5 and 6 (surface scum and hyperscum). This indicated that the FAI was able to detect the high level of cyanobacteria that forms surface scum. In contrast, the Landsat/ETM+ band 3 reflectance could be used as an alternative index for distinguishing surface scum and hyperscum. Application of the thresholds for VCI classifications to three Landsat/ETM+ images showed that the volume of cyanobacterial blooms can be effectively classified into the six VCI levels.

  15. Temporal variation in community composition, pigmentation, and Fv/Fm of desert cyanobacterial soil crusts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bowker, M.A.; Reed, S.C.; Belnap, J.; Phillips, S.L.

    2002-01-01

    Summers on the Colorado Plateau (USA) are typified by harsh conditions such as high temperatures, brief soil hydration periods, and high UV and visible radiation. We investigated whether community composition, physiological status, and pigmentation might vary in biological soil crusts as a result of such conditions. Representative surface cores were sampled at the ENE, WSW, and top microaspects of 20 individual soil crust pedicels at a single site in Canyonlands National Park, Utah, in spring and fall of 1999. Frequency of cyanobacterial taxa, pigment concentrations, and dark adapted quantum yield (Fv/Fm) were measured for each core. The frequency of major cyanobacterial taxa was lower in the fall compared to spring. The less-pigmented cyanobacterium Microcoleus vaginatus showed significant mortality when not in the presence of Nostoc spp. and Scytonema myochrous (Dillw.) Agardh. (both synthesizers of UV radiation-linked pigments) but had little or no mortality when these species were abundant. We hypothesize that the sunscreen pigments produced by Nostoc and Scytonema in the surface of crusts protect other, less-pigmented taxa. When fall and spring samples were compared, overall cyanobacterial frequency was lower in fall, while sunscreen pigment concentrations, chlorophyll a concentration, and Fv/Fm were higher in fall. The ratio of cyanobacterial frequency/chlorophyll a concentrations was 2-3 times lower in fall than spring. Because chlorophyll a is commonly used as a surrogate measure of soil cyanobacterial biomass, these results indicate that seasonality needs to be taken into consideration. In the fall sample, most pigments associated with UV radiation protection or repair were at their highest concentrations on pedicel tops and WSW microaspects, and at their lowest concentrations on ENE microaspects. We suggest that differential pigment concentrations between microaspects are induced by varying UV radiation dosage at the soil surface on these different

  16. Development of solid phase adsorption toxin tracking (SPATT) for monitoring anatoxin-a and homoanatoxin-a in river water.

    PubMed

    Wood, Susanna A; Holland, Patrick T; MacKenzie, Lincoln

    2011-02-01

    Sampling and monitoring for cyanotoxins can be problematic as concentrations change with environmental and hydrological conditions. Current sampling practices (e.g. grab samples) provide data on cyanotoxins present only at one point in time and may miss areas or times of highest risk. Recent research has identified the widespread distribution of anatoxin-producing benthic cyanobacteria in rivers highlighting the need for development of effective sampling techniques. In this study we evaluated the potential of an in situ method known as solid phase adsorption toxin tracking (SPATT) for collecting and concentrating anatoxin-a (ATX) and homoanatoxin-a (HTX) in river water. Fifteen different adsorption substrates were screened for efficiency of ATX uptake, nine of which retained high proportions (>70%) of ATX. Four substrates were then selected for a 24-h trial in a SPATT bag format in the laboratory. The greatest decrease in ATX in the water was observed with powdered activated carbon (PAC) and Strata-X (a polymeric resin) SPATT bags. A 3-d field study in a river containing toxic benthic cyanobacterial mats was undertaken using PAC and Strata-X SPATT bags. ATX and HTX were detected in all SPATT bags. Surface grab samples were taken throughout the field study and ATX and HTX were only detected in one of the water samples, highlighting the limitations of this currently used method. Both Strata-X and PAC were found to be effective absorbent substrates. PAC has the advantage that it is cheap and readily available and appears to continue to sorb toxins over longer periods than Strata-X. SPATT has the potential to be integrated into current cyanobacterial monitoring programmes and would be a very useful and economical tool for early warning of ATX and HTX contamination in water. PMID:21074244

  17. Hydrogen from Water in a Novel Recombinant Cyanobacterial System

    SciTech Connect

    Weyman, Philip D; Smith, Hamillton O.

    2014-12-03

    Photobiological processes are attractive routes to renewable H2 production. With the input of solar energy, photosynthetic microbes such as cyanobacteria and green algae carry out oxygenic photosynthesis, using sunlight energy to extract protons and high energy electrons from water. These protons and high energy electrons can be fed to a hydrogenase system yielding H2. However, most hydrogen-evolving hydrogenases are inhibited by O2, which is an inherent byproduct of oxygenic photosynthesis. The rate of H2 production is thus limited. Certain photosynthetic bacteria are reported to have an O2-tolerant evolving hydrogenase, yet these microbes do not split water, and require other more expensive feedstocks. To overcome these difficulties, the goal of this work has been to construct novel microbial hybrids by genetically transferring O2-tolerant hydrogenases from other bacteria into a class of photosynthetic bacteria called cyanobacteria. These hybrid organisms will use the photosynthetic machinery of the cyanobacterial hosts to perform the water-oxidation reaction with the input of solar energy, and couple the resulting protons and high energy electrons to the O2-tolerant bacterial hydrogenase, all within the same microbe (Fig. 1). The ultimate goal of this work has been to overcome the sensitivity of the hydrogenase enzyme to O2 and address one of the key technological hurdles to cost-effective photobiological H2 production which currently limits the production of hydrogen in algal systems. In pursuit of this goal, work on this project has successfully completed many subtasks leading to a greatly increased understanding of the complicated [NiFe]-hydrogenase enzymes. At the beginning of this project, [NiFe] hydrogenases had never been successfully moved across wide species barriers and had never been heterologously expressed in cyanobacteria. Furthermore, the idea that whole, functional genes could be extracted from complicated, mixed-sequence meta-genomes was not

  18. Novel Class of Spider Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Vassilevski, Alexander A.; Fedorova, Irina M.; Maleeva, Ekaterina E.; Korolkova, Yuliya V.; Efimova, Svetlana S.; Samsonova, Olga V.; Schagina, Ludmila V.; Feofanov, Alexei V.; Magazanik, Lev G.; Grishin, Eugene V.

    2010-01-01

    Venom of the yellow sac spider Cheiracanthium punctorium (Miturgidae) was found unique in terms of molecular composition. Its principal toxic component CpTx 1 (15.1 kDa) was purified, and its full amino acid sequence (134 residues) was established by protein chemistry and mass spectrometry techniques. CpTx 1 represents a novel class of spider toxin with modular architecture. It consists of two different yet homologous domains (modules) each containing a putative inhibitor cystine knot motif, characteristic of the widespread single domain spider neurotoxins. Venom gland cDNA sequencing provided precursor protein (prepropeptide) structures of three CpTx 1 isoforms (a–c) that differ by single residue substitutions. The toxin possesses potent insecticidal (paralytic and lethal), cytotoxic, and membrane-damaging activities. In both fly and frog neuromuscular preparations, it causes stable and irreversible depolarization of muscle fibers leading to contracture. This effect appears to be receptor-independent and is inhibited by high concentrations of divalent cations. CpTx 1 lyses cell membranes, as visualized by confocal microscopy, and destabilizes artificial membranes in a manner reminiscent of other membrane-active peptides by causing numerous defects of variable conductance and leading to bilayer rupture. The newly discovered class of modular polypeptides enhances our knowledge of the toxin universe. PMID:20657014

  19. Phage display and Shiga toxin neutralizers.

    PubMed

    Bernedo-Navarro, Robert Alvin; Yano, Tomomasa

    2016-04-01

    The current work presents an overview of the use of phage display technology for the identification and characterization of potential neutralizing agents for Shiga toxins. The last major Shiga toxin-associated disease outbreak, which took place in Germany in 2011, showed the international community that Shiga toxins remain a serious threat to public health. This is also demonstrated by the lack of specific therapies against Shiga toxin-induced Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). Since its inception, phage display technology has played a key role in the development of antigen-specific (poly)-peptides or antibody fragments with specific biological properties. Herein, we review the current literature regarding the application of phage display to identify novel neutralizing agents against Shiga toxins. We also briefly highlight reported discoveries of peptides and heavy chain antibodies (VHH fragments or nanobodies) that can neutralize the cellular damage caused by these potent toxins. PMID:26898657

  20. Bt Toxin Modification for Enhanced Efficacy

    PubMed Central

    Deist, Benjamin R.; Rausch, Michael A.; Fernandez-Luna, Maria Teresa; Adang, Michael J.; Bonning, Bryony C.

    2014-01-01

    Insect-specific toxins derived from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) provide a valuable resource for pest suppression. Here we review the different strategies that have been employed to enhance toxicity against specific target species including those that have evolved resistance to Bt, or to modify the host range of Bt crystal (Cry) and cytolytic (Cyt) toxins. These strategies include toxin truncation, modification of protease cleavage sites, domain swapping, site-directed mutagenesis, peptide addition, and phage display screens for mutated toxins with enhanced activity. Toxin optimization provides a useful approach to extend the utility of these proteins for suppression of pests that exhibit low susceptibility to native Bt toxins, and to overcome field resistance. PMID:25340556

  1. [Use of botulinum toxin in strabismus].

    PubMed

    Wabbels, B

    2016-07-01

    Botulinum toxin can be a useful tool for treating acute sixth nerve palsy and excessive eye deviations due to unstable Graves' disease, when surgery is not yet possible. The diagnostic injection for estimation of possible postoperative double vision also makes sense. In convergence spasms, periocular botulinum toxin injections can be a therapeutic option. Botulinum toxin is not a first line option in infantile esotropia without binocularity or in adult horizontal strabismus. Side effects include ptosis and vertical deviations. PMID:27369733

  2. Diversity within cyanobacterial mat communities in variable salinity meltwater ponds of McMurdo Ice Shelf, Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Jungblut, Anne-Dorothee; Hawes, Ian; Mountfort, Doug; Hitzfeld, Bettina; Dietrich, Daniel R; Burns, Brendan P; Neilan, Brett A

    2005-04-01

    This study investigated the diversity of cyanobacterial mat communities of three meltwater ponds--Fresh, Orange and Salt Ponds, south of Bratina Island, McMurdo Ice Shelf, Antarctica. A combined morphological and genetic approach using clone libraries was used to investigate the influence of salinity on cyanobacterial diversity within these ecosystems without prior cultivation or isolation of cyanobacteria. We were able to identify 22 phylotypes belonging to Phormidium sp., Oscillatoria sp. and Lyngbya sp. In addition, we identified Antarctic Nostoc sp., Nodularia sp. and Anabaena sp. from the clone libraries. Fresh (17 phylotypes) and Orange (nine phylotypes) Ponds showed a similar diversity in contrast to that of the hypersaline Salt Pond (five phylotypes), where the diversity within cyanobacterial mats was reduced. Using the comparison of identified phylotypes with existing Antarctic sequence data, it was possible to gain further insight into the different levels of distribution of phylotypes identified in the investigated cyanobacterial mat communities of McMurdo Ice Shelf. PMID:15816929

  3. Microcystins and anatoxin-a in Arctic biocrust cyanobacterial communities.

    PubMed

    Chrapusta, Ewelina; Węgrzyn, Michał; Zabaglo, Kornelia; Kaminski, Ariel; Adamski, Michal; Wietrzyk, Paulina; Bialczyk, Jan

    2015-07-01

    In the polar regions cyanobacteria are an important element of plant communities and represent the dominant group of primary producers. They commonly form thick highly diverse biological soil crusts that provide microhabitats for other organisms. Cyanobacteria are also producers of toxic secondary metabolites. In the present study we demonstrated that biocrust-forming cyanobacteria inhabiting the Kaffiøyra Plain, the north-west coast of Spitsbergen, are able to synthesize toxins, especially microcystins (MCs, from 0.123 to 11.058 μg MC-LR per g dry weight, DW) and anatoxin-a (ANTX-a, from 0.322 to 0.633 μg ANTX-a per g DW). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the presence of ANTX-a in the entire polar region. The occurrence of cyanotoxins can exert a long-term impact on organisms co-existing in biocrust communities and can have far-reaching consequences for the entire polar ecosystem. PMID:25937338

  4. Relation between primary liver cancer occurrence and freshwater Cyanobacterial blooms in Serbia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Svirčev, Z.; Miladinov-Mikov, M.; Simeunović, J.; Vidović, M.; Stojanović, D.

    2009-04-01

    Since 1980 cyanobacterial blooms occurred in a large number of reservoirs, lakes and running water ecosystems (rivers and channels) in Serbia. Among 49 reservoirs examined, 32 were found in blooming condition almost every year during last 2 decades. All natural lakes and 12 river and channel localities in Vojvodina province (agricultural part) proved to be sites with cyanobacterial proliferation. The part of Central Serbia is very problematic for ground water supply. For that reason 21 reservoirs serve as drinking water suppliers. Significant and persistant cyanobacterial blooms have been recognized in 9 of them. Samples for cyanotoxin analyses were taken during and after blooms in Celije Reservoir and in drinking water in Krusevac town 2 days later. Concentratins of Microcystin-LR were 460 µg•L-1 and for Microcystin-RR 170 µg•L-1. Drinking water contained 2 and 0.6 µg•L-1, respectively. Serbia consists of 30 administrative units, in three of which studies for Primary Liver Cancer (PLC) were conducted independently: Vojvodina, where drinking-water is supplied only from deep wells where 7 regions were studied, Kosovo with a few high mountain reservoirs for water supply without cyanobacterial proliferation where 6 regions were studied, and Central Serbia, where 17 regions were studied. Central Serbia showed 7 regions with extremly high PLC incidence and 8 regions with lower PLC incidence. In the two investigated periods, the high PLC mortality of 11.6 in 1980-1995 and extremely high PLC incidence of 26 in 2000 was observed in the regions affected by heavy cyanobacterial blooms. In contrast, the regions not affected by the blooms, PLC mortality and incidence rates were substantially lower: from 1980-1995 mortality rate ammounted to 2.7 in Kosovo, 7.6 in Vojvodina, and 8.5 in the non-affected regions of Central Serbia, and in 2000 incidence rate ammounted to 4.1 (Kosovo), 6.6 (Vojvodina), and 7.5 in the non-affected regions of Central Serbia. The uneven

  5. Cyanobacterial tufa calcification in two freshwater streams: ambient environment, chemical thresholds and biological processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merz-Preiß, Martina; Riding, Robert

    1999-07-01

    Calcareous freshwater streams near Bad Urach, southwest Germany, were studied to determine the environmental limits to cyanobacterial calcification. Daily variations in temperature, pH, calcium concentration, and alkalinity were measured at seasonal intervals from September 1993 to January 1995 in two small woodland streams with lengths of 1.0 and 1.5 km. The principal cause of supersaturation in these fast-flowing streams is inorganic carbon dioxide outgassing from resurging groundwater, locally enhanced by turbulence at waterfalls and cascades. Photosynthetic uptake of carbon dioxide and temperature effects are negligible. Nonetheless, organic substrates, particularly cyanobacteria-dominated microbial mats and biofilm, significantly localize precipitation by providing suitable nucleation sites. Precipitation rates on artificial substrates, up to 2.2 mm/yr on limestone, correlate with high Saturation Index values. Copper substrates inhibited microbial colonization and received negligible encrustation. Tufa formation and external calcium carbonate encrustation of cyanobacteria are conspicuous where the annual WATEQ4F Saturation Index exceeds 0.8, and are slightly below 0.7. Calcium carbonate impregnation of cyanobacterial sheaths has not been observed. We infer that in these fast-flowing streams cyanobacteria utilize CO 2 in photosynthesis whereas elsewhere, in sluggish freshwater, cyanobacteria utilize HCO 3-, leading to sheath impregnation by calcium carbonate even where Saturation Index is only 0.2-0.3. Thus, photosynthetic influence on cyanobacterial calcification appears to be negligible in fast-flowing CO 2-rich streams and cyanobacterial calcification takes the form of external encrustation. In slow-flowing CO 2-poor streams and lakes cyanobacteria preferentially utilize bicarbonate and sheath impregnation can result. Modern tropical marine carbonate shelves have saturation indices commonly in the range 0.62-0.82 and cyanobacterial calcification is

  6. A single cyanobacterial ribotype is associated with both red and black bands on diseased corals from Palau.

    PubMed

    Sussman, Meir; Bourne, David G; Willis, Bette L

    2006-03-23

    Filamentous cyanobacteria forming red and black bands (black band disease, BBD) on 3 scleractinian corals from Palau were molecularly identified as belonging to a single ribotype. Red cyanobacterial mats sampled from infections on Pachyseris speciosa and a massive Porites sp. yielded red strains RMS1 and RMS2 respectively; the black cyanobacterial mat sampled from an infection on Montipora sp. yielded black strain BMS1. Following trials of a range of specialized media and culture conditions, 2 media, Grund and ASN-III, were identified as the best for successful isolation and culturing. Cultured cyanobacteria were examined under a light microscope to establish purity, color and morphological appearance. DNA extraction and partial sequencing of the 16S rDNA gene of both red and black cyanobacterial isolates demonstrated 100% sequence identity. These isolated strains were also found to have 99% sequence identity with an uncultured cyanobacterial strain previously identified by molecular techniques as belonging to a cyanobacterial ribotype associated with BBD-infected corals in the Caribbean. This is the first report of the successful isolation and culture of cyanobacterial strains derived from both red bands and BBD. Based on these findings, it is suggested that the classification of these 2 syndromes as separate coral diseases be postponed until further evidence is collected. PMID:16703773

  7. CyanoPhyChe: A Database for Physico-Chemical Properties, Structure and Biochemical Pathway Information of Cyanobacterial Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Arun, P. V. Parvati Sai; Bakku, Ranjith Kumar; Subhashini, Mranu; Singh, Pankaj; Prabhu, N. Prakash; Suzuki, Iwane; Prakash, Jogadhenu S. S.

    2012-01-01

    CyanoPhyChe is a user friendly database that one can browse through for physico-chemical properties, structure and biochemical pathway information of cyanobacterial proteins. We downloaded all the protein sequences from the cyanobacterial genome database for calculating the physico-chemical properties, such as molecular weight, net charge of protein, isoelectric point, molar extinction coefficient, canonical variable for solubility, grand average hydropathy, aliphatic index, and number of charged residues. Based on the physico-chemical properties, we provide the polarity, structural stability and probability of a protein entering in to an inclusion body (PEPIB). We used the data generated on physico-chemical properties, structure and biochemical pathway information of all cyanobacterial proteins to construct CyanoPhyChe. The data can be used for optimizing methods of expression and characterization of cyanobacterial proteins. Moreover, the ‘Search’ and data export options provided will be useful for proteome analysis. Secondary structure was predicted for all the cyanobacterial proteins using PSIPRED tool and the data generated is made accessible to researchers working on cyanobacteria. In addition, external links are provided to biological databases such as PDB and KEGG for molecular structure and biochemical pathway information, respectively. External links are also provided to different cyanobacterial databases. CyanoPhyChe can be accessed from the following URL: http://bif.uohyd.ac.in/cpc. PMID:23185330

  8. Toxin-induced hyperthermic syndromes.

    PubMed

    Rusyniak, Daniel E; Sprague, Jon E

    2005-11-01

    Toxin-induced hyperthermic syndromes are important to consider in the differential diagnosis of patients presenting with fever and muscle rigidity. If untreated, toxin-induced hyperthermia may result in fatal hyperthermia with multisystem organ failure. All of these syndromes have at their center the disruption of normal thermogenic mechanisms, resulting in the activation of the hypothalamus and sympathetic nervous systems.The result of this thermogenic dysregulation is excess heat generation combined with impaired heat dissipation. Although many similarities exist among the clinical presentations and pathophysiologies of toxin-induced hyperthermic syndromes, important differences exist among their triggers and treatments. Serotonin syndrome typically occurs within hours of the addition ofa new serotonergic agent or the abuse of stimulants such as MDMA or methamphetamine. Treatment involves discontinuing the offending agent and administering either a central serotonergic antagonist, such as cyproheptadine or chlorpromazine, a benzodiazepine, or a combination of the two. NMS typically occurs over hours to days in a patient taking a neuroleptic agent; its recommended treatment is generally the combination of a central dopamine agonist, bromocriptine or L-dopa, and dantrolene. In those patients in whom it is difficult to differentiate between serotonin and neuroleptic malignant syndromes, the physical examination may be helpful:clonus and hyperreflexia are more suggestive of serotonin syndrome,whereas lead-pipe rigidity is suggestive of NMS. In patients in whom serotonin syndrome and NMS cannot be differentiated, benzodiazepines represent the safest therapeutic option. MH presents rapidly with jaw rigidity, hyperthermia, and hypercarbia. Although it almost always occurs in the setting of surgical anesthesia, cases have occurred in susceptible individuals during exertion. The treatment of MH involves the use of dantrolene. Future improvements in understanding the

  9. Botulinum toxin: The Midas touch

    PubMed Central

    Shilpa, P. S.; Kaul, Rachna; Sultana, Nishat; Bhat, Suraksha

    2014-01-01

    Botulinum Toxin (BT) is a natural molecule produced during growth and autolysis of bacterium called Clostridium botulinum. Use of BT for cosmetic purposes has gained popularity over past two decades, and recently, other therapeutic uses of BT has been extensively studied. BT is considered as a minimally invasive agent that can be used in the treatment of various orofacial disorders and improving the quality of life in such patients. The objective of this article is to review the nature, mechanism of action of BT, and its application in various head and neck diseases. PMID:24678189

  10. Botulinum toxin: The Midas touch.

    PubMed

    Shilpa, P S; Kaul, Rachna; Sultana, Nishat; Bhat, Suraksha

    2014-01-01

    Botulinum Toxin (BT) is a natural molecule produced during growth and autolysis of bacterium called Clostridium botulinum. Use of BT for cosmetic purposes has gained popularity over past two decades, and recently, other therapeutic uses of BT has been extensively studied. BT is considered as a minimally invasive agent that can be used in the treatment of various orofacial disorders and improving the quality of life in such patients. The objective of this article is to review the nature, mechanism of action of BT, and its application in various head and neck diseases. PMID:24678189

  11. Tremorgenic toxin from Penicillium veruculosum.

    PubMed

    Cole, R J; Kirksey, J W; Moore, J H; Blankenship, B R; Diener, U L; Davis, N D

    1972-08-01

    A new mycotoxin that produces severe tremors and acute toxicity when administered orally or intraperitoneally (ip) to mice and 1-day-old cockerels was obtained from a strain of Penicillium verruculosum Peyronel isolated from peanuts. The ip 50% lethal dose (LD(50)) of this tremorgen was 2.4 mg/kg in mice and 15.2 mg/kg in chickens. Orally administered LD(50) values for the toxin were 126.7 mg/kg in mice and 365.5 mg/kg in chickens. The trivial name "verruculogen" is proposed for this tremorgenic mycotoxin. Physical and chemical characteristics of the mycotoxin are described. PMID:4341967

  12. Tremorgenic Toxin from Penicillium verruculosum

    PubMed Central

    Cole, R. J.; Kirksey, J. W.; Moore, J. H.; Blankenship, B. R.; Diener, U. L.; Davis, N. D.

    1972-01-01

    A new mycotoxin that produces severe tremors and acute toxicity when administered orally or intraperitoneally (ip) to mice and 1-day-old cockerels was obtained from a strain of Penicillium verruculosum Peyronel isolated from peanuts. The ip 50% lethal dose (LD50) of this tremorgen was 2.4 mg/kg in mice and 15.2 mg/kg in chickens. Orally administered LD50 values for the toxin were 126.7 mg/kg in mice and 365.5 mg/kg in chickens. The trivial name „verruculogen” is proposed for this tremorgenic mycotoxin. Physical and chemical characteristics of the mycotoxin are described. PMID:4341967

  13. Cyanobacterial Microcystis aeruginosa lipopolysaccharide elicits release of superoxide anion, thromboxane B₂, cytokines, chemokines, and matrix metalloproteinase-9 by rat microglia.

    PubMed

    Mayer, Alejandro M S; Clifford, Jonathan A; Aldulescu, Monica; Frenkel, Jeffrey A; Holland, Michael A; Hall, Mary L; Glaser, Keith B; Berry, John

    2011-05-01

    Microcystis aeruginosa (M. aeruginosa) is a cosmopolitan Gram-negative cyanobacterium that may contaminate freshwater by releasing toxins, such as lipopolysaccharide (LPS) during aquatic blooms, affecting environmental and human health. The putative toxic effects of cyanobacterial LPS on brain microglia, a glial cell type that constitutes the main leukocyte-dependent source of reactive oxygen species in the central nervous system, are presently unknown. We tested the hypothesis that in vitro concentration- and time-dependent exposure to M. aeruginosa LPS strain UTCC 299 would activate rat microglia and the concomitant generation of superoxide anion (O₂⁻). After a 17-h exposure of microglia to M.aeruginosa LPS, the following concentration-dependent responses were observed: 0.1-100 ng/ml M. aeruginosa LPS enhanced O₂⁻ generation, with limited inflammatory mediator generation; 1000-10,000 ng/ml M. aeruginosa LPS caused thromboxane B₂ (TXB₂), matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), and macrophage inflammatory protein-2 (MIP-2/CXCL2) release, concurrent with maximal O₂⁻ generation; 100,000 ng/mL M. aeruginosa LPS deactivated O₂⁻ production but maintained elevated levels of TXB₂, MMP-9, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin 1-α (IL-1α), and interleukin-6 (IL-6), macrophage inflammatory protein 1α (MIP-1α/CCL3), and MIP-2/CXCL2, with concomitant lactic dehydrogenase release. Although M. aeruginosa LPS was consistently less potent than Escherichia coli LPS, with the exception of O₂⁻, TXB₂, and MCP-1/CCL2 generation, it was more efficacious because higher levels of MMP-9, TNF-α, IL-1α, IL-6, MIP-1α/CCL3, and MIP-2/CXCL2 were produced. Our in vitro studies suggest that one or more of the inflammatory mediators released during M. aeruginosa LPS stimulation of microglia may play a critical role in the subsequent ability of microglia to generate O₂⁻. To our knowledge, this is the first experimental evidence that LPS isolated from a M

  14. Multifunctional-autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX) Toxins of Vibrios

    PubMed Central

    Satchell, Karla J. F.

    2015-01-01

    Multifunctional-autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX) toxins are a heterogeneous group of toxins found in a number of Vibrio species and other Gram-negative bacteria. The toxins are composed of conserved repeat regions and an autoprocessing protease domain that together function as a delivery platform for transfer of cytotoxic and cytopathic domains into target eukaryotic cell cytosol. Within the cells, the effectors can alter biological processes such as signaling or cytoskeletal structure, presumably to the benefit of the bacterium. Ten effector domains are found in the various Vibrio MARTX toxins, although any one toxin carries only two to five effector domains. The specific toxin variant expressed by a species can be modified by homologous recombination to acquire or lose effector domains, such that different strains within the same species can express distinct variants of the toxins. This review examines the conserved structural elements of the MARTX toxins and details the different toxin arrangements carried by Vibrio species and strains. The catalytic function of domains and how the toxins are linked to pathogenesis of human and animals is described. PMID:26185092

  15. Plant Insecticidal Toxins in Ecological Networks

    PubMed Central

    Ibanez, Sébastien; Gallet, Christiane; Després, Laurence

    2012-01-01

    Plant secondary metabolites play a key role in plant-insect interactions, whether constitutive or induced, C- or N-based. Anti-herbivore defences against insects can act as repellents, deterrents, growth inhibitors or cause direct mortality. In turn, insects have evolved a variety of strategies to act against plant toxins, e.g., avoidance, excretion, sequestration and degradation of the toxin, eventually leading to a co-evolutionary arms race between insects and plants and to co-diversification. Anti-herbivore defences also negatively impact mutualistic partners, possibly leading to an ecological cost of toxin production. However, in other cases toxins can also be used by plants involved in mutualistic interactions to exclude inadequate partners and to modify the cost/benefit ratio of mutualism to their advantage. When considering the whole community, toxins have an effect at many trophic levels. Aposematic insects sequester toxins to defend themselves against predators. Depending on the ecological context, toxins can either increase insects’ vulnerability to parasitoids and entomopathogens or protect them, eventually leading to self-medication. We conclude that studying the community-level impacts of plant toxins can provide new insights into the synthesis between community and evolutionary ecology. PMID:22606374

  16. Target-Driven Evolution of Scorpion Toxins.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shangfei; Gao, Bin; Zhu, Shunyi

    2015-01-01

    It is long known that peptide neurotoxins derived from a diversity of venomous animals evolve by positive selection following gene duplication, yet a force that drives their adaptive evolution remains a mystery. By using maximum-likelihood models of codon substitution, we analyzed molecular adaptation in scorpion sodium channel toxins from a specific species and found ten positively selected sites, six of which are located at the core-domain of scorpion α-toxins, a region known to interact with two adjacent loops in the voltage-sensor domain (DIV) of sodium channels, as validated by our newly constructed computational model of toxin-channel complex. Despite the lack of positive selection signals in these two loops, they accumulated extensive sequence variations by relaxed purifying selection in prey and predators of scorpions. The evolutionary variability in the toxin-bound regions of sodium channels indicates that accelerated substitutions in the multigene family of scorpion toxins is a consequence of dealing with the target diversity. This work presents an example of atypical co-evolution between animal toxins and their molecular targets, in which toxins suffered from more prominent selective pressure from the channels of their competitors. Our discovery helps explain the evolutionary rationality of gene duplication of toxins in a specific venomous species. PMID:26444071

  17. Stool Test: C. Difficile Toxin (For Parents)

    MedlinePlus

    ... Things to Know About Zika & Pregnancy Stool Test: C. Difficile Toxin KidsHealth > For Parents > Stool Test: C. Difficile Toxin Print A A A Text Size ... Questions en español Muestra de materia fecal: toxina C. difficile What It Is A stool (feces) sample ...

  18. [T-2 toxin: occurrence and detection].

    PubMed

    Dohnal, V; Jezková, A; Kuca, K; Jun, D

    2007-07-01

    The paper is focused on the occurrence and methods for the detection of T-2 toxin, one of the most toxic trichothecene Fusarium mycotoxin. Due to its physical-chemical properties and high toxicity, T-2 toxin is classified as a potential biological warfare agent. PMID:17969315

  19. The Ins and Outs of Anthrax Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Friebe, Sarah; van der Goot, F. Gisou; Bürgi, Jérôme

    2016-01-01

    Anthrax is a severe, although rather rare, infectious disease that is caused by the Gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. The infectious form is the spore and the major virulence factors of the bacterium are its poly-γ-D-glutamic acid capsule and the tripartite anthrax toxin. The discovery of the anthrax toxin receptors in the early 2000s has allowed in-depth studies on the mechanisms of anthrax toxin cellular entry and translocation from the endocytic compartment to the cytoplasm. The toxin generally hijacks the endocytic pathway of CMG2 and TEM8, the two anthrax toxin receptors, in order to reach the endosomes. From there, the pore-forming subunit of the toxin inserts into endosomal membranes and enables translocation of the two catalytic subunits. Insertion of the pore-forming unit preferentially occurs in intraluminal vesicles rather than the limiting membrane of the endosome, leading to the translocation of the enzymatic subunits in the lumen of these vesicles. This has important consequences that will be discussed. Ultimately, the toxins reach the cytosol where they act on their respective targets. Target modification has severe consequences on cell behavior, in particular on cells of the immune system, allowing the spread of the bacterium, in severe cases leading to host death. Here we will review the literature on anthrax disease with a focus on the structure of the toxin, how it enters cells and its immunological effects. PMID:26978402

  20. The Ins and Outs of Anthrax Toxin.

    PubMed

    Friebe, Sarah; van der Goot, F Gisou; Bürgi, Jérôme

    2016-03-01

    Anthrax is a severe, although rather rare, infectious disease that is caused by the Gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. The infectious form is the spore and the major virulence factors of the bacterium are its poly-γ-D-glutamic acid capsule and the tripartite anthrax toxin. The discovery of the anthrax toxin receptors in the early 2000s has allowed in-depth studies on the mechanisms of anthrax toxin cellular entry and translocation from the endocytic compartment to the cytoplasm. The toxin generally hijacks the endocytic pathway of CMG2 and TEM8, the two anthrax toxin receptors, in order to reach the endosomes. From there, the pore-forming subunit of the toxin inserts into endosomal membranes and enables translocation of the two catalytic subunits. Insertion of the pore-forming unit preferentially occurs in intraluminal vesicles rather than the limiting membrane of the endosome, leading to the translocation of the enzymatic subunits in the lumen of these vesicles. This has important consequences that will be discussed. Ultimately, the toxins reach the cytosol where they act on their respective targets. Target modification has severe consequences on cell behavior, in particular on cells of the immune system, allowing the spread of the bacterium, in severe cases leading to host death. Here we will review the literature on anthrax disease with a focus on the structure of the toxin, how it enters cells and its immunological effects. PMID:26978402

  1. The biosynthesis of cyanobacterial sunscreen scytonemin in intertidal microbial mat communities

    PubMed Central

    Balskus, Emily P.; Case, Rebecca J.; Walsh, Christopher T.

    2011-01-01

    We have examined the biosynthesis and accumulation of cyanobacterial sunscreening pigment scytonemin within intertidal microbial mat communities using a combination of chemical, molecular, and phylogenetic approaches. Both laminated (layered) and non-laminated mats contained scytonemin, with morphologically distinct mats having different cyanobacterial community compositions. Within laminated microbial mats, regions with and without scytonemin had different dominant oxygenic phototrophs, with scytonemin-producing areas consisting primarily of Lyngbya aestuarii and scytonemin-deficient areas dominated by a eukaryotic alga. The non-laminated mat was populated by a diverse group of cyanobacteria and did not contain algae. The amplification and phylogenetic assignment of scytonemin biosynthetic gene scyC from laminated mat samples confirmed that the dominant cyanobacterium in these areas, L. aestuarii, is likely responsible for sunscreen production. This study is the first to utilize an understanding of the molecular basis of scytonemin assembly to explore its synthesis and function within natural microbial communities. PMID:21501195

  2. Oligopeptides as Biomarkers of Cyanobacterial Subpopulations. Toward an Understanding of Their Biological Role

    PubMed Central

    Agha, Ramsy; Quesada, Antonio

    2014-01-01

    Cyanobacterial oligopeptides comprise a wide range of bioactive and/or toxic compounds. While current research is strongly focused on exploring new oligopeptide variants and their bioactive properties, the biological role of these compounds remains elusive. Oligopeptides production abilities show a remarkably patchy distribution among conspecific strains. This observation has prompted alternative approaches to unveil their adaptive value, based on the use of cellular oligopeptide compositions as biomarkers of intraspecific subpopulations or chemotypes in freshwater cyanobacteria. Studies addressing the diversity, distribution, and dynamics of chemotypes in natural systems have provided important insights into the structure and ecology of cyanobacterial populations and the adaptive value of oligopeptides. This review presents an overview of the fundamentals of this emerging approach and its most relevant findings, and discusses our current understanding of the role of oligopeptides in the ecology of cyanobacteria. PMID:24960202

  3. Distribution and dynamics of electron transport complexes in cyanobacterial thylakoid membranes.

    PubMed

    Liu, Lu-Ning

    2016-03-01

    The cyanobacterial thylakoid membrane represents a system that can carry out both oxygenic photosynthesis and respiration simultaneously. The organization, interactions and mobility of components of these two electron transport pathways are indispensable to the biosynthesis of thylakoid membrane modules and the optimization of bioenergetic electron flow in response to environmental changes. These are of fundamental importance to the metabolic robustness and plasticity of cyanobacteria. This review summarizes our current knowledge about the distribution and dynamics of electron transport components in cyanobacterial thylakoid membranes. Global understanding of the principles that govern the dynamic regulation of electron transport pathways in nature will provide a framework for the design and synthetic engineering of new bioenergetic machinery to improve photosynthesis and biofuel production. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Organization and dynamics of bioenergetic systems in bacteria, edited by Conrad Mullineaux. PMID:26619924

  4. The biogeography and phylogeny of unicellular cyanobacterial symbionts in sponges from Australia and the Mediterranean.

    PubMed

    Usher, K M; Fromont, J; Sutton, D C; Toze, S

    2004-08-01

    The distribution, host associations, and phylogenetic relationships of the unicellular cyanobacterial symbionts of selected marine sponges were investigated with direct 16s rDNA sequencing. The results indicate that the symbionts of the marine sponges Aplysina aerophoba, Ircinia variabilis, and Petrosia ficiformis from the Mediterranean, four Chondrilla species from Australia and the Mediterranean, and Haliclona sp. from Australia support a diversity of symbionts comprising at least four closely related species of Synechococcus. These include the symbionts presently described as Aphanocapsa feldmannii from P. ficiformis and Chondrilla nucula. A fifth symbiont from Cymbastela marshae in Australia is an undescribed symbiont of sponges, related to Oscillatoria rosea. One symbiont, Candidatus Synechococcus spongiarum, was found in diverse sponge genera in the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian, Pacific, and Southern oceans, whereas others were apparently more restricted in host association and distribution. These results are discussed in terms of the biodiversity and biogeographic distributions of cyanobacterial symbionts. PMID:15546037

  5. Distribution and dynamics of electron transport complexes in cyanobacterial thylakoid membranes☆

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Lu-Ning

    2016-01-01

    The cyanobacterial thylakoid membrane represents a system that can carry out both oxygenic photosynthesis and respiration simultaneously. The organization, interactions and mobility of components of these two electron transport pathways are indispensable to the biosynthesis of thylakoid membrane modules and the optimization of bioenergetic electron flow in response to environmental changes. These are of fundamental importance to the metabolic robustness and plasticity of cyanobacteria. This review summarizes our current knowledge about the distribution and dynamics of electron transport components in cyanobacterial thylakoid membranes. Global understanding of the principles that govern the dynamic regulation of electron transport pathways in nature will provide a framework for the design and synthetic engineering of new bioenergetic machinery to improve photosynthesis and biofuel production. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Organization and dynamics of bioenergetic systems in bacteria, edited by Conrad Mullineaux. PMID:26619924

  6. Thermally Altered Silurian Cyanobacterial Mats: A Key to Earth's Oldest Fossils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kazmierczak, Józef; Kremer, Barbara

    2009-10-01

    Diagenetic changes in thermally altered cyanobacterial mats from early Silurian black radiolarian cherts of southwestern Poland (Bardzkie Montains, Sudetes) have been studied. These early diagenetically silicified mats are composed of variously degraded remains of benthic microbes that resemble some modern chroococcalean and pleurocapsalean cyanobacteria. Two modes of degradational processes have been recognized in the studied mats: (i) early postmortem biodegradation and (ii) late diagenetic thermal or thermobaric degradation. The latter led to partial transformation of the fossilized organic remnants of cyanobacterial sheaths and capsules, which resulted in the formation of objects morphologically distant from the original microbiota but preserved features that allow for their identification as bona fide biogenic structures. Some of these thermally generated Silurian fossils are highly similar to the controversial microfossil-like carbonaceous structures described from the Early Archean Apex Chert of Australia. This similarity opens a promising way for credible recognition of remnants of cyanobacteria and similar microbiota in other thermally metamorphosed Archean sedimentary rocks

  7. Thermally altered Silurian cyanobacterial mats: a key to Earth's oldest fossils.

    PubMed

    Kazmierczak, Józef; Kremer, Barbara

    2009-10-01

    Diagenetic changes in thermally altered cyanobacterial mats from early Silurian black radiolarian cherts of southwestern Poland (Bardzkie Montains, Sudetes) have been studied. These early diagenetically silicified mats are composed of variously degraded remains of benthic microbes that resemble some modern chroococcalean and pleurocapsalean cyanobacteria. Two modes of degradational processes have been recognized in the studied mats: (i) early postmortem biodegradation and (ii) late diagenetic thermal or thermobaric degradation. The latter led to partial transformation of the fossilized organic remnants of cyanobacterial sheaths and capsules, which resulted in the formation of objects morphologically distant from the original microbiota but preserved features that allow for their identification as bona fide biogenic structures. Some of these thermally generated Silurian fossils are highly similar to the controversial microfossil-like carbonaceous structures described from the Early Archean Apex Chert of Australia. This similarity opens a promising way for credible recognition of remnants of cyanobacteria and similar microbiota in other thermally metamorphosed Archean sedimentary rocks. PMID:19845445

  8. Novel approaches to microalgal and cyanobacterial cultivation for bioenergy and biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Heimann, Kirsten

    2016-04-01

    Growing demand for energy and food by the global population mandates finding water-efficient renewable resources. Microalgae/cyanobacteria have shown demonstrated capacity to contribute to global energy and food security. Yet, despite proven process technology and established net energy-effectiveness and cost-effectiveness through co-product generation, microalgal biofuels are not a reality. This review outlines novel biofilm cultivation strategies that are water-smart, the opportunity for direct energy conversion via anaerobic digestion of N2-fixing cyanobacterial biomass and integrative strategies for microalgal biodiesel and/or biocrude production via supercritical methanol-direct transesterification and hydrothermal liquefaction, respectively. Additionally, fermentation of cyanobacterial biofilms could supply bioethanol to feed wet transesterification to biodiesel conversion for on-site use in remote locations. PMID:26953746

  9. Antimicrobial effects of marine algal extracts and cyanobacterial pure compounds against five foodborne pathogens.

    PubMed

    Dussault, Dominic; Vu, Khanh Dang; Vansach, Tifanie; Horgen, F David; Lacroix, Monique

    2016-05-15

    The marine environment is a proven source of structurally complex and biologically active compounds. In this study, the antimicrobial effects of a small collection of marine-derived extracts and isolates, were evaluated against 5 foodborne pathogens using a broth dilution assay. Results demonstrated that algal extracts from Padina and Ulva species and cyanobacterial compounds antillatoxin B, laxaphycins A, B and B3, isomalyngamide A, and malyngamides C, I and J showed antimicrobial activity against Gram positive foodborne pathogens (Listeria monocytogenes, Bacillus cereus and Staphylococcus aureus) at low concentrations (⩽ 500 μg/ml). None of the algal extracts or cyanobacterial isolates had antibacterial activity against Gram negative bacteria (Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium). PMID:26775951

  10. Synechococcus elongatus UTEX 2973, a fast growing cyanobacterial chassis for biosynthesis using light and CO2

    SciTech Connect

    Yu, Jingjie; Liberton, Michelle; Cliften, Paul F.; Head, Richard D.; Jacobs, Jon M.; Smith, Richard D.; Koppenaal, David W.; Brand, Jerry J.; Pakrasi, Himadri B.

    2015-01-30

    Photosynthetic microbes are of emerging interest as production organisms in biotechnology because they can grow autotrophically using sunlight, an abundant energy source, and CO2, a greenhouse gas. Important traits for such microbes are fast growth and amenability to genetic manipulation. Here we describe Synechococcus elongatus UTEX 2973, a unicellular cyanobacterium capable of rapid autotrophic growth, comparable to heterotrophic industrial hosts such as yeast. Synechococcus 2973 can be readily transformed for facile generation of desired knockout and knock-in mutations. Genome sequencing coupled with global proteomics studies revealed that Synechococcus 2973 is a close relative of the widely studied cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942, an organism that grows more than two times slower. A small number of nucleotide changes are the only significant differences between the genomes of these two cyanobacterial strains. Thus, our study has unraveled genetic determinants necessary for rapid growth of cyanobacterial strains of significant industrial potential.

  11. Synechococcus elongatus UTEX 2973, a fast growing cyanobacterial chassis for biosynthesis using light and CO2

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Yu, Jingjie; Liberton, Michelle; Cliften, Paul F.; Head, Richard D.; Jacobs, Jon M.; Smith, Richard D.; Koppenaal, David W.; Brand, Jerry J.; Pakrasi, Himadri B.

    2015-01-30

    Photosynthetic microbes are of emerging interest as production organisms in biotechnology because they can grow autotrophically using sunlight, an abundant energy source, and CO2, a greenhouse gas. Important traits for such microbes are fast growth and amenability to genetic manipulation. Here we describe Synechococcus elongatus UTEX 2973, a unicellular cyanobacterium capable of rapid autotrophic growth, comparable to heterotrophic industrial hosts such as yeast. Synechococcus 2973 can be readily transformed for facile generation of desired knockout and knock-in mutations. Genome sequencing coupled with global proteomics studies revealed that Synechococcus 2973 is a close relative of the widely studied cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatusmore » PCC 7942, an organism that grows more than two times slower. A small number of nucleotide changes are the only significant differences between the genomes of these two cyanobacterial strains. Thus, our study has unraveled genetic determinants necessary for rapid growth of cyanobacterial strains of significant industrial potential.« less

  12. Brown spider dermonecrotic toxin directly induces nephrotoxicity

    SciTech Connect

    Chaim, Olga Meiri; Sade, Youssef Bacila; Bertoni da Silveira, Rafael; Toma, Leny; Kalapothakis, Evanguedes; Chavez-Olortegui, Carlos; Mangili, Oldemir Carlos; Gremski, Waldemiro; Dietrich, Carl Peter von; Nader, Helena B.; Sanches Veiga, Silvio . E-mail: veigass@ufpr.br

    2006-02-15

    Brown spider (Loxosceles genus) venom can induce dermonecrotic lesions at the bite site and systemic manifestations including fever, vomiting, convulsions, disseminated intravascular coagulation, hemolytic anemia and acute renal failure. The venom is composed of a mixture of proteins with several molecules biochemically and biologically well characterized. The mechanism by which the venom induces renal damage is unknown. By using mice exposed to Loxosceles intermedia recombinant dermonecrotic toxin (LiRecDT), we showed direct induction of renal injuries. Microscopic analysis of renal biopsies from dermonecrotic toxin-treated mice showed histological alterations including glomerular edema and tubular necrosis. Hyalinization of tubules with deposition of proteinaceous material in the tubule lumen, tubule epithelial cell vacuoles, tubular edema and epithelial cell lysis was also observed. Leukocytic infiltration was neither observed in the glomerulus nor the tubules. Renal vessels showed no sign of inflammatory response. Additionally, biochemical analyses showed such toxin-induced changes in renal function as urine alkalinization, hematuria and azotemia with elevation of blood urea nitrogen levels. Immunofluorescence with dermonecrotic toxin antibodies and confocal microscopy analysis showed deposition and direct binding of this toxin to renal intrinsic structures. By immunoblotting with a hyperimmune dermonecrotic toxin antiserum on renal lysates from toxin-treated mice, we detected a positive signal at the region of 33-35 kDa, which strengthens the idea that renal failure is directly induced by dermonecrotic toxin. Immunofluorescence reaction with dermonecrotic toxin antibodies revealed deposition and binding of this toxin directly in MDCK epithelial cells in culture. Similarly, dermonecrotic toxin treatment caused morphological alterations of MDCK cells including cytoplasmic vacuoles, blebs, evoked impaired spreading and detached cells from each other and from

  13. The toxin component of targeted anti-tumor toxins determines their efficacy increase by saponins.

    PubMed

    Weng, Alexander; Thakur, Mayank; Beceren-Braun, Figen; Bachran, Diana; Bachran, Christopher; Riese, Sebastian B; Jenett-Siems, Kristina; Gilabert-Oriol, Roger; Melzig, Matthias F; Fuchs, Hendrik

    2012-06-01

    Tumor-targeting protein toxins are composed of a toxic enzyme coupled to a specific cell binding domain that targets cancer-associated antigens. The anti-tumor treatment by targeted toxins is accompanied by dose-limiting side effects. The future prospects of targeted toxins for therapeutic use in humans will be determined by reduce side effects. Certain plant secondary metabolites (saponins) were shown to increase the efficacy of a particular epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-targeted toxin, paralleled by a tremendous decrease of side effects. This study was conducted in order to investigate the effects of substituting different toxin moieties fused to an EGF ligand binding domain on the augmentative ability of saponins for each against therapeutic potential of the saponin-mediated efficacy increase for different anti-tumor toxins targeting the EGFR. We designed several EGFR-targeted toxins varying in the toxic moiety. Each targeted toxin was used in combination with a purified saponin (SA1641), isolated from the ornamental plant Gypsophila paniculata L. SA1641 was characterized and the SA1641-mediated efficacy increase was investigated on EGFR-transfected NIH-3T3 cells. We observed a high dependency of the SA1641-mediated efficacy increase on the nature of toxin used for the construction of the targeted toxin, indicating high specificity. Structural alignments revealed a high homology between saporin and dianthin-30, the two toxic moieties that benefit most from the combination with SA1641. We further demonstrate that SA1641 did not influence the plasma membrane permeability, indicating an intracellular interaction of SA1641 and the toxin components of targeted toxins. Surface plasmon resonance measurements point to a transient binding of SA1641 to the toxin components of targeted toxins. PMID:22309811

  14. Synthesis of the cyanobacterial metabolite nostodione A, structural studies and potent antiparasitic activity against Toxoplasma gondii.

    PubMed

    McNulty, James; Keskar, Kunal; Jenkins, Hilary A; Werstiuk, Nick H; Bordón, Claudia; Yolken, Robert; Jones-Brando, Lorraine

    2015-10-21

    A total synthesis of the cyanobacterial natural product nostodione A is reported involving a convergent, diversity-oriented route, enabling the assembly of a mini-library of structural analogues. The first single crystal X-ray structural determination on a member of this series is reported along with SAR studies identifying potent inhibitors of invasion and replication of the parasitic protozoan Toxoplasma gondii. PMID:26291306

  15. Diurnal Cycles of Sulfate Reduction under Oxic Conditions in Cyanobacterial Mats

    PubMed Central

    Fründ, Claudia; Cohen, Yehuda

    1992-01-01

    Diurnal cycles of sulfate reduction were examined in a well-developed cyanobacterial mat which grew in an outdoor experimental hypersaline pond system at a constant salinity of 75 ± 5% for 3 years. Vertical profiles of sulfate reduction were determined for the upper 12 mm of the microbial mat. Sulfate reduction activities were compared with diurnal variations of oxygen and sulfide concentrations measured by microelectrodes. Significant activity of sulfate-reducing bacteria was detected under aerobic conditions during the daytime, with maximal activity at 2 p.m. When comparing sulfate reduction activities in sediment cores taken at 6 a.m. and 12 a.m. and incubated at a constant temperature in the light and in the dark, a distinct stimulation of the activity in the vertical profile of sulfate reduction by light was evident. It is therefore concluded that the maximal in situ activities, measured at 2 p.m. in the chemocline of the cyanobacterial mat, cannot be attributed to diurnal changes of temperature alone. The response of sulfate-reducing bacteria to the addition of specific carbon sources was significantly different in the cyanobacterial layer, the anoxygenic phototrophic bacterial layer, and the permanently reduced layer of the microbial mat. Sulfate reduction in the mat layer exposed to high oxygen concentrations as a result of cyanobacterial oxygenic photosynthesis was enhanced only by glycolate; in the microzone where the chemocline is found during the daytime, ethanol was the only carbon source to enhance sulfate reduction, while both ethanol and lactate enhanced this activity in the permanently reduced zone. PMID:16348641

  16. Cyanobacterial biomass as carbohydrate and nutrient feedstock for bioethanol production by yeast fermentation

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Microbial bioconversion of photosynthetic biomass is a promising approach to the generation of biofuels and other bioproducts. However, rapid, high-yield, and simple processes are essential for successful applications. Here, biomass from the rapidly growing photosynthetic marine cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 was fermented using yeast into bioethanol. Results The cyanobacterium accumulated a total carbohydrate content of about 60% of cell dry weight when cultivated under nitrate limitation. The cyanobacterial cells were harvested by centrifugation and subjected to enzymatic hydrolysis using lysozyme and two alpha-glucanases. This enzymatic hydrolysate was fermented into ethanol by Saccharomyces cerevisiae without further treatment. All enzyme treatments and fermentations were carried out in the residual growth medium of the cyanobacteria with the only modification being that pH was adjusted to the optimal value. The highest ethanol yield and concentration obtained was 0.27 g ethanol per g cell dry weight and 30 g ethanol L-1, respectively. About 90% of the glucose in the biomass was converted to ethanol. The cyanobacterial hydrolysate was rapidly fermented (up to 20 g ethanol L-1 day-1) even in the absence of any other nutrient additions to the fermentation medium. Conclusions Cyanobacterial biomass was hydrolyzed using a simple enzymatic treatment and fermented into ethanol more rapidly and to higher concentrations than previously reported for similar approaches using cyanobacteria or microalgae. Importantly, as well as fermentable carbohydrates, the cyanobacterial hydrolysate contained additional nutrients that promoted fermentation. This hydrolysate is therefore a promising substitute for the relatively expensive nutrient additives (such as yeast extract) commonly used for Saccharomyces fermentations. PMID:24739806

  17. Experimental additions of aluminum sulfateand ammonium nitrate to in situ mesocosms toreduce cyanobacterial biovolume and microcystinconcentration

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harris, Theodore D.; Wilhelm, Frank M.; Graham, Jennifer L.; Loftin, Keith A.

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that nitrogen additions to increase the total nitrogen:total phosphorus (TN:TP) ratio may reduce cyanobacterial biovolume and microcystin concentration in reservoirs. In systems where TP is >100 μg/L, however, nitrogen additions to increase the TN:TP ratio could cause ammonia, nitrate, or nitrite toxicity to terrestrial and aquatic organisms. Reducing phosphorus via aluminum sulfate (alum) may be needed prior to nitrogen additions aimed at increasing the TN:TP ratio.We experimentally tested this sequential management approach in large in situ mesocosms (70.7 m3) to examine effects on cyanobacteria and microcystin concentration. Because alum removes nutrients and most seston from the water column, alum treatment reduced both TN and TP, leaving post-treatment TN:TP ratios similar to pre-treatment ratios. Cyanobacterial biovolume was reduced after alum addition, but the percent composition (i.e., relative) cyanobacterial abundance remained unchanged. A single ammonium nitrate (nitrogen) addition increased the TN:TP ratio 7-fold. After the TN:TP ratio was >50 (by weight), cyanobacterial biovolume and abundance were reduced, and chrysophyte and cryptophyte biovolume and abundance increased compared to the alum treatment. Microcystin was not detectable until the TN:TP ratio was <50. Although both treatments reduced cyanobacteria, only the nitrogen treatment seemed to stimulate energy flow from primary producers to zooplankton, which suggests that combining alum and nitrogen treatments may be a viable in-lake management strategy to reduce cyanobacteria and possibly microcystin concentrations in high-phosphorus systems. Additional studies are needed to define best management practices before combined alum and nitrogen additions are implemented as a reservoir management strategy.

  18. The composition of the global and feature specific cyanobacterial core-genomes

    PubMed Central

    Simm, Stefan; Keller, Mario; Selymesi, Mario; Schleiff, Enrico

    2015-01-01

    Cyanobacteria are photosynthetic prokaryotes important for many ecosystems with a high potential for biotechnological usage e.g., in the production of bioactive molecules. Either asks for a deep understanding of the functionality of cyanobacteria and their interaction with the environment. This in part can be inferred from the analysis of their genomes or proteomes. Today, many cyanobacterial genomes have been sequenced and annotated. This information can be used to identify biological pathways present in all cyanobacteria as proteins involved in such processes are encoded by a so called core-genome. However, beside identification of fundamental processes, genes specific for certain cyanobacterial features can be identified by a holistic genome analysis as well. We identified 559 genes that define the core-genome of 58 analyzed cyanobacteria, as well as three genes likely to be signature genes for thermophilic and 57 genes likely to be signature genes for heterocyst-forming cyanobacteria. To get insights into cyanobacterial systems for the interaction with the environment we also inspected the diversity of the outer membrane proteome with focus on β-barrel proteins. We observed that most of the transporting outer membrane β-barrel proteins are not globally conserved in the cyanobacterial phylum. In turn, the occurrence of β-barrel proteins shows high strain specificity. The core set of outer membrane proteins globally conserved in cyanobacteria comprises three proteins only, namely the outer membrane β-barrel assembly protein Omp85, the lipid A transfer protein LptD, and an OprB-type porin. Thus, we conclude that cyanobacteria have developed individual strategies for the interaction with the environment, while other intracellular processes like the regulation of the protein homeostasis are globally conserved. PMID:25852675

  19. Evidence of a chimeric genome in the cyanobacterial ancestor of plastids

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is a vexing fact of life for microbial phylogeneticists. Given the substantial rates of HGT observed in modern-day bacterial chromosomes, it is envisaged that ancient prokaryotic genomes must have been similarly chimeric. But where can one find an ancient prokaryotic genome that has maintained its ancestral condition to address this issue? An excellent candidate is the cyanobacterial endosymbiont that was harnessed over a billion years ago by a heterotrophic protist, giving rise to the plastid. Genetic remnants of the endosymbiont are still preserved in plastids as a highly reduced chromosome encoding 54 – 264 genes. These data provide an ideal target to assess genome chimericism in an ancient cyanobacterial lineage. Results Here we demonstrate that the origin of the plastid-encoded gene cluster for menaquinone/phylloquinone biosynthesis in the extremophilic red algae Cyanidiales contradicts a cyanobacterial genealogy. These genes are relics of an ancestral cluster related to homologs in Chlorobi/Gammaproteobacteria that we hypothesize was established by HGT in the progenitor of plastids, thus providing a 'footprint' of genome chimericism in ancient cyanobacteria. In addition to menB, four components of the original gene cluster (menF, menD, menC, and menH) are now encoded in the nuclear genome of the majority of non-Cyanidiales algae and plants as the unique tetra-gene fusion named PHYLLO. These genes are monophyletic in Plantae and chromalveolates, indicating that loci introduced by HGT into the ancestral cyanobacterium were moved over time into the host nucleus. Conclusion Our study provides unambiguous evidence for the existence of genome chimericism in ancient cyanobacteria. In addition we show genes that originated via HGT in the cyanobacterial ancestor of the plastid made their way to the host nucleus via endosymbiotic gene transfer (EGT). PMID:18433492

  20. Hydrogen metabolism by decomposing cyanobacterial aggregates in Big Soda Lake, Nevada

    SciTech Connect

    Oremland, R.S.

    1983-05-01

    Hydrogen production by incubated cyanobacterial epiphytes occurred only in the dark, was stimulated by C/sub 2/H/sub 2/, and was inhibited by O/sub 2/. Addition of NO/sub 3//sup -/ inhibited dark, anaerobic H/sub 2/ production, whereas the addition of NH/sub 4//sup +/ inhibited N/sub 2/ fixation (C/sub 2/H/sub 2/ reduction) but not dark H/sub 2/ production. Aerobically incubated cyanobacterial aggregates consumed H/sub 2/, but light-incubated rates (3.6 mu mol of H/sub 2/ g-1 h-1) were statistically equivalent to dark uptake rates (4.8 mu mol of H/sub 2/ g-1 h-1), which were statistically equivalent to dark, anaerobic production rates (2.5 to 10 mu mol of H/sub 2/ g-1 h-1). Production rates of H/sub 2/ were fourfold higher for aggregates in a more advanced stage of decomposition. Enrichment cultures of H/sub 2/-producing fermentative bacteria were recovered from freshly harvested, H/sub 2/-producing cyanobacterial aggregates. Hydrogen production in these cyanobacterial communities appears to be caused by the resident bacterial flora and not by the cyanobacteria. In situ areal estimates of dark H/sub 2/ production by submerged epiphytes (6.8 mu mol of H/sub 2/ m-2 h-1) were much lower than rates of light-driven N/sub 2/ fixation by the epiphytic cyanobacteria (310 mu mol of C/sub 2/H/sub 4/ meters -2 h-1). (26 Refs.)

  1. Flux Balance Analysis of Cyanobacterial Metabolism: The Metabolic Network of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803

    PubMed Central

    Knoop, Henning; Gründel, Marianne; Zilliges, Yvonne; Lehmann, Robert; Hoffmann, Sabrina; Lockau, Wolfgang; Steuer, Ralf

    2013-01-01

    Cyanobacteria are versatile unicellular phototrophic microorganisms that are highly abundant in many environments. Owing to their capability to utilize solar energy and atmospheric carbon dioxide for growth, cyanobacteria are increasingly recognized as a prolific resource for the synthesis of valuable chemicals and various biofuels. To fully harness the metabolic capabilities of cyanobacteria necessitates an in-depth understanding of the metabolic interconversions taking place during phototrophic growth, as provided by genome-scale reconstructions of microbial organisms. Here we present an extended reconstruction and analysis of the metabolic network of the unicellular cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. Building upon several recent reconstructions of cyanobacterial metabolism, unclear reaction steps are experimentally validated and the functional consequences of unknown or dissenting pathway topologies are discussed. The updated model integrates novel results with respect to the cyanobacterial TCA cycle, an alleged glyoxylate shunt, and the role of photorespiration in cellular growth. Going beyond conventional flux-balance analysis, we extend the computational analysis to diurnal light/dark cycles of cyanobacterial metabolism. PMID:23843751

  2. Role of Cyanobacterial Exopolysaccharides in Phototrophic Biofilms and in Complex Microbial Mats

    PubMed Central

    Rossi, Federico; De Philippis, Roberto

    2015-01-01

    Exopolysaccharides (EPSs) are an important class of biopolymers with great ecological importance. In natural environments, they are a common feature of microbial biofilms, where they play key protective and structural roles. As the primary colonizers of constrained environments, such as desert soils and lithic and exposed substrates, cyanobacteria are the first contributors to the synthesis of the EPSs constituting the extracellular polymeric matrix that favors the formation of microbial associations with varying levels of complexity called biofilms. Cyanobacterial colonization represents the first step for the formation of biofilms with different levels of complexity. In all of the possible systems in which cyanobacteria are involved, the synthesis of EPSs contributes a structurally-stable and hydrated microenvironment, as well as chemical/physical protection against biotic and abiotic stress factors. Notwithstanding the important roles of cyanobacterial EPSs, many aspects related to their roles and the relative elicited biotic and abiotic factors have still to be clarified. The aim of this survey is to outline the state-of-the-art of the importance of the cyanobacterial EPS excretion, both for the producing cells and for the microbial associations in which cyanobacteria are a key component. PMID:25837843

  3. Diversity of cyanobacterial biomarker genes from the stromatolites of Shark Bay, Western Australia.

    PubMed

    Garby, Tamsyn J; Walter, Malcolm R; Larkum, Anthony W D; Neilan, Brett A

    2013-05-01

    Families of closely related chemical compounds, which are relatively resistant to degradation, are often used as biomarkers to help trace the evolutionary history of early groups of organisms and the environments in which they lived. Biomarkers derived from hopanoid variations are particularly useful in determining bacterial community compositions. 2-Methylhopananoids have been thought to be diagnostic for cyanobacteria, and 2-methylhopanes in the geological record are taken as evidence for the presence of cyanobacteria-containing communities at the time of sediment deposition. Recently, however, doubt has been cast on the validity of 2-methylhopanes as cyanobacterial biomarkers, since non-cyanobacterial species have been shown to produce significant amounts of 2-methylhopanoids. This study examines the diversity of hpnP, the hopanoid biosynthesis gene coding for the enzyme that methylates hopanoids at the C2 position. Genomic DNA isolated from stromatolite-associated pustular and smooth microbial mat samples from Shark Bay, Western Australia, was analysed for bacterial diversity, and used to construct an hpnP clone library. A total of 117 partial hpnP clones were sequenced, representing 12 operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Phylogenetic analysis showed that 11 of these OTUs, representing 115 sequences, cluster within the cyanobacterial clade. We conclude that the dominant types of microorganisms with the detected capability of producing 2-methylhopanoids within pustular and smooth microbial mats in Shark Bay are cyanobacteria. PMID:22712472

  4. Microbial communities reflect temporal changes in cyanobacterial composition in a shallow ephemeral freshwater lake.

    PubMed

    Woodhouse, Jason Nicholas; Kinsela, Andrew Stephen; Collins, Richard Nicholas; Bowling, Lee Chester; Honeyman, Gordon L; Holliday, Jon K; Neilan, Brett Anthony

    2016-06-01

    The frequency of freshwater cyanobacterial blooms is at risk of increasing as a consequence of climate change and eutrophication of waterways. It is increasingly apparent that abiotic data are insufficient to explain variability within the cyanobacterial community, with biotic factors such as heterotrophic bacterioplankton, viruses and protists emerging as critical drivers. During the Australian summer of 2012-2013, a bloom that occurred in a shallow ephemeral lake over a 6-month period was comprised of 22 distinct cyanobacteria, including Microcystis, Dolichospermum, Oscillatoria and Sphaerospermopsis. Cyanobacterial cell densities, bacterial community composition and abiotic parameters were assessed over this period. Alpha-diversity indices and multivariate analysis were successful at differentiating three distinct bloom phases and the contribution of abiotic parameters to each. Network analysis, assessing correlations between biotic and abiotic variables, reproduced these phases and assessed the relative importance of both abiotic and biotic factors. Variables possessing elevated betweeness centrality included temperature, sodium and operational taxonomic units belonging to the phyla Verrucomicrobia, Planctomyces, Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria. Species-specific associations between cyanobacteria and bacterioplankton, including the free-living Actinobacteria acI, Bacteroidetes, Betaproteobacteria and Verrucomicrobia, were also identified. We concluded that changes in the abundance and nature of freshwater cyanobacteria are associated with changes in the diversity and composition of lake bacterioplankton. Given this, an increase in the frequency of cyanobacteria blooms has the potential to alter nutrient cycling and contribute to long-term functional perturbation of freshwater systems. PMID:26636552

  5. Three-dimensional structure and cyanobacterial activity within a desert biological soil crust.

    PubMed

    Raanan, Hagai; Felde, Vincent J M N L; Peth, Stephan; Drahorad, Sylvie; Ionescu, Danny; Eshkol, Gil; Treves, Haim; Felix-Henningsen, Peter; Berkowicz, Simon M; Keren, Nir; Horn, Rainer; Hagemann, Martin; Kaplan, Aaron

    2016-02-01

    Desert biological soil crusts (BSCs) are formed by adhesion of soil particles to polysaccharides excreted by filamentous cyanobacteria, the pioneers and main producers in this habitat. Biological soil crust destruction is a central factor leading to land degradation and desertification. We study the effect of BSC structure on cyanobacterial activity. Micro-scale structural analysis using X-ray microtomography revealed a vesiculated layer 1.5-2.5 mm beneath the surface in close proximity to the cyanobacterial location. Light profiles showed attenuation with depth of 1%-5% of surface light within 1 mm but also revealed the presence of 'light pockets', coinciding with the vesiculated layer, where the irradiance was 10-fold higher than adjacent crust parts at the same depth. Maximal photosynthetic activity, examined by O2 concentration profiles, was observed 1 mm beneath the surface and another peak in association with the 'light pockets'. Thus, photosynthetic activity may not be visible to currently used remote sensing techniques, suggesting that BSCs' contribution to terrestrial productivity is underestimated. Exposure to irradiance higher than 10% full sunlight diminished chlorophyll fluorescence, whereas O2 evolution and CO2 uptake rose, indicating that fluorescence did not reflect cyanobacterial photosynthetic activity. Our data also indicate that although resistant to high illumination, the BSC-inhabiting cyanobacteria function as 'low-light adapted' organisms. PMID:25809542

  6. Complex polar lipids of a hot spring cyanobacterial mat and its cultivated inhabitants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ward, D. M.; Panke, S.; Kloppel, K. D.; Christ, R.; Fredrickson, H.

    1994-01-01

    The complex polar lipids of the hot spring cyanobacterial mat in the 50 to 55 degrees C region of Octopus Spring, Yellowstone National Park, and of thermophilic bacteria cultivated from this or similar habitats, were compared in an attempt to understand the microbial sources of the major lipid biomarkers in this community. Intact complex lipids were analyzed directly by fast atom bombardment mass spectrometry (FAB-MS), two-dimensional thin-layer chromatography (TLC), and combined TLC-FAB-MS. FAB-MS and TLC gave qualitatively similar results, suggesting that the mat contains major lipids most like those of the cyanobacterial isolate we studied, Synechococcus sp. strain Y-7c-s. These include monoglycosyl, diglycosyl, and sulfoquinosovyl diglycerides (MG, DG, and SQ, respectively) and phosphatidyl glycerol (PG). Though Chloroflexus aurantiacus also contains MG, DG, and PG, the fatty acid chain lengths of mat MGs, DGs, and PGs resemble more those of cyanobacterial than green nonsulfur bacterial lipids. FAB-MS spectra of the lipids of nonphototrophic bacterial isolates were distinctively different from those of the mat and phototrophic isolates. The lipids of these nonphototrophic isolates were not detected in the mat, but most could be detected when added to mat samples. The mat also contains major glycolipids and aminophospholipids of unknown structure and origin. FAB-MS and TLC did not always give quantitatively similar results. In particular, PG and SQ may give disproportionately high FAB-MS responses.

  7. Scytonin, a novel cyanobacterial photoprotective pigment: calculations of Raman spectroscopic biosignatures.

    PubMed

    Varnali, Tereza; Edwards, Howell G M

    2014-03-01

    The Raman spectrum of scytonin, a novel derivative of the parent scytonemin, is predicted from DFT calculations of the most stable, lowest energy, conformational structure. The diagnostic importance of this study relates to the spectral ability to discriminate between scytonemin and its derivatives alone or in admixture with geological matrices from identified characteristic Raman spectral signatures. The successful interpretation of biosignatures from a wide range of cyanobacterial extremophilic colonization in terrestrial and extraterrestrial scenarios is a fundamental requirement of the evaluation of robotic spectroscopic instrumentation in search for life missions. Scytonemin is produced exclusively by cyanobacterial colonies in environmentally stressed habitats and is widely recognized as a key target biomarker molecule in this enterprise. Here, the detailed theoretical analysis of the structure of scytonin enables a protocol to be established for the recognition of characteristic bands in its Raman spectrum and to accomplish the successful differentiation between scytonin and scytonemin as well as other scytonemin derivatives such as the dimethoxy and tetramethoxy compounds that have been isolated from cyanobacterial colonies but which have not yet been characterized spectroscopically. The results of this study will facilitate an extension of the database capability for miniaturized Raman spectrometers which will be carried on board search for life robotic missions to Mars, Europa, and Titan. PMID:24567163

  8. Dose-dependent effects of the herbicide mesotrione on soil cyanobacterial communities.

    PubMed

    Crouzet, Olivier; Wiszniowski, Jarosław; Donnadieu, Florence; Bonnemoy, Frédérique; Bohatier, Jacques; Mallet, Clarisse

    2013-01-01

    This study aimed to investigate the dose-response effects of an herbicide on soil photosynthetic microbial communities, particularly cyanobacteria, using a microcosm approach. Pure mesotrione (active ingredient), and Callisto (a commercial formulation of this triketone herbicide), were spread at different rates on soil microcosm surfaces. Soil Chlorophyll concentrations were quantified to assess the photosynthetic biomass, and the genetic structure and diversity of the cyanobacterial community were investigated by a group-specific polymerase chain reaction followed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. Dose-dependent responses were evidenced for both functional and structural parameters. No effect was detected in soils treated with 1 × AR (1-fold recommended application rate) irrespective of the herbicide formulation. At 10 × AR (10-fold recommended application rate), only Callisto treatment induced significant decreases of photosynthetic biomass, whereas structural parameters were less affected. At the 100 × AR (100-fold recommended application rate), both pure mesotrione and Callisto had strong negative impacts on soil chlorophyll concentrations and cyanobacterial genetic structure and diversity. At both the 10 × AR and 100 × AR treatments, Callisto induced significant stronger effects than pure mesotrione. In addition, indicators of photosynthetic biomass, compared with structural parameters of cyanobacterial communities (within 14 days), responded (within 7 days) more quickly to herbicide stress. The results of this study underscore the relevance of soil photosynthetic microbial communities to develop indicators for herbicide risk assessment. PMID:23014935

  9. Risk to human health associated with the environmental occurrence of cyanobacterial neurotoxic alkaloids anatoxins and saxitoxins.

    PubMed

    Testai, Emanuela; Scardala, Simona; Vichi, Susanna; Buratti, Franca M; Funari, Enzo

    2016-05-01

    Cyanobacteria are ubiquitous photosynthetic micro-organisms forming blooms and scums in surface water; among them some species can produce cyanotoxins giving rise to some concern for human health and animal life. To date, more than 65 cyanobacterial neurotoxins have been described, of which the most studied are the groups of anatoxins and saxitoxins (STXs), comprising many different variants. In freshwaters, the hepatotoxic microcystins represent the most frequently detected cyanotoxin: on this basis, it could appear that neurotoxins are less relevant, but the low frequency of detection may partially reflect an a priori choice of target analytes, the low method sensitivity and the lack of certified standards. Cyanobacterial neurotoxins target cholinergic synapses or voltage-gated ion channels, blocking skeletal and respiratory muscles, thus leading to death by respiratory failure. This review reports and analyzes the available literature data on environmental occurrence of cyanobacterial neurotoxic alkaloids, namely anatoxins and STXs, their biosynthesis, toxicology and epidemiology, derivation of guidance values and action limits. These data are used as the basis to assess the risk posed to human health, identify critical exposure scenarios and highlight the major data gaps and research needs. PMID:26923223

  10. Phylotype diversity in a benthic cyanobacterial mat community on King George Island, maritime Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Callejas, Cecilia; Gill, Paul R; Catalán, Ana I; Azziz, Gastón; Castro-Sowinski, Susana; Batista, Silvia

    2011-06-01

    Cyanobacterial 16S ribosomal RNA gene diversity was examined in a benthic mat on Fildes Peninsula of King George Island (62º09'54.4''S, 58º57'20.9''W), maritime Antarctica. Environmental DNA was isolated from the mat, a clone library of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA gene fragments was prepared, and amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis (ARDRA) was done to assign clones to seven groups. Low cyanobacterial diversity in the mat was suggested in that 83% of the clones were represented by one ARDRA group. DNA sequences from this group had high similarity with 16S rRNA genes of Tychonema bourrellyi and T. bornetii isolates, whose geographic origins were southern Norway and Northern Ireland. Cyanobacterial morphotypes corresponding to Tychonema have not been reported in Antarctica, however, this morphotype was previously found at Ward Hunt Lake (83ºN), and in western Europe (52ºN). DNA sequences of three of the ARDRA groups had highest similarity with 16S rDNA sequences of the Tychonema group accounting for 9.4% of the clones. Sequences of the remaining three groups (7.6%) had highest similarity with 16S rRNA genes of uncultured cyanobacteria clones from benthic mats of Lake Fryxell and fresh meltwater on the McMurdo Ice Shelf. PMID:25187150

  11. Dynamic metabolic profiling of cyanobacterial glycogen biosynthesis under conditions of nitrate depletion.

    PubMed

    Hasunuma, Tomohisa; Kikuyama, Fumi; Matsuda, Mami; Aikawa, Shimpei; Izumi, Yoshihiro; Kondo, Akihiko

    2013-07-01

    Cyanobacteria represent a globally important biomass because they are responsible for a substantial proportion of primary production in the hydrosphere. Arthrospira platensis is a fast-growing halophilic cyanobacterium capable of accumulating glycogen and has the potential to serve as a feedstock in the fermentative production of third-generation biofuels. Accordingly, enhancing cyanobacterial glycogen production is a promising biofuel production strategy. However, the regulatory mechanism of glycogen metabolism in cyanobacteria is poorly understood. The aim of the present study was to determine the metabolic flux of glycogen biosynthesis using a dynamic metabolomic approach. Time-course profiling of widely targeted cyanobacterial metabolic intermediates demonstrated a global metabolic reprogramming that involves transient increases in the levels of some amino acids during the glycogen production phase induced by nitrate depletion. Also, in vivo labelling with NaH(13)CO3 enabled direct measurement of metabolic intermediate turnover in A. platensis, revealing that under conditions of nitrate depletion glycogen is biosynthesized with carbon derived from amino acids released from proteins via gluconeogenesis. This dynamic metabolic profiling approach provided conclusive evidence of temporal alterations in the metabolic profile in cyanobacterial cells. PMID:23658429

  12. Toxins

    MedlinePlus

    ... trace metals and others. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine . 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: ... Ford MD. Acute poisoning. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine . 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: ...

  13. Clostridium perfringens Delta Toxin Is Sequence Related to Beta Toxin, NetB, and Staphylococcus Pore-Forming Toxins, but Shows Functional Differences

    PubMed Central

    Manich, Maria; Knapp, Oliver; Gibert, Maryse; Maier, Elke; Jolivet-Reynaud, Colette; Geny, Blandine; Benz, Roland; Popoff, Michel R.

    2008-01-01

    Clostridium perfringens produces numerous toxins, which are responsible for severe diseases in man and animals. Delta toxin is one of the three hemolysins released by a number of C. perfringens type C and possibly type B strains. Delta toxin was characterized to be cytotoxic for cells expressing the ganglioside GM2 in their membrane. Here we report the genetic characterization of Delta toxin and its pore forming activity in lipid bilayers. Delta toxin consists of 318 amino acids, its 28 N-terminal amino acids corresponding to a signal peptide. The secreted Delta toxin (290 amino acids; 32619 Da) is a basic protein (pI 9.1) which shows a significant homology with C. perfringens Beta toxin (43% identity), with C. perfringens NetB (40% identity) and, to a lesser extent, with Staphylococcus aureus alpha toxin and leukotoxins. Recombinant Delta toxin showed a preference for binding to GM2, in contrast to Beta toxin, which did not bind to gangliosides. It is hemolytic for sheep red blood cells and cytotoxic for HeLa cells. In artificial diphytanoyl phosphatidylcholine membranes, Delta and Beta toxin formed channels. Conductance of the channels formed by Delta toxin, with a value of about 100 pS to more than 1 nS in 1 M KCl and a membrane potential of 20 mV, was higher than those formed by Beta toxin and their distribution was broader. The results of zero-current membrane potential measurements and single channel experiments suggest that Delta toxin forms slightly anion-selective channels, whereas the Beta toxin channels showed a preference for cations under the same conditions. C. perfringens Delta toxin shows a significant sequence homolgy with C. perfringens Beta and NetB toxins, as well as with S. aureus alpha hemolysin and leukotoxins, but exhibits different channel properties in lipid bilayers. In contrast to Beta toxin, Delta toxin recognizes GM2 as receptor and forms anion-selective channels. PMID:19018299

  14. Roles of Anthrax Toxin Receptor 2 in Anthrax Toxin Membrane Insertion and Pore Formation

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Jianjun; Jacquez, Pedro

    2016-01-01

    Interaction between bacterial toxins and cellular surface receptors is an important component of the host-pathogen interaction. Anthrax toxin protective antigen (PA) binds to the cell surface receptor, enters the cell through receptor-mediated endocytosis, and forms a pore on the endosomal membrane that translocates toxin enzymes into the cytosol of the host cell. As the major receptor for anthrax toxin in vivo, anthrax toxin receptor 2 (ANTXR2) plays an essential role in anthrax toxin action by providing the toxin with a high-affinity binding anchor on the cell membrane and a path of entry into the host cell. ANTXR2 also acts as a molecular clamp by shifting the pH threshold of PA pore formation to a more acidic pH range, which prevents premature pore formation at neutral pH before the toxin reaches the designated intracellular location. Most recent studies have suggested that the disulfide bond in the immunoglobulin (Ig)-like domain of ANTXR2 plays an essential role in anthrax toxin action. Here we will review the roles of ANTXR2 in anthrax toxin action, with an emphasis on newly updated knowledge. PMID:26805886

  15. Roles of Anthrax Toxin Receptor 2 in Anthrax Toxin Membrane Insertion and Pore Formation.

    PubMed

    Sun, Jianjun; Jacquez, Pedro

    2016-02-01

    Interaction between bacterial toxins and cellular surface receptors is an important component of the host-pathogen interaction. Anthrax toxin protective antigen (PA) binds to the cell surface receptor, enters the cell through receptor-mediated endocytosis, and forms a pore on the endosomal membrane that translocates toxin enzymes into the cytosol of the host cell. As the major receptor for anthrax toxin in vivo, anthrax toxin receptor 2 (ANTXR2) plays an essential role in anthrax toxin action by providing the toxin with a high-affinity binding anchor on the cell membrane and a path of entry into the host cell. ANTXR2 also acts as a molecular clamp by shifting the pH threshold of PA pore formation to a more acidic pH range, which prevents premature pore formation at neutral pH before the toxin reaches the designated intracellular location. Most recent studies have suggested that the disulfide bond in the immunoglobulin (Ig)-like domain of ANTXR2 plays an essential role in anthrax toxin action. Here we will review the roles of ANTXR2 in anthrax toxin action, with an emphasis on newly updated knowledge. PMID:26805886

  16. Fungi and fungal toxins as weapons.

    PubMed

    Paterson, R Russell M

    2006-09-01

    Recent aggressive attacks on innocent citizens have resulted in governments increasing security. However, there is a good case for prevention rather than reaction. Bioweapons, mycotoxins, fungal biocontrol agents (FBCA), and even pharmaceuticals contain, or are, toxins and need to be considered in the context of the new paradigm. Is it desirable to discuss such issues? None of the fungi are (a) as toxic as botulinum toxin from Clostridium botulinum, and (b) as dangerous as nuclear weapons. One toxin may be defined as a pharmaceutical and vice versa simply by a small change in concentration or a moiety. Mycotoxins are defined as naturally occurring toxic compounds obtained from fungi. They are the biggest chronic health risk when incorporated into the diet. The current list of fungal toxins as biochemical weapons is small, although awareness is growing of the threats they may pose. T-2 toxin is perhaps the biggest concern. A clear distinction is required between the biological (fungus) and chemical (toxin) aspects of the issue. There is an obvious requirement to be able to trace these fungi and compounds in the environment and to know when concentrations are abnormal. Many FBCA, produce toxins. This paper indicates how to treat mycotoxicosis and decontaminate mycotoxins. There is considerable confusion and inconsistency surrounding this topic which requires assessment in an impartial and scientific manner. PMID:16908123

  17. Clostridium perfringens type A–E toxin plasmids

    PubMed Central

    Freedman, John C.; Theoret, James R.; Wisniewski, Jessica A.; Uzal, Francisco A.; Rood, Julian I.; McClane, Bruce A.

    2014-01-01

    Clostridium perfringens relies upon plasmid-encoded toxin genes to cause intestinal infections. These toxin genes are associated with insertion sequences that may facilitate their mobilization and transfer, giving rise to new toxin plasmids with common backbones. Most toxin plasmids carry a transfer of clostridial plasmids locus mediating conjugation, which likely explains the presence of similar toxin plasmids in otherwise unrelated C. perfringens strains. The association of many toxin genes with insertion sequences and conjugative plasmids provides virulence flexibility when causing intestinal infections. However, incompatibility issues apparently limit the number of toxin plasmids maintained by a single cell. PMID:25283728

  18. Cholera toxin-like toxin released by Salmonella species in the presence of mitomycin C.

    PubMed

    Molina, N C; Peterson, J W

    1980-10-01

    Several serotypes of Salmonella were shown to release increased amounts of a cholera toxin-like toxin during culture in vitro with mitomycin C (MTC). Filter-sterilized culture supernatants containing the toxin caused elongation of Chinese hamster ovary cells, which could be blocked by heating the supernatants at 100 degrees C for 15 min or by adding mixed gangliosides or monospecific cholera antitoxin. When MTC was not added to the Salmonella cultures, little or no toxin was detected in crude, unconcentrated culture supernatants. Optimal production of toxin was observed in the presence of 0.5 micrograms of MTC per ml in shake flask cultures of Casamino Acids-yeast extract medium, Syncase, or peptone saline at 37 degrees C. Meat infusion media (heart infusion and brain heart infusion) plus MTC resulted in poor toxin yield. Culture filtrates frequently could be diluted 1:8 and still result in elongation of Chinese hamster ovary cells. PMID:7002788

  19. On the use of high-throughput sequencing for the study of cyanobacterial diversity in Antarctic aquatic mats.

    PubMed

    Pessi, Igor Stelmach; Maalouf, Pedro De Carvalho; Laughinghouse, Haywood Dail; Baurain, Denis; Wilmotte, Annick

    2016-06-01

    The study of Antarctic cyanobacterial diversity has been mostly limited to morphological identification and traditional molecular techniques. High-throughput sequencing (HTS) allows a much better understanding of microbial distribution in the environment, but its application is hampered by several methodological and analytical challenges. In this work, we explored the use of HTS as a tool for the study of cyanobacterial diversity in Antarctic aquatic mats. Our results highlight the importance of using artificial communities to validate the parameters of the bioinformatics procedure used to analyze natural communities, since pipeline-dependent biases had a strong effect on the observed community structures. Analysis of microbial mats from five Antarctic lakes and an aquatic biofilm from the Sub-Antarctic showed that HTS is a valuable tool for the assessment of cyanobacterial diversity. The majority of the operational taxonomic units retrieved were related to filamentous taxa such as Leptolyngbya and Phormidium, which are common genera in Antarctic lacustrine microbial mats. However, other phylotypes related to different taxa such as Geitlerinema, Pseudanabaena, Synechococcus, Chamaesiphon, Calothrix, and Coleodesmium were also found. Results revealed a much higher diversity than what had been reported using traditional methods and also highlighted remarkable differences between the cyanobacterial communities of the studied lakes. The aquatic biofilm from the Sub-Antarctic had a distinct cyanobacterial community from the Antarctic lakes, which in turn displayed a salinity-dependent community structure at the phylotype level. PMID:27273529

  20. The influence of water quality variables on cyanobacterial blooms and phytoplankton community composition in a shallow temperate lake.

    PubMed

    Lee, Tammy A; Rollwagen-Bollens, Gretchen; Bollens, Stephen M

    2015-06-01

    Cyanobacterial blooms and their detrimental effects on water quality have become a worldwide problem. Vancouver Lake, a tidally influenced shallow temperate freshwater lake in Washington state, U.S.A., exhibits annual summer cyanobacterial blooms that are of concern to local resource managers. Our objectives were to describe changes in phytoplankton community composition in Vancouver Lake over seasonal, annual, and interannual time scales, and to identify strong water quality predictors of phytoplankton community structure, with an emphasis on cyanobacterial blooms, from 2007 through 2010. Cluster analysis, indicator species analysis, and non-metric multidimensional scaling were used to identify significantly different phytoplankton community groupings and to determine which environmental factors influenced community changes. From 2007 through 2009, depletion of NO3-N followed by elevated PO4-P concentration was associated with increased biomass and duration of each cyanobacterial bloom. Time-lag analysis suggested that NO3-N availability contributed to interannual changes within the summer phytoplankton community. Specifically, in summer 2010, a distinct cyanobacteria community was not present, potentially due to increased NO3-N and decreased PO4-P and NH4-N availability. Our study provides a comprehensive assessment of species-level responses to water quality variables in a shallow non-stratifying temperate lake, contributes to a better understanding of phytoplankton dynamics, and may aid in predicting and managing cyanobacterial blooms. PMID:25937495

  1. Removal of cyanobacterial bloom from a biopond-wetland system and the associated response of zoobenthic diversity.

    PubMed

    Wu, Yonghong; Kerr, Philip G; Hu, Zhengyi; Yang, Linzhang

    2010-06-01

    Harmful cyanobacterial bloom in water bodies frequently occurs due to eutrophication, leading to the excessive growth of cyanobacteria which in turn may lead to a decrease in biodiversity. A biopond-wetland system to control cyanobacterial bloom and stabilize or even increase biodiversity is proposed and applied in a pond, Kunming, western China where cyanobacterial blooms frequently break out. The biopond-wetland system examined includes three main parts: filter-feeding fish, replanted pond macrophytes, and a terminal artificial wetland. When the hydraulic load of the biopond-wetland system was 500m(3)/d on non-rainy days, the system successfully decreased the level of chlorophyll-a (Chl-a). The declining levels of total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP) and ammonia in the water after establishing the biopond-wetland system also coincided with the disappearance of the cyanobacterial bloom. In the second summer, when the biopond-wetland system was in a relatively steady-state condition, the overall average nutrient removal efficiencies were as follows, Chl-a (83%), TN (57%), TP (70%) and ammonia (66%), while in the second winter, the overall average removal efficiencies were Chl-a (66%), TN (40%), TP (53%) and ammonia (49%). Simpson's diversity index of zoobenthos indicated that the system increased the zoobenthic diversity and improved the growth conditions of the zoobenthos habitat. The results demonstrated that the biopond-wetland system could control cyanobacterial blooms. PMID:20133128

  2. Investigating the role of solanapyrone toxins in Ascochyta blight using toxin-deficient mutants of Asochyta rabiei

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ascochyta rabiei, the causal agent of Ascochyta blight of chickpea, produces solanapyrone toxins (solanapyrone A, B and C). However, very little is known about the genetics of toxin production and the role of the toxins in pathogenesis. Generating mutants deficient in the toxin biosynthesis would p...

  3. Toxic shock syndrome toxin-1, not α-toxin, mediated Bundaberg fatalities.

    PubMed

    Mueller, Elizabeth A; Merriman, Joseph A; Schlievert, Patrick M

    2015-12-01

    The 1928 Bundaberg disaster is one of the greatest vaccine tragedies in history. Of 21 children immunized with a diphtheria toxin-antitoxin preparation contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus, 18 developed life-threatening disease and 12 died within 48  h. Historically, the deaths have been attributed to α-toxin, a secreted cytotoxin produced by most S. aureus strains, yet the ability of the Bundaberg contaminant microbe to produce the toxin has never been verified. For the first time, the ability of the original strain to produce α-toxin and other virulence factors is investigated. The study investigates the genetic and regulatory loci mediating α-toxin expression by PCR and assesses production of the cytotoxin in vitro using an erythrocyte haemolysis assay. This analysis is extended to other secreted virulence factors produced by the strain, and their sufficiency to cause lethality in New Zealand white rabbits is determined. Although the strain possesses a wild-type allele for α-toxin, it must have a defective regulatory system, which is responsible for the strain's minimal α-toxin production. The strain encodes and produces staphylococcal superantigens, including toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 (TSST-1), which is sufficient to cause lethality in patients. The findings cast doubt on the belief that α-toxin is the major virulence factor responsible for the Bundaberg fatalities and point to the superantigen TSST-1 as the cause of the disaster. PMID:26432699

  4. Clostridium difficile and C. difficile Toxin Testing

    MedlinePlus

    ... C diff antigen; GDH Formal name: Clostridium difficile Culture; C. difficile Toxin, A and B; C. difficile Cytotoxin Assay; Glutamate Dehydrogenase Test Related tests: Stool Culture ; O&P At a Glance Test Sample The ...

  5. INVESTIGATOIN OF CYANOBACTERIA TOXINS IN WATER

    EPA Science Inventory

    Introduction:

    Approximately 80 alkaloid and cyclic peptide toxins produced by various freshwater and marine cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) have been identified and their structures determined. The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency has identified two neurotoxin alkalo...

  6. [Treatment of wrinkles with botulinum toxin].

    PubMed

    Lanzl, I; Merté, R-L

    2007-09-01

    The use of botulinum toxin A for the treatment of wrinkles is increasing. Botulinum toxin A inhibits exocytosis of acetylcholine from 3 to 12 months, depending on the target tissue. Low-dose botulinum toxin A is used to smooth hyperkinetic facial lines. This is especially successful in the upper facial parts, since the target muscles (procerus, corrugator supracilii, frontalis, orbicularis oculi) all directly overlie the osseous structures of the face. This is not the case for the lower facial parts, and more side effects are encountered when treating, for example, wrinkles around the mouth. Contraindications to the use of botulinum toxin A are diseases affecting neuromuscular signal transduction, allergic reactions to components of the solution, therapy with aminoglycosides or acetylsalicylic acid prior to treatment, infections in the planned treatment area, and pregnancy and lactation. Alternative and complementary treatments include erbium-YAG or CO2 laser, as well as augmentation and surgical plastic procedures. PMID:17823803

  7. Bacterial Toxins as Pathogen Weapons Against Phagocytes

    PubMed Central

    do Vale, Ana; Cabanes, Didier; Sousa, Sandra

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial toxins are virulence factors that manipulate host cell functions and take over the control of vital processes of living organisms to favor microbial infection. Some toxins directly target innate immune cells, thereby annihilating a major branch of the host immune response. In this review we will focus on bacterial toxins that act from the extracellular milieu and hinder the function of macrophages and neutrophils. In particular, we will concentrate on toxins from Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria that manipulate cell signaling or induce cell death by either imposing direct damage to the host cells cytoplasmic membrane or enzymatically modifying key eukaryotic targets. Outcomes regarding pathogen dissemination, host damage and disease progression will be discussed. PMID:26870008

  8. Nanoanalysis of the arthropod neuro-toxins

    PubMed Central

    Nakajima, Terumi

    2006-01-01

    Many kinds of venomous principles modulate physiological responses of mammalian signal transduction systems, on which they act selectively as enhancers, inhibitors or some other kind of effectors. These toxins become useful tools for physiological research. We have employed and characterized paralyzing toxins from the venom of spiders, insects and scorpions with a limited supply. We have developed rapid and sensitive mass spectrometric technology and applied for the identification of these toxins. Venom profiles are screened by MALDI-TOF fingerprinting analysis prior to purification of venomous components, then marked target toxins of small molecular mass (1000–5000) are characterized directly by means of mass spectrometric techniques such as Frit-FAB MS/MS, CID/PSD-TOF MS, Capil.-HPLC/Q-TOF MS/MS etc. PMID:25792792

  9. How Parkinsonian Toxins Dysregulate the Autophagy Machinery

    PubMed Central

    Dagda, Ruben K.; Das Banerjee, Tania; Janda, Elzbieta

    2013-01-01

    Since their discovery, Parkinsonian toxins (6-hydroxydopamine, MPP+, paraquat, and rotenone) have been widely employed as in vivo and in vitro chemical models of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Alterations in mitochondrial homeostasis, protein quality control pathways, and more recently, autophagy/mitophagy have been implicated in neurotoxin models of PD. Here, we highlight the molecular mechanisms by which different PD toxins dysregulate autophagy/mitophagy and how alterations of these pathways play beneficial or detrimental roles in dopamine neurons. The convergent and divergent effects of PD toxins on mitochondrial function and autophagy/mitophagy are also discussed in this review. Furthermore, we propose new diagnostic tools and discuss how pharmacological modulators of autophagy/mitophagy can be developed as disease-modifying treatments for PD. Finally, we discuss the critical need to identify endogenous and synthetic forms of PD toxins and develop efficient health preventive programs to mitigate the risk of developing PD. PMID:24217228

  10. [Botulinum toxin in disabling dermatological diseases].

    PubMed

    Messikh, R; Atallah, L; Aubin, F; Humbert, P

    2009-05-01

    Botulinum toxin could represent nowadays a new treatment modality especially for cutaneous conditions in course of which conventional treatments remain unsuccessful. Besides palmar and plantar hyperhidrosis, botulinum toxin has demonstrated efficacy in different conditions associated with hyperhidrosis, such as dyshidrosis, multiple eccrine hidrocystomas, hidradenitis suppurativa, Frey syndrome, but also in different conditions worsened by hyperhidrosis such as Hailey-Hailey disease, Darier disease, inversed psoriasis, aquagenic palmoplantar keratoderma, pachyonychia congenital. Moreover, different cutaneous conditions associated with sensitive disorders and/or neurological involvements could benefit from botulinum toxin, for example anal fissures, leg ulcers, lichen simplex, notalgia paresthetica, vestibulitis. Endly, a case of cutis laxa was described where the patient was improved by cutaneous injections of botulinum toxin. PMID:19576479

  11. Hemolytic anemia caused by chemicals and toxins

    MedlinePlus

    Anemia - hemolytic - caused by chemicals or toxins ... Possible substances that can cause hemolytic anemia include: Anti-malaria drugs (quinine compounds) Arsenic Dapsone Intravenous water infusion (not half-normal saline or normal saline) Metals (chromium/chromates, ...

  12. Presence of potential toxin-producing cyanobacteria in an oligo-mesotrophic lake in Baltic Lake District, Germany: an ecological, genetic and toxicological survey.

    PubMed

    Dadheech, Pawan K; Selmeczy, Géza B; Vasas, Gábor; Padisák, Judit; Arp, Wolfgang; Tapolczai, Kálmán; Casper, Peter; Krienitz, Lothar

    2014-10-01

    Massive developments of potentially toxic cyanobacteria in Lake Stechlin, an oligo-mesotrophic lake in the Baltic Lake District of Germany raised concerns about toxic contamination of these important ecosystems. Field samples in the phase of mass developments of cyanobacteria were used for genetic and toxicological analyses. Microcystins and microcystin genes were detected in field samples of the lake for the first time. However, the toxins were not produced by the dominant taxa (Dolichospermum circinale and Aphanizomenon flos-aquae) but by taxa, which were present only in low biomass in the samples (Microcystis cf. aeruginosa and Planktothrix rubescens). The phytoplankton successions during the study period revealed an increase of cyanobacterial populations. The findings contribute to the changes that have been investigated in Lake Stechlin since the mid-1990s. The possible reasons behind these developments may be climate change, special weather conditions and an increased nutrient pool. PMID:25268981

  13. The purine degradation pathway: possible role in paralytic shellfish toxin metabolism in the cyanobacterium Planktothrix sp. FP1.

    PubMed

    Pomati, F; Manarolla, G; Rossi, O; Vigetti, D; Rossetti, C

    2001-12-01

    The paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) are potent neurotoxic alkaloids and their major biological effect is due to the blockage of voltage-gated sodium channels in excitable cells. They have been recognised as an important health risk for humans, animals, and ecosystems worldwide. The metabolic pathways that lead to the production and the degradation of these toxic metabolites are still unknown. In this study, we investigated the possible link between PST accumulation and the activation of the metabolism that leads to purine degradation in the filamentous freshwater cyanobacterium Planktothrix sp. FP1. The purine catabolic pathway is related to the nitrogen microcycle in water environments, in which cyanobacteria use traces of purines and ureides as a nitrogen source for growth. Thus, the activity of allantoicase, a key inducible enzyme of this metabolism, was used as tool for assaying the activation of the purine degradation pathway. The enzyme and the pathway were induced by allantoic acid, the direct substrate of allantoicase, as well as by adenine and, to a lower degree, by urea, one of the main products of purine catabolism. Crude cell extract of Escherichia coli was also employed and showed the best induction of allantoicase activity. In culture, Planktothrix sp. FP1 showed a differential accumulation of PST in consequence of the induction with different substrates. The cyanobacterial culture induced with allantoic acid accumulated 61.7% more toxins in comparison with the control. On the other hand, the cultures induced with adenine, urea, and the E. coli extract showed low PST accumulation, respectively, 1%, 38%, and 5% of the total toxins content detected in the noninduced culture. A degradation pathway for the PSTs can be hypothesised: as suggested for purine alkaloids in higher plants, saxitoxin (STX) and derivatives may also be converted into xanthine, urea, and further to CO2 and NH4+ or recycled in the primary metabolism through the purine degradation

  14. Botulinum toxin. From poison to medicine.

    PubMed Central

    Davis, L E

    1993-01-01

    Although thousands of people in the world each year continue to be poisoned with botulinum toxin-food-borne, infantile, or wound botulism-the neurotoxin is now sufficiently understood to allow it to be used as a medicinal agent to paralyze specific muscles, giving temporary symptomatic relief from a variety of dystonic neurologic disorders. I review some of the epidemiologic, clinical, and pathophysiologic aspects of botulinum toxin and how the neurotoxin may act as a poison or a medicine. Images PMID:8470380

  15. Purification and characterization of Clostridium difficile toxin.

    PubMed Central

    Rolfe, R D; Finegold, S M

    1979-01-01

    Recent evidence indicates that toxigenic Clostridium difficile strains are a major cause of antimicrobial-associated ileocecitis in laboratory animals and pseudomembranous colitis in humans. C. difficile ATCC 9689 was cultivated in a synthetic medium to which 3% ultrafiltrated proteose peptone was added. Purification of the toxin from broth filtrate was accomplished through ultrafiltration (100,000 nominal-molecular-weight-limit membrane), precipitation with 75% (NH4)2SO4, and chromatographic separation using Bio-Gel A 5m followed by ion-exchange chromatography on a diethylaminoethyl-Sephadex A-25 column. The purified toxin displayed only one band on polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, and approximately 170 pg was cytopathic for human amnion cells. The isolated toxin was neutralized by Clostridium sordelli antitoxin, heat labile (56 degrees C for 30 min), and inactivated at pH 4 and 9; it had an isoelectric point of 5.0, increased vascular permeability in rabbits, and caused ileocecitis in hamsters when injected intracecally. Treatment of the toxin with trypsin, chymotrypsin, pronase, amylase, or ethylmercurithiosalicylate caused inactivation, whereas lipase had no effect. By gel filtration, its molecular weight was estimated as 530,000. Upon reduction and denaturation, the toxin dissociated into 185,000- and 50,000-molecular-weight components, as determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Extensive dissociation yielded only the 50,000-molecular-weight component. The toxin appears to be protoplasmic and is released into the surrounding environment upon autolysis of the cells. Attempts to correlate specific enzymatic activity with the toxin have been unsuccessful. These studies will help delineate the role of C. difficile toxin in antimicrobial-associated colitis and diarrhea. Images PMID:478634

  16. Toxicological Perspective on Climate Change: Aquatic Toxins.

    PubMed

    Botana, Luis M

    2016-04-18

    In recent years, our group and several others have been describing the presence of new, not previously reported, toxins of high toxicity in vectors that may reach the human food chain. These include tetrodotoxin in gastropods in the South of Europe, ciguatoxin in fish in the South of Spain, palytoxin in mussels in the Mediterranean Sea, pinnatoxin all over Europe, and okadaic acid in the south of the U.S. There seem to be new marine toxins appearing in areas that are heavy producers of seafood, and this is a cause of concern as most of these new toxins are not included in current legislation and monitoring programs. Along with the new toxins, new chemical analogues are being reported. The same phenomenom is being recorded in freshwater toxins, such as the wide appearance of cylindrospermopsin and the large worldwide increase of microcystin. The problem that this phenomenon, which may be linked to climate warming, poses for toxicologists is very important not only because there is a lack of chronic studies and an incomplete comprehension of the mechanism driving the production of these toxins but also because the lack of a legal framework for them allows many of these toxins to reach the market. In some cases, it is very difficult to control these toxins because there are not enough standards available, they are not always certified, and there is an insufficient understanding of the toxic equivalency factors of the different analogues in each group. All of these factors have been revealed and grouped through the massive increase in the use of LC-MS as a monitoring tool, legally demanded, creating more toxicological problems. PMID:26958981

  17. Dermatitis from purified sea algae toxin (debromoaplysiatoxin).

    PubMed

    Solomon, A E; Stoughton, R B

    1978-09-01

    Cutaneous inflammation was induced by debromoaplysiatoxin, a purified toxin extracted from Lyngbya majuscula Gomont. This alga causes a seaweed dermatitis that occurs in persons who have swum off the coast of Oahu in Hawaii. By topical application, the toxin was found to produce an irritant pustular folliculitis in humans and to cause a severe cutaneous inflammatory reaction in the rabbit and in hairless mice. PMID:686747

  18. Sea Anemone Toxins Affecting Potassium Channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diochot, Sylvie; Lazdunski, Michel

    The great diversity of K+ channels and their wide distribution in many tissues are associated with important functions in cardiac and neuronal excitability that are now better understood thanks to the discovery of animal toxins. During the past few decades, sea anemones have provided a variety of toxins acting on voltage-sensitive sodium and, more recently, potassium channels. Currently there are three major structural groups of sea anemone K+ channel (SAK) toxins that have been characterized. Radioligand binding and electrophysiological experiments revealed that each group contains peptides displaying selective activities for different subfamilies of K+ channels. Short (35-37 amino acids) peptides in the group I display pore blocking effects on Kv1 channels. Molecular interactions of SAK-I toxins, important for activity and binding on Kv1 channels, implicate a spot of three conserved amino acid residues (Ser, Lys, Tyr) surrounded by other less conserved residues. Long (58-59 amino acids) SAK-II peptides display both enzymatic and K+ channel inhibitory activities. Medium size (42-43 amino acid) SAK-III peptides are gating modifiers which interact either with cardiac HERG or Kv3 channels by altering their voltage-dependent properties. SAK-III toxins bind to the S3C region in the outer vestibule of Kv channels. Sea anemones have proven to be a rich source of pharmacological tools, and some of the SAK toxins are now useful drugs for the diagnosis and treatment of autoimmune diseases.

  19. Toxin-Antitoxin Systems of Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    Schuster, Christopher F; Bertram, Ralph

    2016-01-01

    Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are small genetic elements found in the majority of prokaryotes. They encode toxin proteins that interfere with vital cellular functions and are counteracted by antitoxins. Dependent on the chemical nature of the antitoxins (protein or RNA) and how they control the activity of the toxin, TA systems are currently divided into six different types. Genes comprising the TA types I, II and III have been identified in Staphylococcus aureus. MazF, the toxin of the mazEF locus is a sequence-specific RNase that cleaves a number of transcripts, including those encoding pathogenicity factors. Two yefM-yoeB paralogs represent two independent, but auto-regulated TA systems that give rise to ribosome-dependent RNases. In addition, omega/epsilon/zeta constitutes a tripartite TA system that supposedly plays a role in the stabilization of resistance factors. The SprA1/SprA1AS and SprF1/SprG1 systems are post-transcriptionally regulated by RNA antitoxins and encode small membrane damaging proteins. TA systems controlled by interaction between toxin protein and antitoxin RNA have been identified in S. aureus in silico, but not yet experimentally proven. A closer inspection of possible links between TA systems and S. aureus pathophysiology will reveal, if these genetic loci may represent druggable targets. The modification of a staphylococcal TA toxin to a cyclopeptide antibiotic highlights the potential of TA systems as rather untapped sources of drug discovery. PMID:27164142

  20. Toxin-Antitoxin Systems of Staphylococcus aureus

    PubMed Central

    Schuster, Christopher F.; Bertram, Ralph

    2016-01-01

    Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are small genetic elements found in the majority of prokaryotes. They encode toxin proteins that interfere with vital cellular functions and are counteracted by antitoxins. Dependent on the chemical nature of the antitoxins (protein or RNA) and how they control the activity of the toxin, TA systems are currently divided into six different types. Genes comprising the TA types I, II and III have been identified in Staphylococcus aureus. MazF, the toxin of the mazEF locus is a sequence-specific RNase that cleaves a number of transcripts, including those encoding pathogenicity factors. Two yefM-yoeB paralogs represent two independent, but auto-regulated TA systems that give rise to ribosome-dependent RNases. In addition, omega/epsilon/zeta constitutes a tripartite TA system that supposedly plays a role in the stabilization of resistance factors. The SprA1/SprA1AS and SprF1/SprG1 systems are post-transcriptionally regulated by RNA antitoxins and encode small membrane damaging proteins. TA systems controlled by interaction between toxin protein and antitoxin RNA have been identified in S. aureus in silico, but not yet experimentally proven. A closer inspection of possible links between TA systems and S. aureus pathophysiology will reveal, if these genetic loci may represent druggable targets. The modification of a staphylococcal TA toxin to a cyclopeptide antibiotic highlights the potential of TA systems as rather untapped sources of drug discovery. PMID:27164142

  1. Evaluation of antidiphtheria toxin nanobodies

    PubMed Central

    Shaker, Ghada H

    2010-01-01

    Nanobodies are the smallest fragments of naturally occurring single-domain antibodies that have evolved to be fully functional in the absence of a light chain. Conventional antibodies are glycoproteins comprising two heavy and two light chains. Surprisingly, all members of the Camelidae family possess a fraction of antibodies devoid of both light chains and the first constant domain. These types of antibodies are known as heavy-chain antibody (HcAb) nanobodies. There are three subclasses of IgG in dromedaries, namely IgG1, IgG2, and IgG3 of which IgG2 and IgG3 are of the HcAb type. These heavy chain antibodies constitute approximately 50% of the IgG in llama serum and as much as 75% of the IgG in camel serum. In the present work, the different IgG subclasses from an immunized camel (Camelus dromedarius) with divalent diphtheria-tetanus vaccine were purified using their different affinity for protein A and protein G and their absorbance measured at 280 nm. Purity control and characterization by 12% sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of IgG subclasses was done under reducing conditions. Protein bands were visualized after staining with Coomassie Blue, showing two bands at 50 kDa and 30 kDa for IgG1, while IgG2 and IgG3 produced only one band at 46 kDa and 43 kDa, respectively. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay test using diphtheria toxin and purified IgG subclasses from the immunized camel were performed to evaluate their efficiency. Compared with conventional IgG1, heavy chain antibodies (nanobodies) were shown to be more efficient in binding to diphtheria toxin antigen. This study revealed the possibility of using IgG2 and IgG3 nanobodies as an effective antitoxin for the treatment of diphtheria in humans. PMID:24198468

  2. Development of a planar waveguide microarray for the monitoring and early detection of five harmful algal toxins in water and cultures.

    PubMed

    McNamee, Sara E; Elliott, Christopher T; Greer, Brett; Lochhead, Michael; Campbell, Katrina

    2014-11-18

    A novel multiplex microarray has been developed for the detection of five groups of harmful algal and cyanobacterial toxins found in marine, brackish, and freshwater environments including domoic acid (DA), okadaic acid (OA, and analogues), saxitoxin (STX, and analogues), cylindrospermopsin (CYN) and microcystins (MC, and analogues). The sensitivity and specificity were determined and feasibility to be used as a screening tool investigated. Results for algal/cyanobacterial cultures (n = 12) and seawater samples (n = 33) were compared to conventional analytical methods, such as high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Detection limits for the 15 min assay were 0.37, 0.44, 0.05, 0.08, and 0.40 ng/mL for DA, OA, STX, CYN, and MC, respectively. The correlation of data obtained from the microarray compared to conventional analysis for the 12 cultures was r(2) = 0.83. Analysis of seawater samples showed that 82, 82, 70, 82, and 12% of samples were positive (>IC20) compared to 67, 55, 36, 0, and 0% for DA, OA, STX, CYN, and MC, respectively, for conventional analytical methods. The discrepancies in results can be attributed to the enhanced sensitivity and cross-reactivity profiles of the antibodies in the MBio microarray. The feasibility of the microarray as a rapid, easy to use, and highly sensitive screening tool has been illustrated for the five-plex detection of biotoxins. The research demonstrates an early warning screening assay to support national monitoring agencies by providing a faster and more accurate means of identifying and quantifying harmful toxins in water samples. PMID:25361072

  3. Inhibition of maize histone deacetylases by HC toxin, the host-selective toxin of Cochliobolus carbonum.

    PubMed Central

    Brosch, G; Ransom, R; Lechner, T; Walton, J D; Loidl, P

    1995-01-01

    HC toxin, the host-selective toxin of the maize pathogen Cochliobolus carbonum, inhibited maize histone deacetylase (HD) at 2 microM. Chlamydocin, a related cyclic tetrapeptide, also inhibited HD activity. The toxins did not affect histone acetyltransferases. After partial purification of histone deacetylases HD1-A, HD1-B, and HD2 from germinating maize embryos, we demonstrated that the different enzymes were similarly inhibited by the toxins. Inhibitory activities were reversibly eliminated by treating toxins with 2-mercaptoethanol, presumably by modifying the carbonyl group of the epoxide-containing amino acid Aeo (2-amino-9,10-epoxy-8-oxodecanoic acid). Kinetic studies revealed that inhibition of HD was of the uncompetitive type and reversible. HC toxin, in which the epoxide group had been hydrolyzed, completely lost its inhibitory activity; when the carbonyl group of Aeo had been reduced to the corresponding alcohol, the modified toxin was less active than native toxin. In vivo treatment of embryos with HC toxin caused the accumulation of highly acetylated histone H4 subspecies and elevated acetate incorporation into H4 in susceptible-genotype embryos but not in the resistant genotype. HDs from chicken and the myxomycete Physarum polycephalum were also inhibited, indicating that the host selectivity of HC toxin is not determined by its inhibitory effect on HD. Consistent with these results, we propose a model in which HC toxin promotes the establishment of pathogenic compatibility between C. carbonum and maize by interfering with reversible histone acetylation, which is implicated in the control of fundamental cellular processes, such as chromatin structure, cell cycle progression, and gene expression. PMID:8535144

  4. Seasonal variation in nifH abundance and expression of cyanobacterial communities associated with boreal feather mosses

    PubMed Central

    Warshan, Denis; Bay, Guillaume; Nahar, Nurun; Wardle, David A; Nilsson, Marie-Charlotte; Rasmussen, Ulla

    2016-01-01

    Dinitrogen (N2)-fixation by cyanobacteria living in symbiosis with pleurocarpous feather mosses (for example, Pleurozium schreberi and Hylocomium splendens) represents the main pathway of biological N input into N-depleted boreal forests. Little is known about the role of the cyanobacterial community in contributing to the observed temporal variability of N2-fixation. Using specific nifH primers targeting four major cyanobacterial clusters and quantitative PCR, we investigated how community composition, abundance and nifH expression varied by moss species and over the growing seasons. We evaluated N2-fixation rates across nine forest sites in June and September and explored the abundance and nifH expression of individual cyanobacterial clusters when N2-fixation is highest. Our results showed temporal and host-dependent variations of cyanobacterial community composition, nifH gene abundance and expression. N2-fixation was higher in September than June for both moss species, explained by higher nifH gene expression of individual clusters rather than higher nifH gene abundance or differences in cyanobacterial community composition. In most cases, ‘Stigonema cluster' made up less than 29% of the total cyanobacterial community, but accounted for the majority of nifH gene expression (82–94% of total nifH expression), irrespective of sampling date or moss species. Stepwise multiple regressions showed temporal variations in N2-fixation being greatly explained by variations in nifH expression of the ‘Stigonema cluster'. These results suggest that Stigonema is potentially the most influential N2-fixer in symbiosis with boreal forest feather mosses. PMID:26918665

  5. Seasonal variation in nifH abundance and expression of cyanobacterial communities associated with boreal feather mosses.

    PubMed

    Warshan, Denis; Bay, Guillaume; Nahar, Nurun; Wardle, David A; Nilsson, Marie-Charlotte; Rasmussen, Ulla

    2016-09-01

    Dinitrogen (N2)-fixation by cyanobacteria living in symbiosis with pleurocarpous feather mosses (for example, Pleurozium schreberi and Hylocomium splendens) represents the main pathway of biological N input into N-depleted boreal forests. Little is known about the role of the cyanobacterial community in contributing to the observed temporal variability of N2-fixation. Using specific nifH primers targeting four major cyanobacterial clusters and quantitative PCR, we investigated how community composition, abundance and nifH expression varied by moss species and over the growing seasons. We evaluated N2-fixation rates across nine forest sites in June and September and explored the abundance and nifH expression of individual cyanobacterial clusters when N2-fixation is highest. Our results showed temporal and host-dependent variations of cyanobacterial community composition, nifH gene abundance and expression. N2-fixation was higher in September than June for both moss species, explained by higher nifH gene expression of individual clusters rather than higher nifH gene abundance or differences in cyanobacterial community composition. In most cases, 'Stigonema cluster' made up less than 29% of the total cyanobacterial community, but accounted for the majority of nifH gene expression (82-94% of total nifH expression), irrespective of sampling date or moss species. Stepwise multiple regressions showed temporal variations in N2-fixation being greatly explained by variations in nifH expression of the 'Stigonema cluster'. These results suggest that Stigonema is potentially the most influential N2-fixer in symbiosis with boreal forest feather mosses. PMID:26918665

  6. Simulating cyanobacterial phenotypes by integrating flux balance analysis, kinetics, and a light distribution function

    DOE PAGESBeta

    He, Lian; Wu, Stephen G.; Wan, Ni; Reding, Adrienne C.; Tang, Yinjie J.

    2015-12-24

    In this study, genome-scale models (GSMs) are widely used to predict cyanobacterial phenotypes in photobioreactors (PBRs). However, stoichiometric GSMs mainly focus on fluxome that result in maximal yields. Cyanobacterial metabolism is controlled by both intracellular enzymes and photobioreactor conditions. To connect both intracellular and extracellular information and achieve a better understanding of PBRs productivities, this study integrates a genome-scale metabolic model of Synechocystis 6803 with growth kinetics, cell movements, and a light distribution function. The hybrid platform not only maps flux dynamics in cells of sub-populations but also predicts overall production titer and rate in PBRs. Analysis of the integratedmore » GSM demonstrates several results. First, cyanobacteria are capable of reaching high biomass concentration (>20 g/L in 21 days) in PBRs without light and CO2 mass transfer limitations. Second, fluxome in a single cyanobacterium may show stochastic changes due to random cell movements in PBRs. Third, insufficient light due to cell self-shading can activate the oxidative pentose phosphate pathway in subpopulation cells. Fourth, the model indicates that the removal of glycogen synthesis pathway may not improve cyanobacterial bio-production in large-size PBRs, because glycogen can support cell growth in the dark zones. Based on experimental data, the integrated GSM estimates that Synechocystis 6803 in shake flask conditions has a photosynthesis efficiency of ~2.7 %. Conclusions: The multiple-scale integrated GSM, which examines both intracellular and extracellular domains, can be used to predict production yield/rate/titer in large-size PBRs. More importantly, genetic engineering strategies predicted by a traditional GSM may work well only in optimal growth conditions. In contrast, the integrated GSM may reveal mutant physiologies in diverse bioreactor conditions, leading to the design of robust strains with high chances of success in

  7. Quantifying the Rhythm of KaiB-C Interaction for In Vitro Cyanobacterial Circadian Clock

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Lan; Ranganathan, Rama

    2012-01-01

    An oscillator consisting of KaiA, KaiB, and KaiC proteins comprises the core of cyanobacterial circadian clock. While one key reaction in this process—KaiC phosphorylation—has been extensively investigated and modeled, other key processes, such as the interactions among Kai proteins, are not understood well. Specifically, different experimental techniques have yielded inconsistent views about Kai A, B, and C interactions. Here, we first propose a mathematical model of cyanobacterial circadian clock that explains the recently observed dynamics of the four phospho-states of KaiC as well as the interactions among the three Kai proteins. Simulations of the model show that the interaction between KaiB and KaiC oscillates with the same period as the phosphorylation of KaiC, but displays a phase delay of ∼8 hr relative to the total phosphorylated KaiC. Secondly, this prediction on KaiB-C interaction are evaluated using a novel FRET (Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer)-based assay by tagging fluorescent proteins Cerulean and Venus to KaiC and KaiB, respectively, and reconstituting fluorescent protein-labeled in vitro clock. The data show that the KaiB∶KaiC interaction indeed oscillates with ∼24 hr periodicity and ∼8 hr phase delay relative to KaiC phosphorylation, consistent with model prediction. Moreover, it is noteworthy that our model indicates that the interlinked positive and negative feedback loops are the underlying mechanism for oscillation, with the serine phosphorylated-state (the “S-state") of KaiC being a hub for the feedback loops. Because the kinetics of the KaiB-C interaction faithfully follows that of the S-state, the FRET measurement may provide an important real-time probe in quantitative study of the cyanobacterial circadian clock. PMID:22900029

  8. Avian vacuolar myelinopathy linked to exotic aquatic plants and a novel cyanobacterial species.

    PubMed

    Wilde, Susan B; Murphy, Thomas M; Hope, Charlotte P; Habrun, Sarah K; Kempton, Jason; Birrenkott, Anna; Wiley, Faith; Bowerman, William W; Lewitus, Alan J

    2005-06-01

    Invasions of exotic species have created environmental havoc through competition and displacement of native plants and animals. The introduction of hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata) into the United States in the 1960s has been detrimental to navigation, power generation, water intake, and water quality (McCann et al., 1996). Our field surveys and feeding studies have now implicated exotic hydrilla and associated epiphytic cyanobacterial species as a link to avian vacuolar myelinopathy (AVM), an emerging avian disease affecting herbivorous waterbirds and their avian predators. AVM, first reported in 1994, has caused the death of at least 100 bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and thousands of American coots (Fulica americana) at 11 sites from Texas to North Carolina (Thomas et al., 1998; Rocke et al., 2002). Our working hypothesis is that the agent of this disease is an uncharacterized neurotoxin produced by a novel cyanobacterial epiphyte of the order Stigonematales. This undescribed species covers up to 95% of the surface area of leaves in reservoirs where bird deaths have occurred from the disease. In addition, this species is rare or not found on hydrilla collected at sites where AVM disease has not been diagnosed. Laboratory feeding trials and a sentinel bird study using naturally occurring blooms of cyanobacteria on hydrilla leaves and farm-raised mallard ducks (Anas platyrhynchos) induced the disease experimentally. Since 1994 AVM has been diagnosed in additional sites from Texas to North Carolina. Specific site characteristics that produce the disjunct distribution of AVM are unknown, but it is probable that the incidence of this disease will increase with the introduction of hydrilla and associated cyanobacterial species into additional ponds, lakes, and reservoirs. PMID:15892059

  9. Flavodiiron proteins Flv1 and Flv3 enable cyanobacterial growth and photosynthesis under fluctuating light

    PubMed Central

    Allahverdiyeva, Yagut; Mustila, Henna; Ermakova, Maria; Bersanini, Luca; Richaud, Pierre; Ajlani, Ghada; Battchikova, Natalia; Cournac, Laurent; Aro, Eva-Mari

    2013-01-01

    Cyanobacterial flavodiiron proteins (FDPs; A-type flavoprotein, Flv) comprise, besides the β-lactamase–like and flavodoxin domains typical for all FDPs, an extra NAD(P)H:flavin oxidoreductase module and thus differ from FDPs in other Bacteria and Archaea. Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 has four genes encoding the FDPs. Flv1 and Flv3 function as an NAD(P)H:oxygen oxidoreductase, donating electrons directly to O2 without production of reactive oxygen species. Here we show that the Flv1 and Flv3 proteins are crucial for cyanobacteria under fluctuating light, a typical light condition in aquatic environments. Under constant-light conditions, regardless of light intensity, the Flv1 and Flv3 proteins are dispensable. In contrast, under fluctuating light conditions, the growth and photosynthesis of the Δflv1(A) and/or Δflv3(A) mutants of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 and Anabaena sp. PCC 7120 become arrested, resulting in cell death in the most severe cases. This reaction is mainly caused by malfunction of photosystem I and oxidative damage induced by reactive oxygen species generated during abrupt short-term increases in light intensity. Unlike higher plants that lack the FDPs and use the Proton Gradient Regulation 5 to safeguard photosystem I, the cyanobacterial homolog of Proton Gradient Regulation 5 is shown not to be crucial for growth under fluctuating light. Instead, the unique Flv1/Flv3 heterodimer maintains the redox balance of the electron transfer chain in cyanobacteria and provides protection for photosystem I under fluctuating growth light. Evolution of unique cyanobacterial FDPs is discussed as a prerequisite for the development of oxygenic photosynthesis. PMID:23431195

  10. Effects of Light Stress on Extracellular Cycling in a Cyanobacterial Biofilm Community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stuart, R.; Mayali, X.; Pett-Ridge, J.; Weber, P. K.; Thelen, M.; Bebout, B.; Lipton, M. S.

    2015-12-01

    Cyanobacterial carbon excretion is crucial to carbon cycling in many microbial communities, but the nature and bioavailability of the carbon excreted is dependent on physiological function, which is often unknown. Cyanobacteria are the dominant primary producers in hypersaline mats and there is large reservoir of carbon in the extracellular matrix, but the nature and flux is understudied. In a previous study, we examined the macromolecular composition of the matrix of microbial mats from Elkhorn Slough in Monterey Bay, California and a unicyanobacterial culture, ESFC-1, isolated from the those mats, and found evidence for cyanobacterial degradation and re-uptake of extracellular organic matter. In this work, we further explore mechanisms of this degradation and re-uptake by examining effects of light using a combination of high-resolution imaging mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS) and metaproteomics of extracellular proteins. Based on these findings, we propose that mat Cyanobacteria store and recycle organic material from the mat extracellular matrix. Cyanobacteria can account for 70-90% of the biomass in the upper phototrophic layer of the mats, so their re-uptake of organic carbon and nitrogen has the potential to re-define organic matter availability in these systems. This work has implications for cyanobacterial adaptation to dynamic environments like microbial mats, where uptake of carbon and nitrogen in variable forms may be necessary to persist. This research was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research Genomic Science program under FWP SCW1039. Work at LLNL was performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract DE-AC52-07NA27344.

  11. Simulating cyanobacterial phenotypes by integrating flux balance analysis, kinetics, and a light distribution function

    SciTech Connect

    He, Lian; Wu, Stephen G.; Wan, Ni; Reding, Adrienne C.; Tang, Yinjie J.

    2015-12-24

    In this study, genome-scale models (GSMs) are widely used to predict cyanobacterial phenotypes in photobioreactors (PBRs). However, stoichiometric GSMs mainly focus on fluxome that result in maximal yields. Cyanobacterial metabolism is controlled by both intracellular enzymes and photobioreactor conditions. To connect both intracellular and extracellular information and achieve a better understanding of PBRs productivities, this study integrates a genome-scale metabolic model of Synechocystis 6803 with growth kinetics, cell movements, and a light distribution function. The hybrid platform not only maps flux dynamics in cells of sub-populations but also predicts overall production titer and rate in PBRs. Analysis of the integrated GSM demonstrates several results. First, cyanobacteria are capable of reaching high biomass concentration (>20 g/L in 21 days) in PBRs without light and CO2 mass transfer limitations. Second, fluxome in a single cyanobacterium may show stochastic changes due to random cell movements in PBRs. Third, insufficient light due to cell self-shading can activate the oxidative pentose phosphate pathway in subpopulation cells. Fourth, the model indicates that the removal of glycogen synthesis pathway may not improve cyanobacterial bio-production in large-size PBRs, because glycogen can support cell growth in the dark zones. Based on experimental data, the integrated GSM estimates that Synechocystis 6803 in shake flask conditions has a photosynthesis efficiency of ~2.7 %. Conclusions: The multiple-scale integrated GSM, which examines both intracellular and extracellular domains, can be used to predict production yield/rate/titer in large-size PBRs. More importantly, genetic engineering strategies predicted by a traditional GSM may work well only in optimal growth conditions. In contrast, the integrated GSM may reveal mutant physiologies in diverse bioreactor conditions, leading to the design of robust strains with high

  12. Light Regimes Shape Utilization of Extracellular Organic C and N in a Cyanobacterial Biofilm

    PubMed Central

    Stuart, Rhona K.; Mayali, Xavier; Boaro, Amy A.; Zemla, Adam; Everroad, R. Craig; Nilson, Daniel; Weber, Peter K.; Lipton, Mary; Bebout, Brad M.; Pett-Ridge, Jennifer

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Although it is becoming clear that many microbial primary producers can also play a role as organic consumers, we know very little about the metabolic regulation of photoautotroph organic matter consumption. Cyanobacteria in phototrophic biofilms can reuse extracellular organic carbon, but the metabolic drivers of extracellular processes are surprisingly complex. We investigated the metabolic foundations of organic matter reuse by comparing exoproteome composition and incorporation of 13C-labeled and 15N-labeled cyanobacterial extracellular organic matter (EOM) in a unicyanobacterial biofilm incubated using different light regimes. In the light and the dark, cyanobacterial direct organic C assimilation accounted for 32% and 43%, respectively, of all organic C assimilation in the community. Under photosynthesis conditions, we measured increased excretion of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) and proteins involved in micronutrient transport, suggesting that requirements for micronutrients may drive EOM assimilation during daylight hours. This interpretation was supported by photosynthesis inhibition experiments, in which cyanobacteria incorporated N-rich EOM-derived material. In contrast, under dark, C-starved conditions, cyanobacteria incorporated C-rich EOM-derived organic matter, decreased excretion of EPS, and showed an increased abundance of degradative exoproteins, demonstrating the use of the extracellular domain for C storage. Sequence-structure modeling of one of these exoproteins predicted a specific hydrolytic activity that was subsequently detected, confirming increased EOM degradation in the dark. Associated heterotrophic bacteria increased in abundance and upregulated transport proteins under dark relative to light conditions. Taken together, our results indicate that biofilm cyanobacteria are successful competitors for organic C and N and that cyanobacterial nutrient and energy requirements control the use of EOM. PMID:27353754

  13. Expression of functional diphtheria toxin receptors on highly toxin-sensitive mouse cells that specifically bind radioiodinated toxin.

    PubMed Central

    Naglich, J G; Rolf, J M; Eidels, L

    1992-01-01

    Diphtheria toxin (DT), a bacterial protein exotoxin, inactivates mammalian cell elongation factor 2 after toxin internalization by receptor-mediated endocytosis. To isolate the DT receptor, we cotransfected DT-resistant wild-type mouse L-M cells with a cDNA library constructed from RNA of highly toxin-sensitive monkey Vero cells and with a neomycin-resistance gene. Stably transfected G418-resistant L-M colonies were screened for DT sensitivity in a replica plate assay. After screening of 8000 colonies, one DT-sensitive (DTS) colony was isolated. The purified DTS mouse cells are highly toxin-sensitive; they are at least 1000-fold more sensitive than wild-type L-M cells and only approximately 10-fold less sensitive than Vero cells. Incubation of the DTS mouse cells with CRM 197, a nontoxic form of DT that competitively inhibits the binding of native DT to the toxin receptor, protected them from DT-mediated toxicity. More important, these DTS mouse cells express receptors on their cell surface that bind radioiodinated DT in a specific fashion, a property hitherto readily demonstrable only with highly toxin-sensitive cells of monkey origin. Furthermore, HA6DT, a DT fragment comprising the Mr 6000 carboxyl-terminal receptor-binding domain, inhibited the binding of radioiodinated toxin to these DTS mouse cells to the same extent as unlabeled DT. With these DTS mouse cells as a source of monkey cDNA, it should be possible to clone the gene encoding the DT receptor. PMID:1549577

  14. Identification of a molecular target of kurahyne, an apoptosis-inducing lipopeptide from marine cyanobacterial assemblages.

    PubMed

    Iwasaki, Arihiro; Ohno, Osamu; Katsuyama, Shun; Morita, Maho; Sasazawa, Yukiko; Dan, Shingo; Simizu, Siro; Yamori, Takao; Suenaga, Kiyotake

    2015-11-15

    In 2014, we isolated kurahyne, an acetylene-containing lipopeptide, from a marine cyanobacterial assemblage of Lyngbya sp. Kurahyne exhibited growth-inhibitory activity against human cancer cells, and induced apoptosis in HeLa cells. However, its mode of action is not yet clear. To elucidate its mode of action, we carried out several cell-based assays, and identified the intracellular target molecule of kurahyne as sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) ATPase (SERCA). In addition, we found that kurahyne inhibited the differentiation of macrophages into osteoclasts. PMID:26428873

  15. Combinational biosynthesis of a fluorescent cyanobacterial holo-alpha-allophycocyanin in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yu; Ge, Baosheng; Guan, Xiangyu; Zhang, Weijie; Qin, Song

    2008-06-01

    Allophycocyanin (APC) is a phycobiliprotein with various biological and pharmacological properties. An expression vector containing five essential genes in charge of biosynthesis of cyanobacterial APC holo-alpha subunit (holo-ApcA) was constructed, resulting in over-expression of a fluorescent holo-ApcA in E. coli. After being cultured for 16 h, the dry cell density reached 22.5 g l(-1), and the expression of holo-HT-ApcA was up to 1 g l(-1) broth. The recombinant protein showed similar spectral features to native APC. PMID:18224279

  16. Episodic Cyanobacterial Expansions During Permian-Triassic Biotic Crisis at Meishan in South China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, S.; Pancost, R.; Huang, X.; Jiao, D.; Lu, L.; Huang, J.; Wang, H.; Yang, F.; Yin, H.; Evershed, R.

    2005-12-01

    The Permian-Triassic (P-Tr) mass extinction was the most severe biotic crisis in the Phanerozoic, eliminating over 90% of all marine species and 70% of terrestrial vertebrate families. The pattern of the marine mass extinction near the P-Tr boundary is still debated. A stepwise multi-phase biotic extinction proposed on the basis of several southern China sections has recently been challenged by a proposal of a main sudden biotic crisis. Reconciling this debate is necessary in order to estimate the duration (abruptness) of the extinction and to evaluate proposed mechanisms. In contrast with the previous investigations focusing on faunal fossil records, we have conducted a survey of microbial biomarkers (molecular fossils) in sedimentary rocks spanning the P-Tr boundary at Meishan sections in South China where the GSSP was defined. By using the powerful techniques of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and GC-combustion-isotope ratio MS, we are able to identify a series of biomarkers and measure the compound-specific carbon isotope composition. In the saturated hydrocarbon fraction of solvent extracts of the sedimentary rocks, a series of 2α-methylhopanes (2-MHP) derived from cyanobacterial 2-methyl-bacteriohopanepolyols precursors are present. The ratio of 2-MHP to hopanes (2-MHP index) reflects the abundance of cyanobacterial component relative to the general bacterial population. The striking aspect of the Meishan 2-MHP profile is the presence of two distinct maxima (beds 26 and 29) within the investigated intervals. Significantly, the 2-MHP indices are stratigraphically coupled with the faunal extinction probability; minima in 2-MHP indices coincide with, or slightly precede, the times of maximum faunal extinction (beds 25 and 28), while maxima in 2-MHP indices clearly lag extinction. It appears that faunal and microbial turnover was closely related, probably reflecting their ecological coupling and/or distinct but coincidental responses to external

  17. A biomimetic nanosponge that absorbs pore-forming toxins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Che-Ming J.; Fang, Ronnie H.; Copp, Jonathan; Luk, Brian T.; Zhang, Liangfang

    2013-05-01

    Detoxification treatments such as toxin-targeted anti-virulence therapy offer ways to cleanse the body of virulence factors that are caused by bacterial infections, venomous injuries and biological weaponry. Because existing detoxification platforms such as antisera, monoclonal antibodies, small-molecule inhibitors and molecularly imprinted polymers act by targeting the molecular structures of toxins, customized treatments are required for different diseases. Here, we show a biomimetic toxin nanosponge that functions as a toxin decoy in vivo. The nanosponge, which consists of a polymeric nanoparticle core surrounded by red blood cell membranes, absorbs membrane-damaging toxins and diverts them away from their cellular targets. In a mouse model, the nanosponges markedly reduce the toxicity of staphylococcal alpha-haemolysin (α-toxin) and thus improve the survival rate of toxin-challenged mice. This biologically inspired toxin nanosponge presents a detoxification treatment that can potentially treat a variety of injuries and diseases caused by pore-forming toxins.

  18. Clostridium perfringens Delta-Toxin Induces Rapid Cell Necrosis

    PubMed Central

    Seike, Soshi; Miyamoto, Kazuaki; Kobayashi, Keiko; Takehara, Masaya; Nagahama, Masahiro

    2016-01-01

    Clostridium perfringens delta-toxin is a β-pore-forming toxin and a putative pathogenic agent of C. perfringens types B and C. However, the mechanism of cytotoxicity of delta-toxin remains unclear. Here, we investigated the mechanisms of cell death induced by delta-toxin in five cell lines (A549, A431, MDCK, Vero, and Caco-2). All cell lines were susceptible to delta-toxin. The toxin caused rapid ATP depletion and swelling of the cells. Delta-toxin bound and formed oligomers predominantly in plasma membrane lipid rafts. Destruction of the lipid rafts with methyl β-cyclodextrin inhibited delta-toxin-induced cytotoxicity and ATP depletion. Delta-toxin caused the release of carboxyfluorescein from sphingomyelin-cholesterol liposomes and formed oligomers; toxin binding to the liposomes declined with decreasing cholesterol content in the liposomes. Flow cytometric assays with annexin V and propidium iodide revealed that delta-toxin treatment induced an elevation in the population of annexin V-negative and propidium iodide-positive cells. Delta-toxin did not cause the fragmentation of DNA or caspase-3 activation. Furthermore, delta-toxin caused damage to mitochondrial membrane permeability and cytochrome c release. In the present study, we demonstrate that delta-toxin produces cytotoxic activity through necrosis. PMID:26807591

  19. Toxin from skin of frogs of the genus Atelopus: differentiation from Dendrobatid toxins.

    PubMed

    Fuhrman, F A; Fuhrman, G J; Mosher, H S

    1969-09-26

    A potent, dialyzable toxin (atelopidtoxin) occurs in the skin of frogs of the genus Atelopus. A concentrate of atelopidtoxin from Atelopus zeteki has an LD(50) in mice of 16 micrograms per kilogram. It differs from batrachotoxin, tetrodotoxin, and saxitoxin, the only known nonprotein substances of greater toxicity, as well as from all toxins previously isolated from amphibia. PMID:5807965

  20. Synthesis and Biology of Cyclic Imine Toxins, An Emerging Class of Potent, Globally Distributed Marine Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Stivala, Craig E.; Benoit, Evelyne; Araoz, Romulo; Servent, Denis; Novikov, Alexei

    2014-01-01

    From a small group of exotic compounds isolated only two decades ago, Cyclic Imine (CI) toxins have become a major class of marine toxins with global distribution. Their distinct chemical structure, biological mechanism of action, and intricate chemistry ensures that CI toxins will continue to be the subject of fascinating fundamental studies in the broad fields of chemistry, chemical biology, and toxicology. The worldwide occurrence of potent CI toxins in marine environments, their accumulation in shellfish, and chemical stability are important considerations in assessing risk factors for human health. This review article aims to provide an account of chemistry, biology, and toxicology of CI toxins from their discovery to the present day. PMID:25338021

  1. Synthesis and biology of cyclic imine toxins, an emerging class of potent, globally distributed marine toxins.

    PubMed

    Stivala, Craig E; Benoit, Evelyne; Aráoz, Rómulo; Servent, Denis; Novikov, Alexei; Molgó, Jordi; Zakarian, Armen

    2015-03-01

    From a small group of exotic compounds isolated only two decades ago, Cyclic Imine (CI) toxins have become a major class of marine toxins with global distribution. Their distinct chemical structure, biological mechanism of action, and intricate chemistry ensures that CI toxins will continue to be the subject of fascinating fundamental studies in the broad fields of chemistry, chemical biology, and toxicology. The worldwide occurrence of potent CI toxins in marine environments, their accumulation in shellfish, and chemical stability are important considerations in assessing risk factors for human health. This review article aims to provide an account of chemistry, biology, and toxicology of CI toxins from their discovery to the present day. PMID:25338021

  2. Animal Toxins: How is Complexity Represented in Databases?

    PubMed Central

    Jungo, Florence; Estreicher, Anne; Bairoch, Amos; Bougueleret, Lydie; Xenarios, Ioannis

    2010-01-01

    Peptide toxins synthesized by venomous animals have been extensively studied in the last decades. To be useful to the scientific community, this knowledge has been stored, annotated and made easy to retrieve by several databases. The aim of this article is to present what type of information users can access from each database. ArachnoServer and ConoServer focus on spider toxins and cone snail toxins, respectively. UniProtKB, a generalist protein knowledgebase, has an animal toxin-dedicated annotation program that includes toxins from all venomous animals. Finally, the ATDB metadatabase compiles data and annotations from other databases and provides toxin ontology. PMID:22069583

  3. Animal Toxins: How is Complexity Represented in Databases?

    PubMed

    Jungo, Florence; Estreicher, Anne; Bairoch, Amos; Bougueleret, Lydie; Xenarios, Ioannis

    2010-02-01

    Peptide toxins synthesized by venomous animals have been extensively studied in the last decades. To be useful to the scientific community, this knowledge has been stored, annotated and made easy to retrieve by several databases. The aim of this article is to present what type of information users can access from each database. ArachnoServer and ConoServer focus on spider toxins and cone snail toxins, respectively. UniProtKB, a generalist protein knowledgebase, has an animal toxin-dedicated annotation program that includes toxins from all venomous animals. Finally, the ATDB metadatabase compiles data and annotations from other databases and provides toxin ontology. PMID:22069583

  4. Exposure of Lycopersicon esculentum to microcystin-LR: effects in the leaf proteome and toxin translocation from water to leaves and fruits.

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez-Praena, Daniel; Campos, Alexandre; Azevedo, Joana; Neves, Joana; Freitas, Marisa; Guzmán-Guillén, Remédios; Cameán, Ana María; Renaut, Jenny; Vasconcelos, Vitor

    2014-06-01

    Natural toxins such as those produced by freshwater cyanobacteria have been regarded as an emergent environmental threat. However, the impact of these water contaminants in agriculture is not yet fully understood. The aim of this work was to investigate microcystin-LR (MC-LR) toxicity in Lycopersicon esculentum and the toxin accumulation in this horticultural crop. Adult plants (2 month-old) grown in a greenhouse environment were exposed for 2 weeks to either pure MC-LR (100 μg/L) or Microcystis aeruginosa crude extracts containing 100 μg/L MC-LR. Chlorophyll fluorescence was measured, leaf proteome investigated with two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time-of-Flight (MALDI-TOF)/TOF, and toxin bioaccumulation assessed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS)/MS. Variations in several protein markers (ATP synthase subunits, Cytochrome b6-f complex iron-sulfur, oxygen-evolving enhancer proteins) highlight the decrease of the capacity of plants to synthesize ATP and to perform photosynthesis, whereas variations in other proteins (ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase large subunit and ribose-5-phosphate isomerase) suggest an increase of carbon fixation and decrease of carbohydrate metabolism reactions in plants exposed to pure MC-LR and cyanobacterial extracts, respectively. MC-LR was found in roots (1635.21 μg/kg fw), green tomatoes (5.15-5.41 μg/kg fw), mature tomatoes (10.52-10.83 μg/kg fw), and leaves (12,298.18 μg/kg fw). The results raise concerns relative to food safety and point to the necessity of monitoring the bioaccumulation of water toxins in agricultural systems affected by cyanotoxin contamination. PMID:24921194

  5. Detection of Anatoxin-a and Three Analogs in Anabaena spp. Cultures: New Fluorescence Polarization Assay and Toxin Profile by LC-MS/MS

    PubMed Central

    Sanchez, Jon A.; Otero, Paz; Alfonso, Amparo; Ramos, Vitor; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Aráoz, Romulo; Molgó, Jordi; Vieytes, Mercedes R.; Botana, Luis M.

    2014-01-01

    Anatoxin-a (ATX) is a potent neurotoxin produced by several species of Anabaena spp. Cyanobacteria blooms around the world have been increasing in recent years; therefore, it is urgent to develop sensitive techniques that unequivocally confirm the presence of these toxins in fresh water and cyanobacterial samples. In addition, the identification of different ATX analogues is essential to later determine its toxicity. In this paper we designed a fluorescent polarization (FP) method to detect ATXs in water samples. A nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) labeled with a fluorescein derivative was used to develop this assay. Data showed a direct relationship between the amount of toxin in a sample and the changes in the polarization degree of the emitted light by the labeled nAChR, indicating an interaction between the two molecules. This method was used to measure the amount of ATX in three Anabaena spp. cultures. Results indicate that it is a good method to show ATXs presence in algal samples. In order to check the toxin profile of Anabaena cultures a LC-MS/MS method was also developed. Within this new method, ATX-a, retention time (RT) 5 min, and three other molecules with a mass m/z 180.1 eluting at 4.14 min, 5.90 min and 7.14 min with MS/MS spectra characteristic of ATX toxin group not previously identified were detected in the Anabaena spp. cultures. These ATX analogues may have an important role in the toxicity of the sample. PMID:24469431

  6. Detection of anatoxin-a and three analogs in Anabaena spp. cultures: new fluorescence polarization assay and toxin profile by LC-MS/MS.

    PubMed

    Sanchez, Jon A; Otero, Paz; Alfonso, Amparo; Ramos, Vitor; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Aráoz, Romulo; Molgó, Jordi; Vieytes, Mercedes R; Botana, Luis M

    2014-02-01

    Anatoxin-a (ATX) is a potent neurotoxin produced by several species of Anabaena spp. Cyanobacteria blooms around the world have been increasing in recent years; therefore, it is urgent to develop sensitive techniques that unequivocally confirm the presence of these toxins in fresh water and cyanobacterial samples. In addition, the identification of different ATX analogues is essential to later determine its toxicity. In this paper we designed a fluorescent polarization (FP) method to detect ATXs in water samples. A nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) labeled with a fluorescein derivative was used to develop this assay. Data showed a direct relationship between the amount of toxin in a sample and the changes in the polarization degree of the emitted light by the labeled nAChR, indicating an interaction between the two molecules. This method was used to measure the amount of ATX in three Anabaena spp. cultures. Results indicate that it is a good method to show ATXs presence in algal samples. In order to check the toxin profile of Anabaena cultures a LC-MS/MS method was also developed. Within this new method, ATX-a, retention time (RT) 5 min, and three other molecules with a mass m/z 180.1 eluting at 4.14 min, 5.90 min and 7.14 min with MS/MS spectra characteristic of ATX toxin group not previously identified were detected in the Anabaena spp. cultures. These ATX analogues may have an important role in the toxicity of the sample. PMID:24469431

  7. Exposure of Lycopersicon Esculentum to Microcystin-LR: Effects in the Leaf Proteome and Toxin Translocation from Water to Leaves and Fruits

    PubMed Central

    Gutiérrez-Praena, Daniel; Campos, Alexandre; Azevedo, Joana; Neves, Joana; Freitas, Marisa; Guzmán-Guillén, Remédios; Cameán, Ana María; Renaut, Jenny; Vasconcelos, Vitor

    2014-01-01

    Natural toxins such as those produced by freshwater cyanobacteria have been regarded as an emergent environmental threat. However, the impact of these water contaminants in agriculture is not yet fully understood. The aim of this work was to investigate microcystin-LR (MC-LR) toxicity in Lycopersicon esculentum and the toxin accumulation in this horticultural crop. Adult plants (2 month-old) grown in a greenhouse environment were exposed for 2 weeks to either pure MC-LR (100 μg/L) or Microcystis aeruginosa crude extracts containing 100 μg/L MC-LR. Chlorophyll fluorescence was measured, leaf proteome investigated with two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time-of-Flight (MALDI-TOF)/TOF, and toxin bioaccumulation assessed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS)/MS. Variations in several protein markers (ATP synthase subunits, Cytochrome b6-f complex iron-sulfur, oxygen-evolving enhancer proteins) highlight the decrease of the capacity of plants to synthesize ATP and to perform photosynthesis, whereas variations in other proteins (ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase large subunit and ribose-5-phosphate isomerase) suggest an increase of carbon fixation and decrease of carbohydrate metabolism reactions in plants exposed to pure MC-LR and cyanobacterial extracts, respectively. MC-LR was found in roots (1635.21 μg/kg fw), green tomatoes (5.15–5.41 μg/kg fw), mature tomatoes (10.52–10.83 μg/kg fw), and leaves (12,298.18 μg/kg fw). The results raise concerns relative to food safety and point to the necessity of monitoring the bioaccumulation of water toxins in agricultural systems affected by cyanotoxin contamination. PMID:24921194

  8. Fate and transport of cyanobacteria and associated toxins and taste-and-odor compounds from upstream reservoir releases in the Kansas River, Kansas, September and October 2011

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Graham, Jennifer L.; Ziegler, Andrew C.; Loving, Brian L.; Loftin, Keith A.

    2012-01-01

    Cyanobacteria cause a multitude of water-quality concerns, including the potential to produce toxins and taste-and-odor compounds. Toxins and taste-and-odor compounds may cause substantial economic and public health concerns and are of particular interest in lakes, reservoirs, and rivers that are used for drinking-water supply, recreation, or aquaculture. The Kansas River is a primary source of drinking water for about 800,000 people in northeastern Kansas. Water released from Milford Lake to the Kansas River during a toxic cyanobacterial bloom in late August 2011 prompted concerns about cyanobacteria and associated toxins and taste-and-odor compounds in downstream drinking-water supplies. During September and October 2011 water-quality samples were collected to characterize the transport of cyanobacteria and associated compounds from upstream reservoirs to the Kansas River. This study is one of the first to quantitatively document the transport of cyanobacteria and associated compounds during reservoir releases and improves understanding of the fate and transport of cyanotoxins and taste-and-odor compounds downstream from reservoirs. Milford Lake was the only reservoir in the study area with an ongoing cyanobacterial bloom during reservoir releases. Concentrations of cyanobacteria and associated toxins and taste-and-odor compounds in Milford Lake (upstream from the dam) were not necessarily indicative of outflow conditions (below the dam). Total microcystin concentrations, one of the most commonly occurring cyanobacterial toxins, in Milford Lake were 650 to 7,500 times higher than the Kansas Department of Health and Environment guidance level for a public health warning (20 micrograms per liter) for most of September 2011. By comparison, total microcystin concentrations in the Milford Lake outflow generally were less than 10 percent of the concentrations in surface accumulations, and never exceeded 20 micrograms per liter. The Republican River, downstream from

  9. Diel Variation in Gene Expression of the CO2-Concentrating Mechanism during a Harmful Cyanobacterial Bloom.

    PubMed

    Sandrini, Giovanni; Tann, Robert P; Schuurmans, J Merijn; van Beusekom, Sebastiaan A M; Matthijs, Hans C P; Huisman, Jef

    2016-01-01

    Dense phytoplankton blooms in eutrophic waters often experience large daily fluctuations in environmental conditions. We investigated how this diel variation affects in situ gene expression of the CO2-concentrating mechanism (CCM) and other selected genes of the harmful cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa. Photosynthetic activity of the cyanobacterial bloom depleted the dissolved CO2 concentration, raised pH to 10, and caused large diel fluctuations in the bicarbonate and O2 concentration. The Microcystis population consisted of three Ci uptake genotypes that differed in the presence of the low-affinity and high-affinity bicarbonate uptake genes bicA and sbtA. Expression of the bicarbonate uptake genes bicA, sbtA, and cmpA (encoding a subunit of the high-affinity bicarbonate uptake system BCT1), the CCM transcriptional regulator gene ccmR and the photoprotection gene flv4 increased at first daylight and was negatively correlated with the bicarbonate concentration. In contrast, genes of the two CO2 uptake systems were constitutively expressed, whereas expression of the RuBisCO chaperone gene rbcX, the carboxysome gene ccmM, and the photoprotection gene isiA was highest at night and down-regulated during daytime. In total, our results show that the harmful cyanobacterium Microcystis is very responsive to the large diel variations in carbon and light availability often encountered in dense cyanobacterial blooms. PMID:27148233

  10. Photosynthetic action spectra and adaptation to spectral light distribution in a benthic cyanobacterial mat.

    PubMed Central

    Jorgensen, B B; Cohen, Y; Des Marais, D J

    1987-01-01

    We studied adaptation to spectral light distribution in undisturbed benthic communities of cyanobacterial mats growing in hypersaline ponds at Guerrero Negro, Baja California, Mexico. Microscale measurements of oxygen photosynthesis and action spectra were performed with microelectrodes; spectral radiance was measured with fiber-optic microprobes. The spatial resolution of all measurements was 0.1 mm, and the spectral resolution was 10 to 15 nm. Light attenuation spectra showed absorption predominantly by chlorophyll a (Chl a) (430 and 670 nm), phycocyanin (620 nm), and carotenoids (440 to 500 nm). Blue light (450 nm) was attenuated 10-fold more strongly than red light (600 nm). The action spectra of the surface film of diatoms accordingly showed activity over the whole spectrum, with maxima for Chl a and carotenoids. The underlying dense Microcoleus population showed almost exclusively activity dependent upon light harvesting by phycobilins at 550 to 660 nm. Maximum activity was at 580 and 650 nm, indicating absorption by phycoerythrin and phycocyanin as well as by allophycocyanin. Very little Chl a-dependent activity could be detected in the cyanobacterial action spectrum, even with additional 600-nm light to excite photosystem II. The depth distribution of photosynthesis showed detectable activity down to a depth of 0.8 to 2.5 mm, where the downwelling radiant flux at 600 nm was reduced to 0.2 to 0.6% of the surface flux. PMID:11536572

  11. Long-Term Satellite Observations of Microcystin Concentrations in Lake Taihu during Cyanobacterial Bloom Periods.

    PubMed

    Shi, Kun; Zhang, Yunlin; Xu, Hai; Zhu, Guangwei; Qin, Boqiang; Huang, Changchun; Liu, Xiaohan; Zhou, Yongqiang; Lv, Heng

    2015-06-01

    Microcystins (MCs) produced by cyanobacteria pose a serious threat to public health. Intelligence on MCs distributions in freshwater is therefore critical for environmental agencies, water authorities, and public health organizations. We developed and validated an empirical model to quantify MCs in Lake Taihu during cyanobacterial bloom periods using the atmospherically Rayleigh-corrected moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS-Aqua) (Rrc) products and in situ data by means of chlorophyll a concentrations (Chla). First, robust relationships were constructed between MCs and Chla (r = 0.91; p < 0.001; t-test) and between Chla and a spectral index derived from Rrc (r = -0.86; p < 0.05; t-test). Then, a regional algorithm to analyze MCs in Lake Taihu was constructed by combining the two relationships. The model was validated and then applied to an 11-year series of MODIS-Aqua data to investigate the spatial and temporal distributions of MCs. MCs in the lake were markedly variable both spatially and temporally. Cyanobacterial bloom scums, temperature, wind, and light conditions probably affected the temporal and spatial distribution of MCs in Lake Taihu. The findings demonstrate that remote sensing reconnaissance in conjunction with in situ monitoring can greatly aid MCs assessment in freshwater. PMID:25936388

  12. Temperature and Cyanobacterial Bloom Biomass Influence Phosphorous Cycling in Eutrophic Lake Sediments

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Mo; Ye, Tian-Ran; Krumholz, Lee R.; Jiang, He-Long

    2014-01-01

    Cyanobacterial blooms frequently occur in freshwater lakes, subsequently, substantial amounts of decaying cyanobacterial bloom biomass (CBB) settles onto the lake sediments where anaerobic mineralization reactions prevail. Coupled Fe/S cycling processes can influence the mobilization of phosphorus (P) in sediments, with high releases often resulting in eutrophication. To better understand eutrophication in Lake Taihu (PRC), we investigated the effects of CBB and temperature on phosphorus cycling in lake sediments. Results indicated that added CBB not only enhanced sedimentary iron reduction, but also resulted in a change from net sulfur oxidation to sulfate reduction, which jointly resulted in a spike of soluble Fe(II) and the formation of FeS/FeS2. Phosphate release was also enhanced with CBB amendment along with increases in reduced sulfur. Further release of phosphate was associated with increases in incubation temperature. In addition, CBB amendment resulted in a shift in P from the Fe-adsorbed P and the relatively unreactive Residual-P pools to the more reactive Al-adsorbed P, Ca-bound P and organic-P pools. Phosphorus cycling rates increased on addition of CBB and were higher at elevated temperatures, resulting in increased phosphorus release from sediments. These findings suggest that settling of CBB into sediments will likely increase the extent of eutrophication in aquatic environments and these processes will be magnified at higher temperatures. PMID:24682039

  13. A Natural View of Microbial Biodiversity within Hot Spring Cyanobacterial Mat Communities

    PubMed Central

    Ward, David M.; Ferris, Michael J.; Nold, Stephen C.; Bateson, Mary M.

    1998-01-01

    This review summarizes a decade of research in which we have used molecular methods, in conjunction with more traditional approaches, to study hot spring cyanobacterial mats as models for understanding principles of microbial community ecology. Molecular methods reveal that the composition of these communities is grossly oversimplified by microscopic and cultivation methods. For example, none of 31 unique 16S rRNA sequences detected in the Octopus Spring mat, Yellowstone National Park, matches that of any prokaryote previously cultivated from geothermal systems; 11 are contributed by genetically diverse cyanobacteria, even though a single cyanobacterial species was suspected based on morphologic and culture analysis. By studying the basis for the incongruity between culture and molecular samplings of community composition, we are beginning to cultivate isolates whose 16S rRNA sequences are readily detected. By placing the genetic diversity detected in context with the well-defined natural environmental gradients typical of hot spring mat systems, the relationship between gene and species diversity is clarified and ecological patterns of species occurrence emerge. By combining these ecological patterns with the evolutionary patterns inherently revealed by phylogenetic analysis of gene sequence data, we find that it may be possible to understand microbial biodiversity within these systems by using principles similar to those developed by evolutionary ecologists to understand biodiversity of larger species. We hope that such an approach guides microbial ecologists to a more realistic and predictive understanding of microbial species occurrence and responsiveness in both natural and disturbed habitats. PMID:9841675

  14. Cyanobacterial distributions along a physico-chemical gradient in the Northeastern Pacific Ocean.

    PubMed

    Sudek, Sebastian; Everroad, R Craig; Gehman, Alyssa-Lois M; Smith, Jason M; Poirier, Camille L; Chavez, Francisco P; Worden, Alexandra Z

    2015-10-01

    The cyanobacteria Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus are important marine primary producers. We explored their distributions and covariance along a physico-chemical gradient from coastal to open ocean waters in the Northeastern Pacific Ocean. An inter-annual pattern was delineated in the dynamic transition zone where upwelled and eastern boundary current waters mix, and two new Synechococcus clades, Eastern Pacific Clade (EPC) 1 and EPC2, were identified. By applying state-of-the-art phylogenetic analysis tools to bar-coded 16S amplicon datasets, we observed higher abundance of Prochlorococcus high-light I (HLI) and low-light I (LLI) in years when more oligotrophic water intruded farther inshore, while under stronger upwelling Synechococcus I and IV dominated. However, contributions of some cyanobacterial clades were proportionally relatively constant, e.g. Synechococcus EPC2. In addition to supporting observations that Prochlorococcus LLI thrive at higher irradiances than other LL taxa, the results suggest LLI tolerate lower temperatures than previously reported. The phylogenetic precision of our 16S rRNA gene analytical approach and depth of bar-coded sequencing also facilitated detection of clades at low abundance in unexpected places. These include Prochlorococcus at the coast and Cyanobium-related sequences offshore, although it remains unclear whether these came from resident or potentially advected cells. Our study enhances understanding of cyanobacterial distributions in an ecologically important eastern boundary system. PMID:25522910

  15. Diversification of DnaA dependency for DNA replication in cyanobacterial evolution.

    PubMed

    Ohbayashi, Ryudo; Watanabe, Satoru; Ehira, Shigeki; Kanesaki, Yu; Chibazakura, Taku; Yoshikawa, Hirofumi

    2016-05-01

    Regulating DNA replication is essential for all living cells. The DNA replication initiation factor DnaA is highly conserved in prokaryotes and is required for accurate initiation of chromosomal replication at oriC. DnaA-independent free-living bacteria have not been identified. The dnaA gene is absent in plastids and some symbiotic bacteria, although it is not known when or how DnaA-independent mechanisms were acquired. Here, we show that the degree of dependency of DNA replication on DnaA varies among cyanobacterial species. Deletion of the dnaA gene in Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942 shifted DNA replication from oriC to a different site as a result of the integration of an episomal plasmid. Moreover, viability during the stationary phase was higher in dnaA disruptants than in wild-type cells. Deletion of dnaA did not affect DNA replication or cell growth in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 or Anabaena sp. PCC 7120, indicating that functional dependency on DnaA was already lost in some nonsymbiotic cyanobacterial lineages during diversification. Therefore, we proposed that cyanobacteria acquired DnaA-independent replication mechanisms before symbiosis and such an ancestral cyanobacterium was the sole primary endosymbiont to form a plastid precursor. PMID:26517699

  16. Transfer of a cyanobacterial neurotoxin within a temperate aquatic ecosystem suggests pathways for human exposure

    PubMed Central

    Jonasson, Sara; Eriksson, Johan; Berntzon, Lotta; Spáčil, Zdenĕk; Ilag, Leopold L.; Ronnevi, Lars-Olof; Rasmussen, Ulla; Bergman, Birgitta

    2010-01-01

    β-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA), a neurotoxic nonprotein amino acid produced by most cyanobacteria, has been proposed to be the causative agent of devastating neurodegenerative diseases on the island of Guam in the Pacific Ocean. Because cyanobacteria are widespread globally, we hypothesized that BMAA might occur and bioaccumulate in other ecosystems. Here we demonstrate, based on a recently developed extraction and HPLC-MS/MS method and long-term monitoring of BMAA in cyanobacterial populations of a temperate aquatic ecosystem (Baltic Sea, 2007–2008), that BMAA is biosynthesized by cyanobacterial genera dominating the massive surface blooms of this water body. BMAA also was found at higher concentrations in organisms of higher trophic levels that directly or indirectly feed on cyanobacteria, such as zooplankton and various vertebrates (fish) and invertebrates (mussels, oysters). Pelagic and benthic fish species used for human consumption were included. The highest BMAA levels were detected in the muscle and brain of bottom-dwelling fishes. The discovery of regular biosynthesis of the neurotoxin BMAA in a large temperate aquatic ecosystem combined with its possible transfer and bioaccumulation within major food webs, some ending in human consumption, is alarming and requires attention. PMID:20439734

  17. Cyanobacterial community structure as seen from RNA polymerase gene sequence analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Palenik, B.

    1994-09-01

    PCR was used to amplify DNA-dependent RNA polymerase gene sequences specifically from the cyanobacterial population in a seawater sample from the Sargasso Sea. Sequencing and analysis of the cloned fragments suggests that the population in the sample consisted of two distinct clusters of Prochlorococcus-like cyanobacteria and four clusters of Synechococcus-like cyanobacteria. The diversity within these clusters was significantly different, however. Clones within each Synechococcus-like cluster were 99 to 100% identical, while each Prochlorococcus-like cluster was only 91% identical at the nucleotide level. One Prochlorococcus-like cluster was significantly more closely related to a Mediterranean Sea (surface) Prochlorococcus isolate than to the other cluster, showing the highly divergent nature of this group even in one sample. The approach described here can be used as a general method for examining cyanobacterial diversity, while an oligotrophic ocean ecosystem such as the Sargasso Sea may be an ideal model for examining diversity in relation to environmental parameters. 51 refs., 3 figs., 2 tabs.

  18. Influence of alum on cyanobacterial blooms and water quality of earthen fish ponds.

    PubMed

    Dawah, Aida; Soliman, Ashraf; Abomohra, Abd El-Fatah; Battah, Mohamed; Anees, Doaa

    2015-11-01

    Eruption of blue-green algal blooms occurs frequently in eutrophic lakes and fish ponds, with associated unpleasant odor and horrid scums. In the present study, we conducted a pre-test experiment in 3 m(3) outdoor concrete ponds to determine the optimum concentration of aluminum sulfate (alum) required for reduction of the cyanobacterial blooms without negative effect on fish growth. As a consequence, 10 mg L(-1) alum was named as the optimum concentration that was applied in 1000 m(3) earthen fish ponds. Obtained results showed that Secchi disc values significantly increased from 10 to 24 cm after 14 days of alum application. Alum-treated ponds showed a reduction in total phytoplankton counts by 94 and 96% compared to the corresponding controls after 10 and 14 days, respectively. Abundance of blue-green algae in the treated ponds was decreased by 98% compared to the corresponding control after 14 days of alum application. Consequently, dissolved oxygen, pH, total phosphorus, orthophosphate, and chlorophyll "a" content declined significantly. Our study revealed that using 10 mg L(-1) of alum is an effective way to control cyanobacterial blooms in eutrophic waters, especially in fish ponds, without negative effect in water quality. PMID:26054461

  19. Rapid Reactivation of Cyanobacterial Photosynthesis and Migration upon Rehydration of Desiccated Marine Microbial Mats

    PubMed Central

    Chennu, Arjun; Grinham, Alistair; Polerecky, Lubos; de Beer, Dirk; Al-Najjar, Mohammad A. A.

    2015-01-01

    Desiccated cyanobacterial mats are the dominant biological feature in the Earth’s arid zones. While the response of desiccated cyanobacteria to rehydration is well-documented for terrestrial systems, information about the response in marine systems is lacking. We used high temporal resolution hyperspectral imaging, liquid chromatography, pulse-amplitude fluorometry, oxygen microsensors, and confocal laser microscopy to study this response in a desiccated microbial mat from Exmouth Gulf, Australia. During the initial 15 min after rehydration chlorophyll a concentrations increased 2–5 fold and cyanobacterial photosynthesis was re-established. Although the mechanism behind this rapid increase of chlorophyll a remains unknown, we hypothesize that it involves resynthesis from a precursor stored in desiccated cyanobacteria. The subsequent phase (15 min–48 h) involved migration of the reactivated cyanobacteria toward the mat surface, which led, together with a gradual increase in chlorophyll a, to a further increase in photosynthesis. We conclude that the response involving an increase in chlorophyll a and recovery of photosynthetic activity within minutes after rehydration is common for cyanobacteria from desiccated mats of both terrestrial and marine origin. However, the response of upward migration and its triggering factor appear to be mat-specific and likely linked to other factors. PMID:26733996

  20. Cyanobacterial Alkanes Modulate Photosynthetic Cyclic Electron Flow to Assist Growth under Cold Stress

    PubMed Central

    Berla, Bertram M.; Saha, Rajib; Maranas, Costas D.; Pakrasi, Himadri B.

    2015-01-01

    All cyanobacterial membranes contain diesel-range C15-C19 hydrocarbons at concentrations similar to chlorophyll. Recently, two universal but mutually exclusive hydrocarbon production pathways in cyanobacteria were discovered. We engineered a mutant of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 that produces no alkanes, which grew poorly at low temperatures. We analyzed this defect by assessing the redox kinetics of PSI. The mutant exhibited enhanced cyclic electron flow (CEF), especially at low temperature. CEF raises the ATP:NADPH ratio from photosynthesis and balances reductant requirements of biosynthesis with maintaining the redox poise of the electron transport chain. We conducted in silico flux balance analysis and showed that growth rate reaches a distinct maximum for an intermediate value of CEF equivalent to recycling 1 electron in 4 from PSI to the plastoquinone pool. Based on this analysis, we conclude that the lack of membrane alkanes causes higher CEF, perhaps for maintenance of redox poise. In turn, increased CEF reduces growth by forcing the cell to use less energy-efficient pathways, lowering the quantum efficiency of photosynthesis. This study highlights the unique and universal role of medium-chain hydrocarbons in cyanobacterial thylakoid membranes: they regulate redox balance and reductant partitioning in these oxygenic photosynthetic cells under stress. PMID:26459862

  1. Interrelated modules in cyanobacterial photosynthesis: the carbon-concentrating mechanism, photorespiration, and light perception.

    PubMed

    Montgomery, Beronda L; Lechno-Yossef, Sigal; Kerfeld, Cheryl A

    2016-05-01

    Here we consider the cyanobacterial carbon-concentrating mechanism (CCM) and photorespiration in the context of the regulation of light harvesting, using a conceptual framework borrowed from engineering: modularity. Broadly speaking, biological 'modules' are semi-autonomous functional units such as protein domains, operons, metabolic pathways, and (sub)cellular compartments. They are increasingly recognized as units of both evolution and engineering. Modules may be connected by metabolites, such as NADPH, ATP, and 2PG. While the Calvin-Benson-Bassham Cycle and photorespiratory salvage pathways can be considered as metabolic modules, the carboxysome, the core of the cyanobacterial CCM, is both a structural and a metabolic module. In photosynthetic organisms, which use light cues to adapt to the external environment and which tune the photosystems to provide the ATP and reducing power for carbon fixation, light-regulated modules are critical. The primary enzyme of carbon fixation, RuBisCO, uses CO2 as a substrate, which is accumulated via the CCM. However RuBisCO also has a secondary reaction in which it utilizes O2, a by-product of the photochemical modules, which leads to photorespiration. A complete understanding of the interplay among CCM and photorespiration is predicated on uncovering their connections to the light reactions and the regulatory factors and pathways that tune these modules to external cues. We probe this connection by investigating light inputs into the CCM and photorespiratory pathways in the chromatically acclimating cyanobacterium Fremyella diplosiphon. PMID:27117337

  2. Antioxidant potential of indigenous cyanobacterial strains in relation with their phenolic and flavonoid contents.

    PubMed

    Ijaz, Saadia; Hasnain, Shahida

    2016-06-01

    Antioxidant activities of eight indigenous cyanobacterial strains belonging to the genera Oscillatoria, Chroococcidiopsis, Leptolyngbya, Calothrix, Nostoc and Phormidium were studied in relation with their phenolic and flavonoid contents, ranging 3.9-12.6 mg GAE g(-1) and 1.7-3.44 mg RE g(-1). The highest activities were shown by Leptolyngbya sp. SI-SM (EC50 = 63.45 and 67.49 μg mL(-1)) and Calothrix sp. SI-SV (EC50 = 65.79 and 69.38 μg mL(-1)) calculated with ABTS and DPPH assays. Significant negative correlations were seen between total phenolic and flavonoid contents and the antioxidant activities in terms of EC50 values. Furthermore, HPLC detected 15 phenolic compounds with total concentrations ranging from 277.3 to 829.7 μg g(-1). The prevalent compounds in most of the strains were rutin, tannic acid, orcinol, phloroglucinol and protocatechuic acid. Cyanobacterial strains showed high potential as a good source of phenolic compounds with potent antioxidative potential which could be beneficial for food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. PMID:26150139

  3. Treatment of Cyanobacterial (Microcystin) Toxicosis Using Oral Cholestyramine: Case Report of a Dog from Montana

    PubMed Central

    Rankin, Kelly A.; Alroy, Karen A.; Kudela, Raphael M.; Oates, Stori C.; Murray, Michael J.; Miller, Melissa A.

    2013-01-01

    A two and a half year old spayed female Miniature Australian Shepherd presented to a Montana veterinary clinic with acute onset of anorexia, vomiting and depression. Two days prior, the dog was exposed to an algal bloom in a community lake. Within h, the animal became lethargic and anorexic, and progressed to severe depression and vomiting. A complete blood count and serum chemistry panel suggested acute hepatitis, and a severe coagulopathy was noted clinically. Feces from the affected dog were positive for the cyanobacterial biotoxin, microcystin-LA (217 ppb). The dog was hospitalized for eight days. Supportive therapy consisted of fluids, mucosal protectants, vitamins, antibiotics, and nutritional supplements. On day five of hospitalization, a bile acid sequestrant, cholestyramine, was administered orally. Rapid clinical improvement was noted within 48 h of initiating oral cholestyramine therapy. At 17 days post-exposure the dog was clinically normal, and remained clinically normal at re-check, one year post-exposure. To our knowledge, this is the first report of successful treatment of canine cyanobacterial (microcystin) toxicosis. Untreated microcystin intoxication is commonly fatal, and can result in significant liver damage in surviving animals. The clinical success of this case suggests that oral administration of cholestyramine, in combination with supportive therapy, could significantly reduce hospitalization time, cost-of-care and mortality for microcystin-poisoned animals. PMID:23888515

  4. Redox Regulation of Rotation of the Cyanobacterial F1-ATPase Containing Thiol Regulation Switch*

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Yusung; Konno, Hiroki; Sugano, Yasushi; Hisabori, Toru

    2011-01-01

    F1-ATP synthase (F1-ATPase) is equipped with a special mechanism that prevents the wasteful reverse reaction, ATP hydrolysis, when there is insufficient proton motive force to drive ATP synthesis. Chloroplast F1-ATPase is subject to redox regulation, whereby ATP hydrolysis activity is regulated by formation and reduction of the disulfide bond located on the γ subunit. To understand the molecular mechanism of this redox regulation, we constructed a chimeric F1 complex (α3β3γredox) using cyanobacterial F1, which mimics the regulatory properties of the chloroplast F1-ATPase, allowing the study of its regulation at the single molecule level. The redox state of the γ subunit did not affect the ATP binding rate to the catalytic site(s) and the torque for rotation. However, the long pauses caused by ADP inhibition were frequently observed in the oxidized state. In addition, the duration of continuous rotation was relatively shorter in the oxidized α3β3γredox complex. These findings lead us to conclude that redox regulation of CF1-ATPase is achieved by controlling the probability of ADP inhibition via the γ subunit inserted region, a sequence feature observed in both cyanobacterial and chloroplast ATPase γ subunits, which is important for ADP inhibition (Sunamura, E., Konno, H., Imashimizu-Kobayashi, M., Sugano, Y., and Hisabori, T. (2010) Plant Cell Physiol. 51, 855–865). PMID:21193405

  5. In Situ Determination of the Effects of Lead and Copper on Cyanobacterial Populations in Microcosms

    PubMed Central

    Burnat, Mireia; Diestra, Elia; Esteve, Isabel; Solé, Antonio

    2009-01-01

    Background Biomass has been studied as biomarker to evaluate the effect of heavy metals on microbial communities. Nevertheless, the most important methodological problem when working with natural and artificial microbial mats is the difficulty to evaluate changes produced on microorganism populations that are found in thicknesses of just a few mm depth. Methodology/Principal Findings Here, we applied for first time a recently published new method based on confocal laser scanning microscopy and image-program analysis to determine in situ the effect of Pb and Cu stress in cyanobacterial populations. Conclusions/Significance The results showed that both in the microcosm polluted by Cu and by Pb, a drastic reduction in total biomass for cyanobacterial and Microcoleus sp. (the dominant filamentous cyanobacterium in microbial mats) was detected within a week. According to the data presented in this report, this biomass inspection has a main advantage: besides total biomass, diversity, individual biomass of each population and their position can be analysed at microscale level. CLSM-IA could be a good method for analyzing changes in microbial biomass as a response to the addition of heavy metals and also to other kind of pollutants. PMID:19593432

  6. Identification of common, unique and polymorphic microsatellites among 73 cyanobacterial genomes.

    PubMed

    Kabra, Ritika; Kapil, Aditi; Attarwala, Kherunnisa; Rai, Piyush Kant; Shanker, Asheesh

    2016-04-01

    Microsatellites also known as Simple Sequence Repeats are short tandem repeats of 1-6 nucleotides. These repeats are found in coding as well as non-coding regions of both prokaryotic and eukaryotic genomes and play a significant role in the study of gene regulation, genetic mapping, DNA fingerprinting and evolutionary studies. The availability of 73 complete genome sequences of cyanobacteria enabled us to mine and statistically analyze microsatellites in these genomes. The cyanobacterial microsatellites identified through bioinformatics analysis were stored in a user-friendly database named CyanoSat, which is an efficient data representation and query system designed using ASP.net. The information in CyanoSat comprises of perfect, imperfect and compound microsatellites found in coding, non-coding and coding-non-coding regions. Moreover, it contains PCR primers with 200 nucleotides long flanking region. The mined cyanobacterial microsatellites can be freely accessed at www.compubio.in/CyanoSat/home.aspx. In addition to this 82 polymorphic, 13,866 unique and 2390 common microsatellites were also detected. These microsatellites will be useful in strain identification and genetic diversity studies of cyanobacteria. PMID:27030027

  7. Influence of cyanobacterial inoculation on the culturable microbiome and growth of rice.

    PubMed

    Priya, Himani; Prasanna, Radha; Ramakrishnan, Balasubramanian; Bidyarani, Ngangom; Babu, Santosh; Thapa, Shobit; Renuka, Nirmal

    2015-02-01

    Rice plants are selective with their associations with bacteria that are beneficial for growth, nutrient uptake, exhibit induced resistance or antagonism towards pathogens. Cyanobacteria as bioinoculants are known to promote the growth and health of rice plants. The present investigation was aimed at understanding whether and how cyanobacterial (Calothrix elenkinii) inoculation influenced the rice plant growth and the culturable bacterial populations and identifying the dominant culturable "microbiome" members. The plant tissue extracts were used to enumerate populations of the culturable microbiome members using selected enrichment media with different nutrient levels. About 10-fold increases in population densities of culturable microbiome members in different media were recorded, with some isolates having metabolic potential for nitrogen fixation and phosphorus solubilization. Fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) analysis and 16S rRNA sequencing of selected microbial morphotypes suggested the predominance of the members of Bacillaceae. Significant increases in plant growth attributes, nitrogenase activity and indole acetic acid production, and activities of hydrolytic and defense enzymes were recorded in the Calothrix inoculated plants. The PCR-based analysis and scanning electron microscopic (SEM) observations confirmed the presence of inoculated cyanobacterium inside the plant tissues. This investigation illustrated that cyanobacterial inoculation can play significant roles in improving growth and metabolism of rice directly and interact with the beneficial members from the endophytic microbiome of rice seedlings synergistically. PMID:25644956

  8. Diel Variation in Gene Expression of the CO2-Concentrating Mechanism during a Harmful Cyanobacterial Bloom

    PubMed Central

    Sandrini, Giovanni; Tann, Robert P.; Schuurmans, J. Merijn; van Beusekom, Sebastiaan A. M.; Matthijs, Hans C. P.; Huisman, Jef

    2016-01-01

    Dense phytoplankton blooms in eutrophic waters often experience large daily fluctuations in environmental conditions. We investigated how this diel variation affects in situ gene expression of the CO2-concentrating mechanism (CCM) and other selected genes of the harmful cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa. Photosynthetic activity of the cyanobacterial bloom depleted the dissolved CO2 concentration, raised pH to 10, and caused large diel fluctuations in the bicarbonate and O2 concentration. The Microcystis population consisted of three Ci uptake genotypes that differed in the presence of the low-affinity and high-affinity bicarbonate uptake genes bicA and sbtA. Expression of the bicarbonate uptake genes bicA, sbtA, and cmpA (encoding a subunit of the high-affinity bicarbonate uptake system BCT1), the CCM transcriptional regulator gene ccmR and the photoprotection gene flv4 increased at first daylight and was negatively correlated with the bicarbonate concentration. In contrast, genes of the two CO2 uptake systems were constitutively expressed, whereas expression of the RuBisCO chaperone gene rbcX, the carboxysome gene ccmM, and the photoprotection gene isiA was highest at night and down-regulated during daytime. In total, our results show that the harmful cyanobacterium Microcystis is very responsive to the large diel variations in carbon and light availability often encountered in dense cyanobacterial blooms. PMID:27148233

  9. A natural view of microbial biodiversity within hot spring cyanobacterial mat communities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ward, D. M.; Ferris, M. J.; Nold, S. C.; Bateson, M. M.

    1998-01-01

    This review summarizes a decade of research in which we have used molecular methods, in conjunction with more traditional approaches, to study hot spring cyanobacterial mats as models for understanding principles of microbial community ecology. Molecular methods reveal that the composition of these communities is grossly oversimplified by microscopic and cultivation methods. For example, none of 31 unique 16S rRNA sequences detected in the Octopus Spring mat, Yellowstone National Park, matches that of any prokaryote previously cultivated from geothermal systems; 11 are contributed by genetically diverse cyanobacteria, even though a single cyanobacterial species was suspected based on morphologic and culture analysis. By studying the basis for the incongruity between culture and molecular samplings of community composition, we are beginning to cultivate isolates whose 16S rRNA sequences are readily detected. By placing the genetic diversity detected in context with the well-defined natural environmental gradients typical of hot spring mat systems, the relationship between gene and species diversity is clarified and ecological patterns of species occurrence emerge. By combining these ecological patterns with the evolutionary patterns inherently revealed by phylogenetic analysis of gene sequence data, we find that it may be possible to understand microbial biodiversity within these systems by using principles similar to those developed by evolutionary ecologists to understand biodiversity of larger species. We hope that such an approach guides microbial ecologists to a more realistic and predictive understanding of microbial species occurrence and responsiveness in both natural and disturbed habitats.

  10. Cyanobacterial Alkanes Modulate Photosynthetic Cyclic Electron Flow to Assist Growth under Cold Stress.

    PubMed

    Berla, Bertram M; Saha, Rajib; Maranas, Costas D; Pakrasi, Himadri B

    2015-01-01

    All cyanobacterial membranes contain diesel-range C15-C19 hydrocarbons at concentrations similar to chlorophyll. Recently, two universal but mutually exclusive hydrocarbon production pathways in cyanobacteria were discovered. We engineered a mutant of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 that produces no alkanes, which grew poorly at low temperatures. We analyzed this defect by assessing the redox kinetics of PSI. The mutant exhibited enhanced cyclic electron flow (CEF), especially at low temperature. CEF raises the ATP:NADPH ratio from photosynthesis and balances reductant requirements of biosynthesis with maintaining the redox poise of the electron transport chain. We conducted in silico flux balance analysis and showed that growth rate reaches a distinct maximum for an intermediate value of CEF equivalent to recycling 1 electron in 4 from PSI to the plastoquinone pool. Based on this analysis, we conclude that the lack of membrane alkanes causes higher CEF, perhaps for maintenance of redox poise. In turn, increased CEF reduces growth by forcing the cell to use less energy-efficient pathways, lowering the quantum efficiency of photosynthesis. This study highlights the unique and universal role of medium-chain hydrocarbons in cyanobacterial thylakoid membranes: they regulate redox balance and reductant partitioning in these oxygenic photosynthetic cells under stress. PMID:26459862

  11. Limnology and cyanobacterial diversity of high altitude lakes of Lahaul-Spiti in Himachal Pradesh, India.

    PubMed

    Singh, Y; Khattar, Jis; Singh, D P; Rahi, P; Gulati, A

    2014-09-01

    Limnological data of four high altitude lakes from the cold desert region of Himachal Pradesh, India, has been correlated with cyanobacterial diversity. Physico-chemical characteristics and nutrient contents of the studied lakes revealed that Sissu Lake is mesotrophic while Chandra Tal, Suraj Tal and Deepak Tal are ultra-oligotrophic. Based on morphology and 16S rRNA gene sequence, a total of 20 cyanobacterial species belonging to 11 genera were identified. Canonical correspondence analysis distinguished three groups of species with respect to their occurrence and nutrient/physical environment demand. The first group, which included Nostoc linckia, N. punctiforme, Nodularia sphaerocarpa, Geitlerinema acutissimum, Limnothrix redekii, Planktothrix agardhii and Plank. clathrata, was characteristic of water with high nutrient content and high temperature. The second group, including Gloeocapsopsis pleurocapsoides, Leptolyngbya antarctica, L. frigida, Pseudanabaena frigida and N. spongiaeforme, occurred in oligotrophic water with high pH and low temperature. The distribution of third group of Cyanobium parvum, Synechocystis pevalekii, L. benthonica, L. foveolarum, L. lurida, L. valderiana, Phormidium autumnale and P. chalybeum could not be associated with a particular environmental condition because of their presence in all sampling sites. PMID:25116619

  12. Phosphorus removal coupled to bioenergy production by three cyanobacterial isolates in a biofilm dynamic growth system.

    PubMed

    Gismondi, Alessandra; Pippo, Francesca Di; Bruno, Laura; Antonaroli, Simonetta; Congestri, Roberta

    2016-09-01

    In the present study a closed incubator, designed for biofilm growth on artificial substrata, was used to grow three isolates of biofilm-forming heterocytous cyanobacteria using an artificial wastewater secondary effluent as the culture medium. We evaluated biofilm efficiency in removing phosphorus, by simulating biofilm-based tertiary wastewater treatment and coupled this process with biodiesel production from the developed biomass. The three strains were able to grow in the synthetic medium and remove phosphorus in percentages, between 6 and 43%, which varied between strains and also among each strain according to the biofilm growth phase. Calothrix sp. biofilm turned out to be a good candidate for tertiary treatment, showing phosphorus reducing capacity (during the exponential biofilm growth) at the regulatory level for the treated effluent water being discharged into natural water systems. Besides phosphorus removal, the three cyanobacterial biofilms produced high quality lipids, whose profile showed promising chemical stability and combustion behavior. Further integration of the proposed processes could include the integration of oil extracted from these cyanobacterial biofilms with microalgal oil known for high monounsaturated fatty acids content, in order to enhance biodiesel cold flow characteristics. PMID:26939844

  13. Dry limit to photosynthesis and cyanobacterial spatial pattern in the Atacama Desert

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warren-Rhodes, K. A.; Pointing, S. B.; Ewing, S.; Lacap, D.; Gomez-Silva, B.; Amundson, R.; Friedmann, E. I.; McKay, C. P.

    2005-12-01

    Hypolithic autotrophs inhabit translucent rocks in the world`'s most extreme hot and cold deserts. Across a rainfall gradient in the Atacama, we measured a three-fold decline in the molecular diversity of