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Sample records for cyanobacterial toxins

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. DETOXIFICATION OF CYANOBACTERIAL TOXIN - CONTAMINATED WATER USING TIO2 PHOTOCATALYTIC FILMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Cyanobacterial harmfal algal blooms (CyanoHABs) often produce undesirable color, odor and taste and more importantly, potent toxins that can cause chronic, acute and acute letha poisonings to wild and domestic animals and humans

  9. 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...

  10. Kinetics of reactions between chlorine and the cyanobacterial toxins microcystins.

    PubMed

    Acero, Juan L; Rodriguez, Eva; Meriluoto, Jussi

    2005-04-01

    Blooms of cyanobacteria can give rise to the production of toxins which contaminate drinking water sources. Among the oxidants and disinfectants typically applied in waterworks, chlorine has been found to be effective for the degradation of microcystins. In the present study, unknown second-order rate constants for the reactions of microcystin-LR (MC-LR), -RR and -YR with chlorine were determined over a wide pH range. It was found that an increase of pH has a negative effect on the microcystin degradation rate. Apparent second-order rate constant for the chlorination of MC-LR at 20 degrees C varied from 475 M(-1)s(-1) at pH 4.8 to 9.8 M(-1)s(-1) at pH 8.8. From these apparent second-order rate constants, rate constants for the reactions of MC-LR with hypochlorous acid (HOCl) and hypochlorite (ClO-) were evaluated. Half-life times ranged from minutes at pH 6 to 1 h at pH 8 for a constant residual chlorine concentration of 1.0-0.5 mgl(-1), typical of oxidation pre-treatment and final disinfection. Similar reactivity with chlorine was found for MC-RR and MC-YR. Therefore, chlorination is a feasible option for microcystin degradation during oxidation and disinfection processes, and can be applied in drinking water treatment in case of cyanobacterial toxin risk if the pH is kept below 8.

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. The languages spoken in the water body (or the biological role of cyanobacterial toxins).

    PubMed

    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.

  17. Specific strains of probiotic bacteria are efficient in removal of several different cyanobacterial toxins from solution.

    PubMed

    Nybom, Sonja M K; Salminen, Seppo J; Meriluoto, Jussi A O

    2008-08-01

    The ability of specific strains of probiotic bacteria to remove the pure cyanobacterial peptide toxins microcystin-LR, -RR, -LF, and a combination of microcystins from the cyanobacterial extracts Microcystis PCC 7820 and NIES 107, as well as the cyanobacterial cytotoxin cylindrospermopsin, from aqueous solutions was assessed. The probiotic bacterial strains studied were Lactobacillus rhamnosus strains GG and LC-705, Bifidobacterium lactis strains 420 and Bb12 and Bifidobacterium longum 46, all previously shown to be effective in toxin removal. The maximum removal of microcystin-LR, 60.3%, was observed with L. rhamnosus GG, of microcystin-RR, 62.8%, and microcystin-LF, 77.4%, with L. rhamnosus LC-705, and of cylindrospermopsin, 31.6%, with B. longum 46 (toxin concentration 100mugL(-1), 37 degrees C, 24h). Several microcystins could be removed simultaneously as observed by removal of microcystins present in the cyanobacterial extracts. A combination of three probiotic strains enhanced their removal ability as compared to the removal properties of the individual strains. We conclude that specific strains of probiotic bacteria are effective in elimination of different cyanotoxins from solution. PMID:18639912

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Occurrence and elimination of cyanobacterial toxins in two Australian drinking water treatment plants.

    PubMed

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

    2004-05-01

    In Australian freshwaters, Anabaena circinalis, Microcystis spp. and Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii are the dominant toxic cyanobacteria. Many of these surface waters are used as drinking water resources. Therefore, the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia set a guideline for MC-LR toxicity equivalents of 1.3 microg/l drinking water. However, due to lack of adequate data, no guideline values for paralytic shellfish poisons (PSPs) (e.g. saxitoxins) or cylindrospermopsin (CYN) have been set. In this spot check, the concentration of microcystins (MCs), PSPs and CYN were determined by ADDA-ELISA, cPPA, HPLC-DAD and/or HPLC-MS/MS, respectively, in two water treatment plants in Queensland/Australia and compared to phytoplankton data collected by Queensland Health, Brisbane. Depending on the predominant cyanobacterial species in a bloom, concentrations of up to 8.0, 17.0 and 1.3 microg/l were found for MCs, PSPs and CYN, respectively. However, only traces (<1.0 microg/l) of these toxins were detected in final water (final product of the drinking water treatment plant) and tap water (household sample). Despite the low concentrations of toxins detected in drinking water, a further reduction of cyanobacterial toxins is recommended to guarantee public safety.

  5. Cyanobacterial toxin removal in drinking water treatment processes and recreational waters.

    PubMed

    Westrick, Judy A

    2008-01-01

    Although federal drinking water regulations determine the quality of potable water, many specifics influence how each utility chooses to treatment water. Some of the specifics include source water quality, storage capacity, existing unit process, and space. An overview of the US recreational and drinking water regulations were discussed in context of cyanobacterial toxin removal and inactivation by ancillary as well as auxiliary treatment practices. Ancillary practice refers to the removal or inactivation of algal toxins by standard daily operational procedures where auxiliary treatment practice refers to intentional treatment. An example of auxiliary treatment would be the addition of powder activated carbon to remove taste and odor compounds. The implementation of new technologies as such ultraviolet disinfection and membrane filtration, to meet current and purposed regulations, can greatly affect the algal toxin removal and inactivation efficiencies. A discussion on meeting the current regulations by altering chemical disinfection, ozone, chlorine, chloramines and chlorine dioxide included their ancillary effects on the protection against algal toxins. Although much of the research has been on the efficiency of the removal and inactivation of microcystin LR and several microcystin variants, the discussion included other algal toxins: anatoxin-a, saxitoxins, and cyclindrospermopsin.

  6. 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

  7. 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...

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Degradation mechanism of cyanobacterial toxin cylindrospermopsin by hydroxyl radicals in homogeneous UV/H₂O₂ process.

    PubMed

    He, Xuexiang; Zhang, Geshan; de la Cruz, Armah A; O'Shea, Kevin E; Dionysiou, Dionysios D

    2014-04-15

    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 spectrometry. Various byproducts identified indicated three common reaction pathways: hydroxyl addition (+16 Da), alcoholic oxidation or dehydrogenation (-2 Da), and elimination of sulfate (-80 Da). The initiation of the degradation was observed at the hydroxymethyl uracil and tricyclic guanidine groups; uracil moiety cleavage/fragmentation and further ring-opening of the alkaloid were also noted at an extended reaction time or higher UV fluence. The degradation rates of CYN decreased and less byproducts (species) were detected using natural water matrices; however, CYN was effectively eliminated under extended UV irradiation. This study demonstrates the efficiency of CYN degradation and provides a better understanding of the mechanism of CYN degradation by hydroxyl radical, a reactive oxygen species that can be generated by most AOPs and is present in natural water environment.

  13. Bioreactor study employing bacteria with enhanced activity toward cyanobacterial toxins microcystins.

    PubMed

    Dziga, Dariusz; Lisznianska, Magdalena; Wladyka, Benedykt

    2014-08-13

    An important aim of white (grey) biotechnology is bioremediation, where microbes are employed to remove unwanted chemicals. Microcystins (MCs) and other cyanobacterial toxins are not industrial or agricultural pollutants; however, their occurrence as a consequence of human activity and water reservoir eutrophication is regarded as anthropogenic. Microbial degradation of microcystins is suggested as an alternative to chemical and physical methods of their elimination. This paper describes a possible technique of the practical application of the biodegradation process. The idea relies on the utilization of bacteria with a significantly enhanced MC-degradation ability (in comparison with wild strains). The cells of an Escherichia coli laboratory strain expressing microcystinase (MlrA) responsible for the detoxification of MCs were immobilized in alginate beads. The degradation potency of the tested bioreactors was monitored by HPLC detection of linear microcystin LR (MC-LR) as the MlrA degradation product. An open system based on a column filled with alginate-entrapped cells was shown to operate more efficiently than a closed system (alginate beads shaken in a glass container). The maximal degradation rate calculated per one liter of carrier was 219.9 µg h-1 of degraded MC-LR. A comparison of the efficiency of the described system with other biological and chemo-physical proposals suggests that this new idea presents several advantages and is worth investigating in future studies.

  14. Enzymatic pathway for the bacterial degradation of the cyanobacterial cyclic peptide toxin microcystin LR.

    PubMed Central

    Bourne, D G; Jones, G J; Blakeley, R L; Jones, A; Negri, A P; Riddles, P

    1996-01-01

    An isolated bacterium, identified as a new Sphingomonas species, was demonstrated to contain a novel enzymatic pathway which acted on microcystin LR, the most common cyanobacterial cyclic peptide toxin. Degradation of microcystin LR was mediated by at least three intracellular hydrolytic enzymes. The use of classic protease inhibitors allowed (i) the classification of these enzymes into general protease families and (ii) the in vitro accumulation of otherwise transient microcystin LR degradation products. The initial site of hydrolytic cleavage of the parent cyclic peptide by an enzyme that we designate microcystinase is at the 3-amino-9-methoxy-2,6,8-trimethyl-10-phenyl-deca-4,6-dienoic acid (Adda)-Arg peptide bond. Two intermediates of microcystin LR enzymatic degradation have been identified; one is linearized (acyclo-) microcystin LR, NH2-Adda-Glu(iso)-methyldehydroalanine-Ala-Leu-beta-methylas partate-Arg-OH, and the other is the tetrapeptide NH2-Adda-Glu(iso)-methyldehydroalanine-Ala-OH. The intermediate degradation products were less active than the parent cyclic peptide; the observed 50% inhibitory concentrations for crude chicken brain protein phosphatase were 0.6 nM for microcystin LR, 95 nM for linear LR, and 12 nM for the tetrapeptide. These linear peptides were nontoxic to mice at doses up to 250 micrograms/kg. Ring opening of the potent hepatotoxin microcystin LR by bacterial microcystinase effectively renders the compound nontoxic by dramatically reducing the interaction with the target protein phosphatase. PMID:8899999

  15. Bioreactor Study Employing Bacteria with Enhanced Activity toward Cyanobacterial Toxins Microcystins

    PubMed Central

    Dziga, Dariusz; Lisznianska, Magdalena; Wladyka, Benedykt

    2014-01-01

    An important aim of white (grey) biotechnology is bioremediation, where microbes are employed to remove unwanted chemicals. Microcystins (MCs) and other cyanobacterial toxins are not industrial or agricultural pollutants; however, their occurrence as a consequence of human activity and water reservoir eutrophication is regarded as anthropogenic. Microbial degradation of microcystins is suggested as an alternative to chemical and physical methods of their elimination. This paper describes a possible technique of the practical application of the biodegradation process. The idea relies on the utilization of bacteria with a significantly enhanced MC-degradation ability (in comparison with wild strains). The cells of an Escherichia coli laboratory strain expressing microcystinase (MlrA) responsible for the detoxification of MCs were immobilized in alginate beads. The degradation potency of the tested bioreactors was monitored by HPLC detection of linear microcystin LR (MC-LR) as the MlrA degradation product. An open system based on a column filled with alginate-entrapped cells was shown to operate more efficiently than a closed system (alginate beads shaken in a glass container). The maximal degradation rate calculated per one liter of carrier was 219.9 µg h−1 of degraded MC-LR. A comparison of the efficiency of the described system with other biological and chemo-physical proposals suggests that this new idea presents several advantages and is worth investigating in future studies. PMID:25123557

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Citizen monitoring: Testing hypotheses about the interactive influences of eutrophication and mussel invasion on a cyanobacterial toxin in lakes.

    PubMed

    Sarnelle, Orlando; Morrison, Jamie; Kaul, Rajreni; Horst, Geoffrey; Wandell, Howard; Bednarz, Ralph

    2010-01-01

    An existing volunteer monitoring network in the state of Michigan was exploited to conduct a statewide survey of the cyanobacterial toxin, microcystin, and to test hypotheses about the interactive influences of eutrophication and dreissenid mussel invasion. A total of 77 lakes were sampled by citizen volunteers for microcystin, total phosphorus (TP) and chlorophyll a. Microcystin was measured in depth-integrated samples collected from the euphotic zone as well as in surface-water samples collected along the shoreline. Average microcystin in samples collected by volunteers was not different from samples collected side-by-side by professionals. Euphotic-zone microcystin was positively related to TP in lakes without dreissenids (uninvaded) but not in lakes with dreissenids (invaded). Regression-tree analysis indicated that euphotic-zone microcystin was eight times higher in the presence of dreissenids for lakes with TP between 5 and 10microgL(-1). In contrast, euphotic-zone microcystin was almost identical in invaded and uninvaded lakes with TP between 10 and 26microgL(-1). Across all lakes, microcystin concentrations at the surface were on average more than double, and in some cases an order-of-magnitude greater than, concentrations in the euphotic-zone. Given these results, it seems prudent to include dreissenid invasion status in forecasting models for microcystin, and to include shoreline sampling in monitoring programs aimed at assessing recreational exposure to cyanobacterial toxins.

  1. 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...

  2. Cyanobacterial toxins: modes of actions, fate in aquatic and soil ecosystems, phytotoxicity and bioaccumulation in agricultural crops.

    PubMed

    Corbel, Sylvain; Mougin, Christian; Bouaïcha, Noureddine

    2014-02-01

    The occurrence of harmful cyanobacterial blooms in surface waters is often accompanied by the production of a variety of cyanotoxins. These toxins are designed to target in humans and animals specific organs on which they act: hepatotoxins (liver), neurotoxins (nervous system), cytotoxic alkaloids, and dermatotoxins (skin), but they often have important side effects too. When introduced into the soil ecosystem by spray irrigation of crops they may affect the same molecular pathways in plants having identical or similar target organs, tissues, cells or biomolecules. There are also several indications that terrestrial plants, including food crop plants, can bioaccumulate cyanotoxins and present, therefore, potential health hazards for human and animals. The number of publications concerned with phytotoxic effects of cyanotoxins on agricultural plants has increased recently. In this review, we first examine different cyanotoxins and their modes of actions in humans and mammals and occurrence of target biomolecules in vegetable organisms. Then we present environmental concentrations of cyanotoxins in freshwaters and their fate in aquatic and soil ecosystems. Finally, we highlight bioaccumulation of cyanotoxins in plants used for feed and food and its consequences on animals and human health. Overall, our review shows that the information on the effects of cyanotoxins on non-target organisms in the terrestrial environment is particularly scarce, and that there are still serious gaps in the knowledge about the fate in the soil ecosystems and phytotoxicity of these toxins.

  3. 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

  4. 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...

  5. 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 ...

  6. Toxic Microcystis is widespread in Lake Erie: PCR detection of toxin genes and molecular characterization of associated cyanobacterial communities.

    PubMed

    Ouellette, Anthony J A; Handy, Sara M; Wilhelm, Steven W

    2006-02-01

    During the past decade, algae blooms, which include the toxic cyanobacterium Microcystis, have reoccurred in the Laurentian Great Lakes, most commonly in the western basin of Lake Erie. Whereas the western basin is the most impacted by toxic Microcystis in Lake Erie, there has historically been little effort focused on identifying the spatial distribution of Microcystis throughout this lake. To address this lack of knowledge, we have employed a polymerase-chain-reaction-based detection of genes required for synthesis of the toxin microcystin (mcyD and mcyB), as well as 16S rDNA fragments specific to either all Microcystis or all cyanobacteria. Using a multiplex approach, we tested 21 samples from 13 field stations and found that toxigenic Microcystis were present in the western and eastern basins in the summers of 1999, 2000, and 2002 and the central basin in 1999 and 2002. This is the most extensive distribution of Microcystis reported in Lake Erie. Clone libraries (16S rDNA) of these cyanobacterial communities were generated from 7 of the 13 field stations (representing all three basins) to partially characterize this microbial community. These libraries were shown to be dominated by sequences assigned to the Synechococcus and Cyanobium phylogenetic cluster, indicating the importance of picoplankton in this large lake system. PMID:16435169

  7. Losses of the cyanobacterial toxin microcystin-LR from aqueous solution by adsorption during laboratory manipulations.

    PubMed

    Hyenstrand, P; Metcalf, J S; Beattie, K A; Codd, G A

    2001-04-01

    The effect of plastic and methanol on the loss of microcystin-LR from solution was analysed by HPLC with photodiode array detection (HPLC-PDA). With plastic disposable pipette tips, the loss from an aqueous microcystin-LR (MC-LR) solution was 4.2% per tip operation. Using the same pipette tip, four operations were required to completely saturate a single tip with toxin. MC-LR attached to plastic pipette tips could subsequently be eluted by methanol and detected by HPLC-PDA. At methanol concentrations below 25% (v/v), recovered concentrations of MC-LR decreased significantly. Differences in MC-LR concentration were also noted by performing 50% dilution with Milli-Q water or methanol. The results are discussed in relation to the hydrophobicity of MC-LR, analytical procedures and the avoidance of toxin losses from solution during laboratory manipulations. PMID:11024499

  8. 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

  9. 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

    2009-11-19

    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.

  10. The toxicity of cyanobacterial toxins in the mouse: I microcystin-LR.

    PubMed

    Fawell, J K; Mitchell, R E; Everett, D J; Hill, R E

    1999-03-01

    Blooms of cyanobacteria or blue-green algae are known to have caused poisoning in fish, waterfowl, animals and man. One of the toxins responsible for this is the hepatotoxin microcystin-LR which has been found to occur in blooms present intermittently in sources used for domestic water supplies. Three sets of experiments were undertaken to investigate the acute toxicity of microcystin-LR in mice and rats by the oral and intraperitoneal routes, the potential for effects on foetal development in the mouse, and the effects of repeated oral dosing over 13 weeks in the mouse. The results of this work were as follows: (1) Microcystin-LR is 30-100 times less toxic via oral ingestion than via intraperitoneal injection; (2) Microcystin-LR is not a selective developmental toxicant in the mouse. There was a No Observed Adverse Effect Level (NOAEL) of 600 microg kg(-1) bodyweight per day given on days 6-15 of pregnancy for any form of developmental toxicity; (3) There was a clear NOAEL for tissue damage in the liver of 40 microg kg(-1) bodyweight per day of microcystin-LR. Using this data, a value of 1 microg l(-1) microcystin-LR would be an appropriate guideline value for drinking water. PMID:10215106

  11. Hydroxyl radical oxidation of cylindrospermopsin (cyanobacterial toxin) and its role in the photochemical transformation.

    PubMed

    Song, Weihua; Yan, Shuwen; Cooper, William J; Dionysiou, Dionysios D; O'Shea, Kevin E

    2012-11-20

    Cylindrospermopsin (CYN), an alkaloid guanidinium sulfated toxin, is produced by a number of cyanobacteria regularly found in lakes, rivers, and reservoirs. Steady-state and time-resolved radiolysis methods were used to determine reaction pathways and kinetic parameters for the reactions of hydroxyl radical with CYN. The absolute bimolecular reaction rate constant for the reaction of hydroxyl radical with CYN is (5.08 ± 0.16) × 10(9) M(-1) s(-1). Comparison of the overall reaction rate of CYN with hydroxyl radical with the individual reaction rate for addition to the uracil ring in CYN indicate the majority of the hydroxyl radicals (84%) react at the uracil functionality of CYN. Product analyses using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry indicate the major products from the reaction of hydroxyl radical with CYN involve attack of hydroxyl radical at the uracil ring and hydrogen abstraction from the hydroxy-methine bridge linking the uracil ring to the tricyclic guanidine functionality. The role of hydroxyl radical initiated pathways in the natural organic matter (NOM) photosensitized transformation of CYN were evaluated. Scavenger and trapping experiments indicate that hydroxyl radical mediated transformations account for approximately ~70% of CYN destruction in surface waters under solar irradiation in the presence of NOM. The absence of solvent isotope effect indicates singlet oxygen does not play a significant role in the NOM sensitized transformation of CYN. The primary degradation pathways for HO• mediated and NOM photosensitized destruction of CYN involve destruction of the uracil ring. The fundamental kinetic parameters determined from these studies are critical for the accurate evaluation of hydroxyl-radical based technologies for the remediation of this problematic cyanotoxin in drinking water and important in the assessment of the environmental oxidative transformation of uracil based compounds. PMID:23082747

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Toxins

    MedlinePlus

    Toxins are substances created by plants and animals that are poisonous to humans. Toxins also include some medicines that are helpful in small doses, but poisonous in large amounts. Most toxins that cause problems ...

  15. The course of toxicity in the pregnant mouse after exposure to the cyanobacterial toxin cylindrospermopsin: clinical effects, serum chemistries, hematology, and histopathology.

    PubMed

    Chernoff, N; Rogers, E H; Zehr, R D; Gage, M I; Travlos, G S; Malarkey, D E; Brix, A; Schmid, J E; Hill, D

    2014-01-01

    Cylindrospermopsin (CYN) is a toxin produced by a 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 daily during either the period of major organogenesis (gestation days [GD] 8-12) or fetal growth (GD13-17). Endpoints include clinical signs of toxicity, serum analyses to evaluate hepatic and renal function, histopathology of liver and kidney, and hematology. Study animals were administered 50 μg/kg CYN once daily by ip route and euthanized 24 h after 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 consecutive doses, or 6 or 13 d after the dosing period. The course of the CYN-induced effects was determined at all euthanasia times for the endpoints just outlined. Results indicated that CYN is a toxin, producing lethality in dams during the early part of gestation, significant weight loss, and bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract, tail tip, and peri-orbital tissues. Effects also included alterations in serum markers for liver function, histopathological changes in liver and kidney tissues, electrolyte abnormalities, leukocytosis, and posttreatment thrombocytopenia and reticulocytosis. The onset of symptoms was rapid, producing reductions in weight gain in GD8-12 animals, bleeding in the vaginal area in GD13-17 animals, and significant increases in sorbitol dehydrogenase (SDH) in both groups after a single dose. Although the GD8-12 dams displayed a 50% lethality, in GD13-17 animals only a single death occurred. Alterations seen in hepatic and renal function or histopathology do not appear to be of sufficient severity to produce death. Evidence indicates that bleeding may play a critical role in the onset of symptoms and eventually, in the observed lethality.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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 ...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Combined effects of the cyanobacterial toxin microcystin-LR and environmental factors on life-history traits of indigenous cladoceran Moina macrocopa.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jungkon; Seo, Jung-Kwan; Yoon, Hyojung; Kim, Pil-Je; Choi, Kyunghee

    2014-11-01

    Environmental factors are important in that they might interact with toxicants and could affect the concentration-response relationship of the toxicants in the water environment. Microcystins (MCs) produced by algal blooming are natural toxins that exert severe impacts on aquatic organisms. Despite the possibility of interaction effects between environmental factors and MCs, very few studies have been carried out to date. In the present study, the authors evaluated the effect of 3 environmental factors on chronic toxicity of MC-leucine-arginine (MC-LR; 0 µg/L, 0.8 µg/L, 4 µg/L, 20 µg/L, 100 µg/L, 500 µg/L) to the freshwater invertebrate Moina macrocopa. Three environmental factors were determined to reflect the reasonable worst conditions of the water body in South Korea: high water temperature (25 °C), the highest concentration of nutrients (ammonia-nitrogen [NH3 -N] = 3.8 mg/L; nitrate-nitrogen [NO3 -N] = 8.5 mg/L) during the occurrence of algal bloom, and 2 pH conditions of 7.0 and 9.0, which satisfy the test acceptance criteria for the Daphnia test. Among the various environmental factors being tested, high water temperature and NO3 -N elevated chronic toxicity of MC-LR, whereas NH3 -N reduced toxicity. Water pH did not influence chronic toxicity of MC-LR to M. macrocopa. This observation suggests that those environmental factors are responsible for changing the trend of MC-LR toxicity.

  2. Combined effects of the cyanobacterial toxin microcystin-LR and environmental factors on life-history traits of indigenous cladoceran Moina macrocopa.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jungkon; Seo, Jung-Kwan; Yoon, Hyojung; Kim, Pil-Je; Choi, Kyunghee

    2014-11-01

    Environmental factors are important in that they might interact with toxicants and could affect the concentration-response relationship of the toxicants in the water environment. Microcystins (MCs) produced by algal blooming are natural toxins that exert severe impacts on aquatic organisms. Despite the possibility of interaction effects between environmental factors and MCs, very few studies have been carried out to date. In the present study, the authors evaluated the effect of 3 environmental factors on chronic toxicity of MC-leucine-arginine (MC-LR; 0 µg/L, 0.8 µg/L, 4 µg/L, 20 µg/L, 100 µg/L, 500 µg/L) to the freshwater invertebrate Moina macrocopa. Three environmental factors were determined to reflect the reasonable worst conditions of the water body in South Korea: high water temperature (25 °C), the highest concentration of nutrients (ammonia-nitrogen [NH3 -N] = 3.8 mg/L; nitrate-nitrogen [NO3 -N] = 8.5 mg/L) during the occurrence of algal bloom, and 2 pH conditions of 7.0 and 9.0, which satisfy the test acceptance criteria for the Daphnia test. Among the various environmental factors being tested, high water temperature and NO3 -N elevated chronic toxicity of MC-LR, whereas NH3 -N reduced toxicity. Water pH did not influence chronic toxicity of MC-LR to M. macrocopa. This observation suggests that those environmental factors are responsible for changing the trend of MC-LR toxicity. PMID:25113262

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

    2016-08-16

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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 ...

  13. 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

  14. Can cyanobacterial biomass applied to soil affect survival and reproduction of springtail Folsomia candida?

    PubMed

    Lána, Jan; Hofman, Jakub; Bláha, Luděk

    2011-05-01

    Biomass of cyanobacterial water blooms including cyanobacterial toxins may enter soils, for example, when harvested water bloom is directly applied as an organic fertilizer or when water with massive cyanobacterial biomass is used for irrigation. In spite of this, no information is available about the potential effects on soil arthropods. The objective of this pilot study was to evaluate the effects of water bloom biomass sampled in five different fresh water lakes on the soil dwelling arthropod, springtail Folsomia candida (Collembola). These samples contained different dominant species of cyanobacteria and varied significantly in microcystin content (21-3662 μg/g dw biomass). No adverse effects on survival or reproduction were observed for any tested sample at concentration up to 4 g dw biomass/kg dw soil. Despite the known hazardous properties of water blooms in aquatic ecosystems, our pilot results suggest that cyanobacterial biomass might have no significant impact on arthropods in soil. It remains a question, if this is due to low bioavailability of cyanobacterial toxins in soil. PMID:21176962

  15. Application of cellular biosensors for detection of atypical toxic bioactivity in microcystin-containing cyanobacterial extracts.

    PubMed

    Mankiewicz-Boczek, Joanna; Karwaciak, Iwona; Ratajewski, Marcin; Gągała, Ilona; Jurczak, Tomasz; Zalewski, Maciej; Pułaski, Łukasz

    2015-11-01

    Despite the focus of most ecotoxicological studies on cyanobacteria on a select group of cyanotoxins, especially microcystins, a growing body of evidence points to the involvement of other cyanobacterial metabolites in deleterious health effects. In the present study, original, self-developed reporter gene-based cellular biosensors, detecting activation of the main human xenobiotic stress response pathways, PXR and NFkappaB, were applied to detect novel potentially toxic bioactivities in extracts from freshwater microcystin-producing cyanobacterial blooms. Crude and purified extracts from cyanobacteria containing varying levels of microcystins, and standard microcystin-LR were tested. Two cellular biosensor types applied in this study, called NHRTOX (detecting PXR activation) and OXIBIOS (detecting NFkappaB activation), successfully detected potentially toxic or immunomodulating bioactivities in cyanobacterial extracts. The level of biosensor activation was comparable to control cognate environmental toxins. Despite the fact that extracts were derived from microcystin-producing cyanobacterial blooms and contained active microcystins, biosensor-detected bioactivities were shown to be unrelated to microcystin levels. Experimental results suggest the involvement of environmental toxins (causing a response in NHRTOX) and lipopolysaccharides (LPS) or other cell wall components (causing a response in OXIBIOS) in the potentially harmful bioactivity of investigated extracts. These results demonstrate the need for further identification of cyanobacterial metabolites other than commonly studied cyanotoxins as sources of health risk, show the usefulness of cellular biosensors for this purpose and suggest a novel, more holistic approach to environmental monitoring. PMID:26398929

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Marine and freshwater toxins.

    PubMed

    Hungerford, James M

    2006-01-01

    . (Abstracts from the Baiona 2005 meeting cited in this report can be found in the online version of the conference abstract book in the Files and Folders section of the Marine and Freshwater Toxins online community at www.aoac.org.) An active topic for discussion in Baiona and subsequent Task Force activities was the expert consultation for Codex which met in Oslo, Norway in 2004 (previously described and cited in last year's GR report, ref 1). The consultation group's executive summary report (http://www.fao.org/es/ESN/food/risk_biotoxin en.stm) describes suggested changes in action levels as well as methods, method validation, and other issues. September 2005 saw the AOAC Task Force efforts further supported by another symposium, "Marine and Freshwater Toxins: Quality Methods for Food Safety and International Trade," at the AOAC INTERNATIONAL Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida. The multidisciplinary talks at this full day symposium ranged from ciguatoxins to cyanobacterial toxins, and spanned toxicology, biochemistry, molecular biology and analytical chemistry. Again, the symposium preceded Task Force meetings. Toxin subgroups, including a new group on cyanobacterial toxins, met for engaging and productive subgroup discussions. All of these activities were preceded by a Wiley Award symposium for Task Force member Mike Quilliam of NRC Canada. These talks, presented at a half-day symposium on the first day of the Annual Meeting, focused on Quilliam's work with LC tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) and certified reference standards and materials, and included related presentations by some of his many research collaborators. To maintain flow and continuity between symposia and between Task Force meetings, the group now uses new electronic discussion forums. Individual subgroup areas, under the Marine and Freshwater Toxins Task Force, comprise this online community. First introduced by AOAC INTERNATIONAL in early 2005, these new resources are being used to distribute

  19. Toxic cyanobacterial cells containing microcystins induce oxidative stress in exposed tilapia fish (Oreochromis sp.) under laboratory conditions.

    PubMed

    Jos, Angeles; Pichardo, Silvia; Prieto, Ana I; Repetto, Guillermo; Vázquez, Carmen M; Moreno, Isabel; Cameán, Ana M

    2005-04-30

    The effects of microcystins from cyanobacterial cells on various oxidative stress biomarkers in liver, kidney and gill tissues in freshwater tilapia fish (Oreochromis sp.) were investigated under laboratory conditions. Microcystins are a family of cyclic peptide toxins produced by species of freshwater cyanobacteria (blue-green algae). Fish were exposed to the cyanobacterial cells in two ways: mixed with a commercial fish food or crushed into a commercial fish food so that the toxins were released. Two different exposure times were studied: 14 and 21 days. The oxidative status of fish was evaluated by analyzing the level of lipid peroxidation (LPO), as well as the activities of antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and glutathione reductase (GR). The findings of the present investigation show that microcystins induce oxidative stress in a time-dependent manner and that the type of administration of the cyanobacterial cells influences the extent of these effects. Thus, the crushed cyanobacterial cells (released toxins) induced the antioxidant defences studied and increased the LPO level to a greater extent than the non-crushed cells. The liver was the most affected organ followed by kidney and gills. These results together with reports that fish can accumulate microcystins mean that cyanobacterial blooms are an important health, environmental and economic problem. PMID:15820106

  20. 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.

  1. Toxicity of harmful cyanobacterial blooms to bream and roach.

    PubMed

    Trinchet, Isabelle; Cadel-Six, Sabrina; Djediat, Chakib; Marie, Benjamin; Bernard, Cécile; Puiseux-Dao, Simone; Krys, Sophie; Edery, Marc

    2013-09-01

    Aquatic ecosystems are facing increasing environmental pressures, leading to an increasing frequency of cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms (cHABs) that have emerged as a worldwide concern due to their growing frequency and their potential toxicity to the fauna that threatens the functioning of ecosystems. Cyanobacterial blooms raise concerns due to the fact that several strains produce potent bioactive or toxic secondary metabolites, such as the microcystins (MCs), which are hepatotoxic to vertebrates. These strains of cyanobacteria may be potentially toxic to fish via gastrointestinal ingestion and also by direct absorption of the toxin MC from the water. The purpose of our study was to investigate toxic effects observed in fish taken from several lakes in the Ile-de-France region, where MCs-producing blooms occur. This study comprises histological studies and the measurement of MC concentrations in various organs. The histological findings are similar to those obtained following laboratory exposure of medaka fish to MCs: hepatic lesions predominate and include cell lysis and cell detachment. MC concentrations in the organs revealed that accumulation was particularly high in the digestive tract and the liver, which are known to be classical targets of MCs. In contrast concentrations were very low in the muscles. Differences in the accumulation of MC variants produced by blooms indicate that in order to more precisely evaluate the toxic potential of a specific bloom it is necessary not only to consider the concentration of toxins, but also the variants produced.

  2. Toxicity of harmful cyanobacterial blooms to bream and roach.

    PubMed

    Trinchet, Isabelle; Cadel-Six, Sabrina; Djediat, Chakib; Marie, Benjamin; Bernard, Cécile; Puiseux-Dao, Simone; Krys, Sophie; Edery, Marc

    2013-09-01

    Aquatic ecosystems are facing increasing environmental pressures, leading to an increasing frequency of cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms (cHABs) that have emerged as a worldwide concern due to their growing frequency and their potential toxicity to the fauna that threatens the functioning of ecosystems. Cyanobacterial blooms raise concerns due to the fact that several strains produce potent bioactive or toxic secondary metabolites, such as the microcystins (MCs), which are hepatotoxic to vertebrates. These strains of cyanobacteria may be potentially toxic to fish via gastrointestinal ingestion and also by direct absorption of the toxin MC from the water. The purpose of our study was to investigate toxic effects observed in fish taken from several lakes in the Ile-de-France region, where MCs-producing blooms occur. This study comprises histological studies and the measurement of MC concentrations in various organs. The histological findings are similar to those obtained following laboratory exposure of medaka fish to MCs: hepatic lesions predominate and include cell lysis and cell detachment. MC concentrations in the organs revealed that accumulation was particularly high in the digestive tract and the liver, which are known to be classical targets of MCs. In contrast concentrations were very low in the muscles. Differences in the accumulation of MC variants produced by blooms indicate that in order to more precisely evaluate the toxic potential of a specific bloom it is necessary not only to consider the concentration of toxins, but also the variants produced. PMID:23732128

  3. 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

  4. The role of nitrogen fixation in cyanobacterial bloom toxicity in a temperate, eutrophic lake.

    PubMed

    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 N(2) 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, N(2) 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 N(2) fixation rates were observed. Then, following large early summer N(2) 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 N(2) fixation rates and Aphanizomenon abundance increased before the

  5. 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.

  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. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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

  14. First evidence of "paralytic shellfish toxins" and cylindrospermopsin in a Mexican freshwater system, Lago Catemaco, and apparent bioaccumulation of the toxins in "tegogolo" snails (Pomacea patula catemacensis).

    PubMed

    Berry, John P; Lind, Owen

    2010-05-01

    Exposure to cyanobacterial toxins in freshwater systems, including both direct (e.g., drinking water) and indirect (e.g., bioaccumulation in food webs) routes, is emerging as a potentially significant threat to human health. We investigated cyanobacterial toxins, specifically cylindrospermopsin (CYN), the microcystins (MCYST) and the "paralytic shellfish toxins" (PST), in Lago Catemaco (Veracruz, Mexico). Lago Catemaco is a tropical lake dominated by Cylindrospermopsis, specifically identified as Cylindrospermopsis catemaco and Cylindrospermopsis philippinensis, and characterized by an abundant, endemic species of snail (Pomacea patula catemacensis), known as "tegogolos," that is both consumed locally and commercially important. Samples of water, including dissolved and particulate fractions, as well as extracts of tegogolos, were screened using highly specific and sensitive ELISA. ELISA identified CYN and PST at low concentrations in only one sample of seston; however, both toxins were detected at appreciable quantities in tegogolos. Calculated bioaccumulation factors (BAF) support bioaccumulation of both toxins in tegogolos. The presence of CYN in the phytoplankton was further confirmed by HPLC-UV and LC-MS, following concentration and extraction of algal cells, but the toxin could not be confirmed by these methods in tegogolos. These data represent the first published evidence for CYN and the PST in Lago Catemaco and, indeed, for any freshwater system in Mexico. Identification of the apparent bioaccumulation of these toxins in tegogolos may suggest the need to further our understanding of the transfer of cyanobacterial toxins in freshwater food webs as it relates to human health.

  15. ECOSYSTEM EFFECTS OF CYANOBACTERIAL HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Harmful cyanobacterial blooms represent one of the most serious ecological stressors in lakes, rivers, estuaries and marine environments. When there are persistent or frequent blooms with high biomass of cyanobacterial cells, colonies or filaments in the water, a wide range of i...

  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. Sigma Factors for Cyanobacterial Transcription

    PubMed Central

    Imamura, Sousuke; Asayama, Munehiko

    2009-01-01

    Cyanobacteria are photosynthesizing microorganisms that can be used as a model for analyzing gene expression. The expression of genes involves transcription and translation. Transcription is performed by the RNA polymerase (RNAP) holoenzyme, comprising a core enzyme and a sigma (σ) factor which confers promoter selectivity. The unique structure, expression, and function of cyanobacterial σ factors (and RNAP core subunits) are summarized here based on studies, reported previously. The types of promoter recognized by the σ factors are also discussed with regard to transcriptional regulation. PMID:19838335

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Distribution and Diversity of Natural Product Genes in Marine and Freshwater Cyanobacterial Cultures and Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Ehrenreich, Ian M.; Waterbury, John B.; Webb, Eric A.

    2005-01-01

    Natural products are a functionally diverse class of biochemically synthesized compounds, which include antibiotics, toxins, and siderophores. In this paper, we describe both the detection of natural product activities and the sequence identification of gene fragments from two molecular systems that have previously been implicated in natural product production, i.e., nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs) and modular polyketide synthases (PKSs), in diverse marine and freshwater cyanobacterial cultures. Using degenerate PCR and the sequencing of cloned products, we show that NRPSs and PKSs are common among the cyanobacteria tested. Our molecular data, when combined with genomic searches of finished and progressing cyanobacterial genomes, demonstrate that not all cyanobacteria contain NRPS and PKS genes and that the filamentous and heterocystous cyanobacteria are the richest sources of these genes and the most likely sources of novel natural products within the phylum. In addition to validating the use of degenerate primers for the identification of PKS and NRPS genes in cyanobacteria, this study also defines numerous gene fragments that will be useful as probes for future studies of the synthesis of natural products in cyanobacteria. Phylogenetic analyses of the cyanobacterial NRPS and PKS fragments sequenced in this study, as well as those from the cyanobacterial genome projects, demonstrate that there is remarkable diversity and likely novelty of these genes within the cyanobacteria. These results underscore the potential variety of novel products being produced by these ubiquitous organisms. PMID:16269782

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Structure and Effects of Cyanobacterial Lipopolysaccharides.

    PubMed

    Durai, Prasannavenkatesh; Batool, Maria; Choi, Sangdun

    2015-07-01

    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

  6. Fate of toxic cyanobacterial cells and disinfection by-products formation after chlorination.

    PubMed

    Zamyadi, Arash; Ho, Lionel; Newcombe, Gayle; Bustamante, Heriberto; Prévost, Michèle

    2012-04-01

    Drinking water sources in many regions are subject to proliferation of toxic cyanobacteria (CB). Chlorination of source water containing toxic cyanobacterial cells for diverse treatment purposes might cause cell damage, toxin release and disinfection by-products (DBP) formation. There is limited information available on chlorination of different toxic CB cells and DBP formation potentials. This work: (1) determines the extent of lysis and toxins/taste and odor compound release in chlorinated natural water from CB cells (Anabaena circinalis, Microcystis aeruginosa, Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii, and Aphanizomenon issatsckenka) from laboratory cultures and natural blooms; (2) assesses the rates of oxidation of toxins by free chlorine under environmental conditions; (3) studies the DBP formation associated with the chlorination of CB cell suspensions. With chlorine exposure (CT) value of <4.0 mg min/L >60% cells lost viability causing toxin release. Cell membrane damage occurred faster than oxidation of released toxins. Kinetic analysis of the oxidation of toxins in natural water revealed significant differences in their susceptibility to chlorine, saxitoxins being the easiest to oxidize, followed by cylindrospermopsin and microcystin-LR. Furthermore, concentrations of trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids (<40 μg/L) and N-nitrosodimethylamine (<10 ng/L) as chlorination by-products were lower than the guideline values even at the highest CT value (220 mg min/L). However, the DBP concentrations in environmental bloom conditions with very high cell numbers were over the guideline values. PMID:21820143

  7. Symbiotic adaptation drives genome streamlining of the cyanobacterial sponge symbiont "Candidatus Synechococcus spongiarum".

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

    "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. IMPORTANCE Although the diversity of sponge-associated microbes has been widely studied, genome-level research on sponge symbionts and their symbiotic mechanisms is rare because they are unculturable. "Candidatus Synechococcus spongiarum" is a widely distributed uncultivated cyanobacterial sponge symbiont. The genome of this symbiont will help to characterize its evolutionary relationship and functional dissimilarity to closely related free-living cyanobacterial strains. Knowledge of its adaptive mechanism to the sponge host also depends on the genome-level research. The data presented here provided an alternative strategy to obtain the draft genome of "Ca. Synechococcus spongiarum" strain SH4 and provide insight into its evolutionary and functional features.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  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. A synopsis of research needs identified at the Interagency, International Symposium on Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms (ISOC-HAB).

    PubMed

    Hudnell, H Kenneth; Dortch, Quay

    2008-01-01

    Evidence indicates that the incidence of cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (CHABs) is increasing in spatial extent and temporal frequency worldwide. Cyanobacterial blooms produce highly potent toxins and huge, noxious biomasses in surface Waters used for recreation, commerce, and as drinking water sources. The Interagency, International Symposium on Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms (ISOC-HAB) characterized the state of the science and identified research needed to address the risks posed by CHABs to human health and ecosystem sustainability. This chapter provides a synopsis of CHAB research needs that were identified by workgroups that addressed charges in major topic areas. The research and infrastructure needed are listed under nine categories: 1) Analytical Methods; 2) CHAB Occurrence; 3) CHAB Causes; 4) Human Health; 5) Ecosystem Sustainability; 6) CHAB Prevention; 7) CHAB Control and Mitigation; 8) Risk Assessment and; 9) Infrastructure. A number of important issues must be addressed to successfully confront the health, ecologic, and economic challenges presented by CHABs. Near-term research goals include the development of field-ready tests to identify and quantify cells and toxins, the production of certified reference standards and bulk toxins, formal assessments of CHAB incidence, improved understanding of toxin effects, therapeutic interventions, ecologically benign means to prevent and control CHABs, supplemental drinking water treatment techniques, and the development of risk assessment and management strategies. Long-term goals include the assimilation of CHAB databases into emerging U.S. and international observing systems, the development of quantitative models to predict CHAB occurrence, effects, and management outcomes, and economic analyses of CAHB costs and management benefits. Accomplishing further infrastructure development and freshwater HAB research is discussed in relationship to the Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia Research and Control

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  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

    2015-02-05

    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.

  20. Proteomic approaches in research of cyanobacterial photosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Battchikova, Natalia; Angeleri, Martina; Aro, Eva-Mari

    2015-10-01

    Oxygenic photosynthesis in cyanobacteria, algae, and plants is carried out by a fabulous pigment-protein machinery that is amazingly complicated in structure and function. Many different approaches have been undertaken to characterize the most important aspects of photosynthesis, and proteomics has become the essential component in this research. Here we describe various methods which have been used in proteomic research of cyanobacteria, and demonstrate how proteomics is implemented into on-going studies of photosynthesis in cyanobacterial cells.

  1. 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

  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.

  3. Diversity and Impact of Prokaryotic Toxins on Aquatic Environments: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Valério, Elisabete; Chaves, Sandra; Tenreiro, Rogério

    2010-01-01

    Microorganisms are ubiquitous in all habitats and are recognized by their metabolic versatility and ability to produce many bioactive compounds, including toxins. Some of the most common toxins present in water are produced by several cyanobacterial species. As a result, their blooms create major threats to animal and human health, tourism, recreation and aquaculture. Quite a few cyanobacterial toxins have been described, including hepatotoxins, neurotoxins, cytotoxins and dermatotoxins. These toxins are secondary metabolites, presenting a vast diversity of structures and variants. Most of cyanobacterial secondary metabolites are peptides or have peptidic substructures and are assumed to be synthesized by non-ribosomal peptide synthesis (NRPS), involving peptide synthetases, or NRPS/PKS, involving peptide synthetases and polyketide synthases hybrid pathways. Besides cyanobacteria, other bacteria associated with aquatic environments are recognized as significant toxin producers, representing important issues in food safety, public health, and human and animal well being. Vibrio species are one of the most representative groups of aquatic toxin producers, commonly associated with seafood-born infections. Some enterotoxins and hemolysins have been identified as fundamental for V. cholerae and V. vulnificus pathogenesis, but there is evidence for the existence of other potential toxins. Campylobacter spp. and Escherichia coli are also water contaminants and are able to produce important toxins after infecting their hosts. Other bacteria associated with aquatic environments are emerging as toxin producers, namely Legionella pneumophila and Aeromonas hydrophila, described as responsible for the synthesis of several exotoxins, enterotoxins and cytotoxins. Furthermore, several Clostridium species can produce potent neurotoxins. Although not considered aquatic microorganisms, they are ubiquitous in the environment and can easily contaminate drinking and irrigation water

  4. Bacterial glycosyltransferase toxins.

    PubMed

    Jank, Thomas; Belyi, Yury; Aktories, Klaus

    2015-12-01

    Mono-glycosylation of host proteins is a common mechanism by which bacterial protein toxins manipulate cellular functions of eukaryotic target host cells. Prototypic for this group of glycosyltransferase toxins are Clostridium difficile toxins A and B, which modify guanine nucleotide-binding proteins of the Rho family. However, toxin-induced glycosylation is not restricted to the Clostridia. Various types of bacterial pathogens including Escherichia coli, Yersinia, Photorhabdus and Legionella species produce glycosyltransferase toxins. Recent studies discovered novel unexpected variations in host protein targets and amino acid acceptors of toxin-catalysed glycosylation. These findings open new perspectives in toxin as well as in carbohydrate research.

  5. Toxic effects produced by microcystins from a natural cyanobacterial bloom and a Microcystis aeruginosa isolated strain on the fish cell lines RTG-2 and PLHC-1.

    PubMed

    Pichardo, S; Jos, A; Zurita, J; Salguero, M; Camean, A M; Repetto, G

    2006-07-01

    Toxic cyanobacterial blooms are a worldwide problem, causing serious water pollution and public health hazard to humans and livestock. The intact cells as well as the toxins released after cellular lysis can be responsible for toxic effects in both animals and humans and are actually associated with fish kills. Two fish cell lines-PLHC-1 derived from a hepatocellular carcinoma of the topminnow Poeciliopsis lucida and RTG-2 fibroblast-like cells derived from the gonads of rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss were exposed to several concentrations of extracts from a natural cyanobacterial bloom and a Microcystis aeruginosa-isolated strain. After 24 hours, morphologic and biochemical changes (total protein content, lactate dehydrogenase leakage, neutral red uptake, methathiazole tetrazolium salt metabolization, lysosomal function, and succinate dehydrogenase [SDH] activity) were investigated. The most sensitive end point for both cyanobacterial extracts in PLHC-1 cells was SDH activity, with similar EC(50) values (6 microM for the cyanobacterial bloom and 7 microM for the isolated strain). RTG-2 cells were less susceptible according to SDH activity, with their most sensitive end point lysosomal function with an EC(50) of 4 microM for the M. aeruginosa-isolated strain and 72 microM for the cyanobacterial bloom. The lysosomal function was stimulated at low concentrations, although SDH activity increased at high doses, indicating lysosomal and energetic alterations. Increased secretion vesicles, rounding effects, decreased cell numbers and size, hydropic degeneration, esteatosis, and apoptosis were observed in the morphologic study. Similar sensitivity to the M. aeruginosa-isolated strain was observed in both cell lines, whereas the cyanobacterial bloom was more toxic to the PLHC-1 cell line.

  6. 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

  7. CYANOCHIP: an antibody microarray for high-taxonomical-resolution cyanobacterial monitoring.

    PubMed

    Blanco, Yolanda; Quesada, Antonio; Gallardo-Carreño, Ignacio; Aguirre, Jacobo; Parro, Victor

    2015-02-01

    Cyanobacteria are Gram-negative photosynthetic prokaryotes that are widespread on Earth. Eutrophication and global warming make some aquatic ecosystems behave as bioreactors that trigger rapid and massive cyanobacterial growth with remarkable economic and health consequences. Rapid and efficient early warning systems are required to support decisions by water body authorities. We have produced 17 specific antibodies to the most frequent cyanobacterial strains blooming in freshwater ecosystems, some of which are toxin producers. A sandwich-type antibody microarray immunoassay (CYANOCHIP) was developed for the simultaneous testing of any of the 17 strains, or other closely related strains, in field samples from different habitats (water, rocks, and sediments). We titrated and tested all of the antibodies in succession using a fluorescent sandwich microarray immunoassay. Although most showed high specificity, we applied a deconvolution method based on graph theory to disentangle the few existing cross-reactions. The CYANOCHIP sensitivity ranged from 10(2) to 10(4) cells mL(-1), with most antibodies detecting approximately 10(2) cells mL(-1). We validated the system by testing multiple isolates and crude natural samples from freshwater reservoirs and rocks, both in the laboratory and by in situ testing in the field. The results demonstrated that CYANOCHIP is a valuable tool for the sensitive and reliable detection of cyanobacteria for early warning and research purposes.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Uptake of the cyanobacterial neurotoxin, anatoxin-a, and alterations in oxidative stress in the submerged aquatic plant Ceratophyllum demersum.

    PubMed

    Ha, Mi-Hee; Contardo-Jara, Valeska; Pflugmacher, Stephan

    2014-03-01

    The prevalence of cyanobacterial blooms in fresh water bodies worldwide has become a serious environmental problem. The blooms can increase the occurrence of cyanobacterial neurotoxin, anatoxin-a, and this toxin can interact with aquatic plants and other pivotal components of aquatic ecosystems. Despite this, several questions regarding the uptake of the toxin by aquatic plants and its association with toxic effects still remain. This study investigated the uptake of anatoxin-a in relation to alterations in oxidative stress, estimated by changes in lipid peroxidation and tocopherol contents (alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-tocopherol), in the submerged aquatic plant, Ceratophylum demersum, at environmentally relevant concentrations. Exposure to five different concentrations of anatoxin-a (0.005, 0.05, 0.5, 5 and 50μgl(-1)) for 24h increased concentrations in C. demersum in a dose-dependent manner. All four forms of tocopherols were elevated at low concentrations of anatoxin-a (0.005. 0.05. 0.5 and 5μgl(-1)). However, a decline in the four tocopherol forms along with a high level of lipid peroxidation was observed at 50μgl(-1) exposure dose. During 336-h exposure to 15μgl(-1) anatoxin-a, rapid toxin uptake during the first 24h and subsequent steady accumulation of the toxin were observed. The four tocopherol forms increased in response to anatoxin-a uptake, attaining their maximum levels together with a significant increase of lipid peroxidation after 12 or 24h. After 24-h exposure, the four tocopherol forms decreased gradually without recovery. The results clearly indicate that anatoxin-a uptake can cause a disturbance of the oxidative stress in the aquatic plant, and depending on the concentration and exposure duration, oxidative damage occurs. PMID:24507147

  13. 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

  14. *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...

  15. 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 ...

  16. Bioterrorism: toxins as weapons.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Peter D

    2012-04-01

    The potential for biological weapons to be used in terrorism is a real possibility. Biological weapons include infectious agents and toxins. Toxins are poisons produced by living organisms. Toxins relevant to bioterrorism include ricin, botulinum, Clostridium perfrigens epsilson toxin, conotoxins, shigatoxins, saxitoxins, tetrodotoxins, mycotoxins, and nicotine. Toxins have properties of biological and chemical weapons. Unlike pathogens, toxins do not produce an infection. Ricin causes multiorgan toxicity by blocking protein synthesis. Botulinum blocks acetylcholine in the peripheral nervous system leading to muscle paralysis. Epsilon toxin damages cell membranes. Conotoxins block potassium and sodium channels in neurons. Shigatoxins inhibit protein synthesis and induce apoptosis. Saxitoxin and tetrodotoxin inhibit sodium channels in neurons. Mycotoxins include aflatoxins and trichothecenes. Aflatoxins are carcinogens. Trichothecenes inhibit protein and nucleic acid synthesis. Nicotine produces numerous nicotinic effects in the nervous system.

  17. 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

  18. The structural code of cyanobacterial genomes

    PubMed Central

    Lehmann, Robert; Machné, Rainer; Herzel, Hanspeter

    2014-01-01

    A periodic bias in nucleotide frequency with a period of about 11 bp is characteristic for bacterial genomes. This signal is commonly interpreted to relate to the helical pitch of negatively supercoiled DNA. Functions in supercoiling-dependent RNA transcription or as a ‘structural code’ for DNA packaging have been suggested. Cyanobacterial genomes showed especially strong periodic signals and, on the other hand, DNA supercoiling and supercoiling-dependent transcription are highly dynamic and underlie circadian rhythms of these phototrophic bacteria. Focusing on this phylum and dinucleotides, we find that a minimal motif of AT-tracts (AT2) yields the strongest signal. Strong genome-wide periodicity is ancestral to a clade of unicellular and polyploid species but lost upon morphological transitions into two baeocyte-forming and a symbiotic species. The signal is intermediate in heterocystous species and weak in monoploid picocyanobacteria. A pronounced ‘structural code’ may support efficient nucleoid condensation and segregation in polyploid cells. The major source of the AT2 signal are protein-coding regions, where it is encoded preferentially in the first and third codon positions. The signal shows only few relations to supercoiling-dependent and diurnal RNA transcription in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. Strong and specific signals in two distinct transposons suggest roles in transposase transcription and transpososome formation. PMID:25056315

  19. [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.

  20. [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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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- ...

  4. 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).

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Culture-dependent characterization of cyanobacterial diversity in the intertidal zones of the Portuguese coast: a polyphasic study.

    PubMed

    Brito, Angela; Ramos, Vitor; Seabra, Rui; Santos, Arlete; Santos, Catarina L; Lopo, Miguel; Ferreira, Sérgio; Martins, António; Mota, Rita; Frazão, Bárbara; Martins, Rosário; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Tamagnini, Paula

    2012-03-01

    Cyanobacteria are important primary producers, and many are able to fix atmospheric nitrogen playing a key role in the marine environment. However, not much is known about the diversity of cyanobacteria in Portuguese marine waters. This paper describes the diversity of 60 strains isolated from benthic habitats in 9 sites (intertidal zones) on the Portuguese South and West coasts. The strains were characterized by a morphological study (light and electron microscopy) and by a molecular characterization (partial 16S rRNA, nifH, nifK, mcyA, mcyE/ndaF, sxtI genes). The morphological analyses revealed 35 morphotypes (15 genera and 16 species) belonging to 4 cyanobacterial Orders/Subsections. The dominant groups among the isolates were the Oscillatoriales. There is a broad congruence between morphological and molecular assignments. The 16S rRNA gene sequences of 9 strains have less than 97% similarity compared to the sequences in the databases, revealing novel cyanobacterial diversity. Phylogenetic analysis, based on partial 16S rRNA gene sequences showed at least 12 clusters. One-third of the isolates are potential N(2)-fixers, as they exhibit heterocysts or the presence of nif genes was demonstrated by PCR. Additionally, no conventional freshwater toxins genes were detected by PCR screening.

  12. 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

  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. 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

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. Detection of various freshwater cyanobacterial toxins using ultra-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Oehrle, Stuart A; Southwell, Ben; Westrick, Judy

    2010-05-01

    Several freshwater cyanobacteria species have the capability to produce toxic compounds, frequently referred to as cyanotoxins. The most prevalent of these cyanotoxins is microcystin LR. Recognizing the potential health risk, France, Italy, Poland, Australia, Canada, and Brazil have set either standards or guidelines for the amount of microcystin LR permissible in drinking water based on the World Health Organization guideline of one microg/L of microcystin LR. Recently, the United States Environmental Protection Agency has begun to evaluate the occurrence and health effects of cyanotoxins and their susceptibility to water treatment under the Safe Drinking Water Act through the Contaminant Candidate List (CCL). A recent update of the Contaminant Candidate List focuses research and data collection on the cyanotoxins microcystin LR, anatoxin-a, and cylindrospermopsin. Liquid Chromatography/Tandem-Mass Spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) is a powerful tool for the analysis of various analytes in a wide variety of matrices because of its sensitivity and selectivity. The use of smaller column media (sub 2 microm particles) was investigated to both improve the speed, sensitivity and resolution, and to quantify the CCL cyanotoxins, in a single analysis, using Ultra-Performance Liquid Chromatography (UPLC) combined with tandem mass spectrometry. Natural waters and spiked samples were analyzed to show proof-of-performance. The presented method was able to clearly resolve each of the cyanotoxins in less than eight minutes with specificity and high spike recoveries. PMID:19878689

  18. Effects of enteric bacterial and cyanobacterial lipopolysaccharides, and of microcystin-LR, on glutathione S-transferase activities in zebra fish (Danio rerio).

    PubMed

    Best, J H; Pflugmacher, S; Wiegand, C; Eddy, F B; Metcalf, J S; Codd, G A

    2002-10-30

    Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) can produce a variety of toxins including hepatotoxins e.g. microcystins, and endotoxins such as lipopolysaccharides (LPS). The combined effects of such toxins on fish are little known. This study examines the activities of microsomal (m) and soluble (s) glutathione S-transferases (GST) from embryos of the zebra fish, Danio rerio at the prim six embryo stage, which had been exposed since fertilisation to LPS from different sources. A further aim was to see how activity was affected by co-exposure to LPS and microcystin-LR (MC-LR). LPS were obtained from Salmonella typhimurium, Escherichia coli, a laboratory culture of Microcystis CYA 43 and natural cyanobacterial blooms of Microcystis and Gloeotrichia. Following in vivo exposure of embryos to each of the LPS preparations, mGST activity was significantly reduced (from 0.50 to between 0.06 and 0.32 nanokatals per milligram (nkat mg(-1)) protein). sGST activity in vivo was significantly reduced (from 1.05 to between 0.19 and 0.22 nkat mg(-1) protein) after exposure of embryos to each of the cyanobacterial LPS preparations, but not in response to S. typhimurium or E. coli LPS. Activities of both m- and sGSTs were reduced after co-exposure to MC-LR and cyanobacterial LPS, but only mGST activity was reduced in the S. typhimurium and E. coli LPS-treated embryos. In vitro preparations of GST from adult and prim six embryo D. rerio showed no significant changes in enzyme activity in response to the LPS preparations with the exception of Gloeotrichia bloom LPS, where mGST was reduced in adult and embryo preparations. The present study represents the first investigations into the effects of cyanobacterial LPS on the phase-II microcystin detoxication mechanism. LPS preparations, whether from axenic cyanobacteria or cyanobacterial blooms, are potentially capable of significantly reducing activity of both the s- and mGSTs, so reducing the capacity of D. rerio to detoxicate microcystins. The

  19. Detection of the cyanobacterial hepatotoxins microcystins.

    PubMed

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. Impact of nitrogen sources on gene expression and toxin production in the diazotroph Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii CS-505 and non-diazotroph Raphidiopsis brookii D9.

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

    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

  2. Impact of nitrogen sources on gene expression and toxin production in the diazotroph Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii CS-505 and non-diazotroph Raphidiopsis brookii D9.

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-20

    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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. The cyanobacterial genome core and the origin of photosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Mulkidjanian, Armen Y.; Koonin, Eugene V.; Makarova, Kira S.; Mekhedov, Sergey L.; Sorokin, Alexander; Wolf, Yuri I.; Dufresne, Alexis; Partensky, Frédéric; Burd, Henry; Kaznadzey, Denis; Haselkorn, Robert; Galperin, Michael Y.

    2006-01-01

    Comparative analysis of 15 complete cyanobacterial genome sequences, including “near minimal” genomes of five strains of Prochlorococcus spp., revealed 1,054 protein families [core cyanobacterial clusters of orthologous groups of proteins (core CyOGs)] encoded in at least 14 of them. The majority of the core CyOGs are involved in central cellular functions that are shared with other bacteria; 50 core CyOGs are specific for cyanobacteria, whereas 84 are exclusively shared by cyanobacteria and plants and/or other plastid-carrying eukaryotes, such as diatoms or apicomplexans. The latter group includes 35 families of uncharacterized proteins, which could also be involved in photosynthesis. Only a few components of cyanobacterial photosynthetic machinery are represented in the genomes of the anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria Chlorobium tepidum, Rhodopseudomonas palustris, Chloroflexus aurantiacus, or Heliobacillus mobilis. These observations, coupled with recent geological data on the properties of the ancient phototrophs, suggest that photosynthesis originated in the cyanobacterial lineage under the selective pressures of UV light and depletion of electron donors. We propose that the first phototrophs were anaerobic ancestors of cyanobacteria (“procyanobacteria”) that conducted anoxygenic photosynthesis using a photosystem I-like reaction center, somewhat similar to the heterocysts of modern filamentous cyanobacteria. From procyanobacteria, photosynthesis spread to other phyla by way of lateral gene transfer. PMID:16924101

  12. Cyanobacterial reuse of extracellular organic carbon in microbial mats

    PubMed Central

    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

    2016-01-01

    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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Occurrence of cyanobacteria and microcystin toxins in raw and treated waters of the Nile River, Egypt: implication for water treatment and human health.

    PubMed

    Mohamed, Zakaria A; Deyab, Mohamed Ali; Abou-Dobara, Mohamed I; El-Sayed, Ahmad K; El-Raghi, Wesam M

    2015-08-01

    Monitoring of cyanobacteria and their associated toxins has intensified in raw water sources of drinking water treatment plants (WTPs) in most countries of the world. However, it is not explored yet for Egyptian WTPs. Therefore, this study was undertaken to investigate the occurrence of cyanobacteria and their microcystin (MC) toxins in the Nile River source water of Damietta WTP during warm months (April-September 2013) and to evaluate the removal efficiency of both cyanobacterial cells and MCs by conventional methods used in this plant as a representative of Egyptian drinking WTPs. The results showed that the source water at the intake of Damietta WTP contained dense cyanobacterial population (1.1-6.6 × 107 cells L(-1)) dominated by Microcystis aeruginosa. This bloom was found to produce MC-RR and MC-LR. Both cyanobacterial cell density and intracellular MCs in the intake source water increased with the increase in temperature and nutrients during the study period, with maximum values obtained in August. During treatment processes, cyanobacterial cells were incompletely removed by coagulation/flocculation/sedimentation (C/F/S; 91-96.8%) or sand filtration (93.3-98.9%). Coagulation/flocculation induced the release of MCs into the ambient water, and the toxins were not completely removed or degraded during further treatment stages (filtration and chlorination). MCs in outflow tank water were detected in high concentrations (1.1-3.6 μg L - 1), exceeding WHO provisional guideline value of 1 μg L - 1 for MC-LR in drinking water. Based on this study, regular monitoring of cyanobacteria and their cyanotoxins in the intake source water and at different stages at all WTPs is necessary to provide safe drinking water to consumers or to prevent exposure of consumers to hazardous cyanobacterial metabolites.

  17. Occurrence of cyanobacteria and microcystin toxins in raw and treated waters of the Nile River, Egypt: implication for water treatment and human health.

    PubMed

    Mohamed, Zakaria A; Deyab, Mohamed Ali; Abou-Dobara, Mohamed I; El-Sayed, Ahmad K; El-Raghi, Wesam M

    2015-08-01

    Monitoring of cyanobacteria and their associated toxins has intensified in raw water sources of drinking water treatment plants (WTPs) in most countries of the world. However, it is not explored yet for Egyptian WTPs. Therefore, this study was undertaken to investigate the occurrence of cyanobacteria and their microcystin (MC) toxins in the Nile River source water of Damietta WTP during warm months (April-September 2013) and to evaluate the removal efficiency of both cyanobacterial cells and MCs by conventional methods used in this plant as a representative of Egyptian drinking WTPs. The results showed that the source water at the intake of Damietta WTP contained dense cyanobacterial population (1.1-6.6 × 107 cells L(-1)) dominated by Microcystis aeruginosa. This bloom was found to produce MC-RR and MC-LR. Both cyanobacterial cell density and intracellular MCs in the intake source water increased with the increase in temperature and nutrients during the study period, with maximum values obtained in August. During treatment processes, cyanobacterial cells were incompletely removed by coagulation/flocculation/sedimentation (C/F/S; 91-96.8%) or sand filtration (93.3-98.9%). Coagulation/flocculation induced the release of MCs into the ambient water, and the toxins were not completely removed or degraded during further treatment stages (filtration and chlorination). MCs in outflow tank water were detected in high concentrations (1.1-3.6 μg L - 1), exceeding WHO provisional guideline value of 1 μg L - 1 for MC-LR in drinking water. Based on this study, regular monitoring of cyanobacteria and their cyanotoxins in the intake source water and at different stages at all WTPs is necessary to provide safe drinking water to consumers or to prevent exposure of consumers to hazardous cyanobacterial metabolites. PMID:25854210

  18. Staphylococcus aureus toxins.

    PubMed

    Otto, Michael

    2014-02-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a dangerous pathogen that causes a variety of severe diseases. The virulence of S. aureus is defined by a large repertoire of virulence factors, among which secreted toxins play a preeminent role. Many S. aureus toxins damage biological membranes, leading to cell death. In particular, S. aureus produces potent hemolysins and leukotoxins. Among the latter, some were recently identified to lyse neutrophils after ingestion, representing an especially powerful weapon against bacterial elimination by innate host defense. Furthermore, S. aureus secretes many factors that inhibit the complement cascade or prevent recognition by host defenses. Several further toxins add to this multi-faceted program of S. aureus to evade elimination in the host. This review will give an overview over S. aureus toxins focusing on recent advances in our understanding of how leukotoxins work in receptor-mediated or receptor-independent fashions.

  19. [Natural toxin poisoning].

    PubMed

    Tsunematsu, Satoshi

    2012-08-01

    Natural toxin poisoning often occurs when amateur who has no expert knowledge of food collects and cooks the wrong material. In many cases, the symptoms of natural toxin poisoning are mild and the patients recover from illness within a day. However, if the patients have respiratory or neurological symptoms after several hours of intake, the patients must go to hospital immediately. Mushroom poisoning is often reported and puffer fish poisoning is sometimes reported in Japan.

  20. The Cyanobacterial Hepatotoxin Microcystin Binds to Proteins and Increases the Fitness of Microcystis under Oxidative Stress Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Zilliges, Yvonne; Kehr, Jan-Christoph; Meissner, Sven; Ishida, Keishi; Mikkat, Stefan; Hagemann, Martin; Kaplan, Aaron; Börner, Thomas; Dittmann, Elke

    2011-01-01

    Microcystins are cyanobacterial toxins that represent a serious threat to drinking water and recreational lakes worldwide. Here, we show that microcystin fulfils an important function within cells of its natural producer Microcystis. The microcystin deficient mutant ΔmcyB showed significant changes in the accumulation of proteins, including several enzymes of the Calvin cycle, phycobiliproteins and two NADPH-dependent reductases. We have discovered that microcystin binds to a number of these proteins in vivo and that the binding is strongly enhanced under high light and oxidative stress conditions. The nature of this binding was studied using extracts of a microcystin-deficient mutant in vitro. The data obtained provided clear evidence for a covalent interaction of the toxin with cysteine residues of proteins. A detailed investigation of one of the binding partners, the large subunit of RubisCO showed a lower susceptibility to proteases in the presence of microcystin in the wild type. Finally, the mutant defective in microcystin production exhibited a clearly increased sensitivity under high light conditions and after hydrogen peroxide treatment. Taken together, our data suggest a protein-modulating role for microcystin within the producing cell, which represents a new addition to the catalogue of functions that have been discussed for microbial secondary metabolites. PMID:21445264

  1. Targeted silencing of anthrax toxin receptors protects against anthrax toxins.

    PubMed

    Arévalo, Maria T; Navarro, Ashley; Arico, Chenoa D; Li, Junwei; Alkhatib, Omar; Chen, Shan; Diaz-Arévalo, Diana; Zeng, Mingtao

    2014-05-30

    Anthrax spores can be aerosolized and dispersed as a bioweapon. Current postexposure treatments are inadequate at later stages of infection, when high levels of anthrax toxins are present. Anthrax toxins enter cells via two identified anthrax toxin receptors: tumor endothelial marker 8 (TEM8) and capillary morphogenesis protein 2 (CMG2). We hypothesized that host cells would be protected from anthrax toxins if anthrax toxin receptor expression was effectively silenced using RNA interference (RNAi) technology. Thus, anthrax toxin receptors in mouse and human macrophages were silenced using targeted siRNAs or blocked with specific antibody prior to challenge with anthrax lethal toxin. Viability assays were used to assess protection in macrophages treated with specific siRNA or antibody as compared with untreated cells. Silencing CMG2 using targeted siRNAs provided almost complete protection against anthrax lethal toxin-induced cytotoxicity and death in murine and human macrophages. The same results were obtained by prebinding cells with specific antibody prior to treatment with anthrax lethal toxin. In addition, TEM8-targeted siRNAs also offered significant protection against lethal toxin in human macrophage-like cells. Furthermore, silencing CMG2, TEM8, or both receptors in combination was also protective against MEK2 cleavage by lethal toxin or adenylyl cyclase activity by edema toxin in human kidney cells. Thus, anthrax toxin receptor-targeted RNAi has the potential to be developed as a life-saving, postexposure therapy against anthrax.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Integrating mass spectrometry and genomics for cyanobacterial metabolite discovery

    PubMed Central

    Bertin, Matthew J.; Kleigrewe, Karin; Leão, Tiago F.; Gerwick, Lena

    2016-01-01

    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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Carotenoids Assist in Cyanobacterial Photosystem II Assembly and Function.

    PubMed

    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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Engineering cyclic peptide toxins.

    PubMed

    Clark, Richard J; Craik, David J

    2012-01-01

    Peptide-based toxins have attracted much attention in recent years for their exciting potential applications in drug design and development. This interest has arisen because toxins are highly potent and selectively target a range of physiologically important receptors. However, peptides suffer from a number of disadvantages, including poor in vivo stability and poor bioavailability. A number of naturally occurring cyclic peptides have been discovered in plants, animals, and bacteria that have exceptional stability and potentially ameliorate these disadvantages. The lessons learned from studies of the structures, stabilities, and biological activities of these cyclic peptides can be applied to the reengineering of toxins that are not naturally cyclic but are amenable to cyclization. In this chapter, we describe solid-phase chemical synthetic methods for the reengineering of peptide toxins to improve their suitability as therapeutic, diagnostic, or imaging agents. The focus is on small disulfide-rich peptides from the venoms of cone snails and scorpions, but the technology is potentially widely applicable to a number of other peptide-based toxins. PMID:22230565

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

    PubMed

    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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Global change feed-back inhibits cyanobacterial photosynthesis.

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-29

    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.

  2. 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

  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.

  4. 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

  5. Cyanobacterial Oxygenic Photosynthesis is Protected by Flavodiiron Proteins.

    PubMed

    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

  6. 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

  7. Cyanobacterial diversity and halotolerance in a variable hypersaline environment.

    PubMed

    Kirkwood, Andrea E; Buchheim, Julie A; Buchheim, Mark A; Henley, William J

    2008-04-01

    The Great Salt Plains (GSP) in north-central Oklahoma, USA is an expansive salt flat (approximately 65 km(2)) that is part of the federally protected Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge. The GSP serves as an ideal environment to study the microbial diversity of a terrestrial, hypersaline system that experiences wide fluctuations in freshwater influx and diel temperature. Our study assessed cyanobacterial diversity at the GSP by focusing on the taxonomic and physiological diversity of GSP isolates, and the 16S rRNA phylogenetic diversity of isolates and environmental clones from three sites (north, central, and south). Taxonomic diversity of isolates was limited to a few genera (mostly Phormidium and Geitlerinema), but physiological diversity based on halotolerance ranges was strikingly more diverse, even between strains of the same phylotype. The phylogenetic tree revealed diversity that spanned a number of cyanobacterial lineages, although diversity at each site was dominated by only a few phylotypes. Unlike other hypersaline systems, a number of environmental clones from the GSP were members of the heterocystous lineage. Although a number of cyanobacterial isolates were close matches with prevalent environmental clones, it is not certain if these clones reflect the same halotolerance ranges of their matching isolates. This caveat is based on the notable disparities we found between strains of the same phylotype and their inherent halotolerance. Our findings support the hypothesis that variable or poikilotrophic environments promote diversification, and in particular, select for variation in ecotype more than phylotype. PMID:17653786

  8. Cyanobacterial-based approaches to improving photosynthesis in plants.

    PubMed

    Zarzycki, Jan; Axen, Seth D; Kinney, James N; Kerfeld, Cheryl A

    2013-01-01

    Plants rely on the Calvin-Benson (CB) cycle for CO(2) fixation. The key carboxylase of the CB cycle is ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RubisCO). Efforts to enhance carbon fixation in plants have traditionally focused on RubisCO or on approaches that can help to remedy RubisCO's undesirable traits: its low catalytic efficiency and photorespiration. Towards reaching the goal of improving plant photosynthesis, cyanobacteria may be instrumental. Because of their evolutionary relationship to chloroplasts, they represent ideal model organisms for photosynthesis research. Furthermore, the molecular understanding of cyanobacterial carbon fixation provides a rich source of strategies that can be exploited for the bioengineering of chloroplasts. These strategies include the cyanobacterial carbon concentrating mechanism (CCM), which consists of active and passive transporter systems for inorganic carbon and a specialized organelle, the carboxysome. The carboxysome encapsulates RubisCO together with carbonic anhydrase in a protein shell, resulting in an elevated CO(2) concentration around RubisCO. Moreover, cyanobacteria differ from plants in the isoenzymes involved in the CB cycle and the photorespiratory pathways as well as in mechanisms that can affect the activity of RubisCO. In addition, newly available cyanobacterial genome sequence data from the CyanoGEBA project, which has more than doubled the amount of genomic information available for cyanobacteria, increases our knowledge on the CCM and the occurrence and distribution of genes of interest.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Marine Neurotoxins: Ingestible Toxins.

    PubMed

    Stommel, Elijah W.; Watters, Michael R.

    2004-03-01

    Fish and shellfish account for a significant portion of food-borne illnesses throughout the world. In general, three classes of diseases result from seafood consumption--intoxication, allergies, and infections. In this review, the authors discuss several seafood-borne toxins, including domoic acid, which acts on the central nervous system. In addition, the authors discuss ciguatoxin-, brevetoxin-, saxitoxin-, tetrodotoxin-, and scombroid-related histamine toxicity, all of which act primarily on the peripheral nervous system. Fish has become a very popular food in the US mostly related to its potential health benefits. Fish is consumed to such a degree that fishing stocks are reportedly at an all time low from what seemed like an endless supply even 30 years ago. One of the most significant threats to human intoxication is the recreational harvest of shellfish, often times located in remote locations where the harvesters are subsistent on fishery resources and have no monitoring in place. The hazard to intoxication is not as common in purchased seafood, which is more stringently regulated, yet still is a serious problem. Most ingestible toxins are thermo-stable and therefore unaffected by cooking, freezing, or salting. Air transport of consumable products throughout the world makes it easy to obtain exotic edibles from far away countries. A seemingly unusual toxin can be more commonly encountered than previously thought and it is important to consider this when evaluating patients. Recognition and treatment of various neurologic symptoms related to seafood ingestion is paramount in today's mobile, gastronomic world. Specific treatments vary with each individual toxin and with the individual's specific reaction to the toxin. Generally, some degree of medical care is required with all ingestible toxin exposure, ranging from simple administration of medication and hydration to ventilatory and cardiovascular support.

  12. [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.

  13. [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

  14. Comparative analysis of cyanobacterial superoxide dismutases to discriminate canonical forms

    PubMed Central

    Priya, Balakrishnan; Premanandh, Jagadeesan; Dhanalakshmi, Raman T; Seethalakshmi, Thangaraj; Uma, Lakshmanan; Prabaharan, Dharmar; Subramanian, Gopalakrishnan

    2007-01-01

    Background Superoxide dismutases (SOD) are ubiquitous metalloenzymes that catalyze the disproportion of superoxide to peroxide and molecular oxygen through alternate oxidation and reduction of their metal ions. In general, SODs are classified into four forms by their catalytic metals namely; FeSOD, MnSOD, Cu/ZnSOD and NiSOD. In addition, a cambialistic form that uses Fe/Mn in its active site also exists. Cyanobacteria, the oxygen evolving photosynthetic prokaryotes, produce reactive oxygen species that can damage cellular components leading to cell death. Thus, the co-evolution of an antioxidant system was necessary for the survival of photosynthetic organisms with SOD as the initial enzyme evolved to alleviate the toxic effect. Cyanobacteria represent the first oxygenic photoautotrophs and their SOD sequences available in the databases lack clear annotation. Hence, the present study focuses on structure and sequence pattern of subsets of cyanobacterial superoxide dismutases. Result The sequence conservation and structural analysis of Fe (Thermosynechococcus elongatus BP1) and MnSOD (Anabaena sp. PCC7120) reveal the sharing of N and C terminal domains. At the C terminal domain, the metal binding motif in cyanoprokaryotes is DVWEHAYY while it is D-X-[WF]-E-H-[STA]-[FY]-[FY] in other pro- and eukaryotes. The cyanobacterial FeSOD differs from MnSOD at least in three ways viz. (i) FeSOD has a metal specific signature F184X3A188Q189.......T280......F/Y303 while, in Mn it is R184X3G188G189......G280......W303, (ii) aspartate ligand forms a hydrogen bond from the active site with the outer sphere residue of W243 in Fe where as it is Q262 in MnSOD; and (iii) two unique lysine residues at positions 201 and 255 with a photosynthetic role, found only in FeSOD. Further, most of the cyanobacterial Mn metalloforms have a specific transmembrane hydrophobic pocket that distinguishes FeSOD from Mn isoform. Cyanobacterial Cu/ZnSOD has a copper domain and two different signatures G

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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 ...

  18. 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 ...

  19. [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.

  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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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).

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Evolutionary analysis of Arabidopsis, cyanobacterial, and chloroplast genomes reveals plastid phylogeny and thousands of cyanobacterial genes in the nucleus.

    PubMed

    Martin, William; Rujan, Tamas; Richly, Erik; Hansen, Andrea; Cornelsen, Sabine; Lins, Thomas; Leister, Dario; Stoebe, Bettina; Hasegawa, Masami; Penny, David

    2002-09-17

    Chloroplasts were once free-living cyanobacteria that became endosymbionts, but the genomes of contemporary plastids encode only approximately 5-10% as many genes as those of their free-living cousins, indicating that many genes were either lost from plastids or transferred to the nucleus during the course of plant evolution. Previous estimates have suggested that between 800 and perhaps as many as 2,000 genes in the Arabidopsis genome might come from cyanobacteria, but genome-wide phylogenetic surveys that could provide direct estimates of this number are lacking. We compared 24,990 proteins encoded in the Arabidopsis genome to the proteins from three cyanobacterial genomes, 16 other prokaryotic reference genomes, and yeast. Of 9,368 Arabidopsis proteins sufficiently conserved for primary sequence comparison, 866 detected homologues only among cyanobacteria and 834 other branched with cyanobacterial homologues in phylogenetic trees. Extrapolating from these conserved proteins to the whole genome, the data suggest that approximately 4,500 of Arabidopsis protein-coding genes ( approximately 18% of the total) were acquired from the cyanobacterial ancestor of plastids. These proteins encompass all functional classes, and the majority of them are targeted to cell compartments other than the chloroplast. Analysis of 15 sequenced chloroplast genomes revealed 117 nuclear-encoded proteins that are also still present in at least one chloroplast genome. A phylogeny of chloroplast genomes inferred from 41 proteins and 8,303 amino acids sites indicates that at least two independent secondary endosymbiotic events have occurred involving red algae and that amino acid composition bias in chloroplast proteins strongly affects plastid genome phylogeny. PMID:12218172

  11. 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.

  12. [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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 2-Methylhopanoids as biomarkers for cyanobacterial oxygenic photosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Summons, R E; Jahnke, L L; Hope, J M; Logan, G 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 3,465 Myr 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 record is sufficiently well preserved. Here we show that 2-methyl-bacteriohopanepolyols 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 2,500 Myr. 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.

  20. 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

  1. A census of nuclear cyanobacterial recruits in the plant kingdom.

    PubMed

    Makai, Szabolcs; Li, Xiao; Hussain, Javeed; Cui, Cuiju; Wang, Yuesheng; Chen, Mingjie; Yang, Zhaowan; Ma, Chuang; Guo, An-Yuan; Zhou, Yanhong; Chang, Junli; Yang, Guangxiao; He, Guangyuan

    2015-01-01

    The plastids and mitochondria of the eukaryotic cell are of endosymbiotic origin. These events occurred ~2 billion years ago and produced significant changes in the genomes of the host and the endosymbiont. Previous studies demonstrated that the invasion of land affected plastids and mitochondria differently and that the paths of mitochondrial integration differed between animals and plants. Other studies examined the reasons why a set of proteins remained encoded in the organelles and were not transferred to the nuclear genome. However, our understanding of the functional relations of the transferred genes is insufficient. In this paper, we report a high-throughput phylogenetic analysis to identify genes of cyanobacterial origin for plants of different levels of complexity: Arabidopsis thaliana, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, Physcomitrella patens, Populus trichocarpa, Selaginella moellendorffii, Sorghum bicolor, Oryza sativa, and Ostreococcus tauri. Thus, a census of cyanobacterial gene recruits and a study of their function are presented to better understand the functional aspects of plastid symbiogenesis. From algae to angiosperms, the GO terms demonstrated a gradual expansion over functionally related genes in the nuclear genome, beginning with genes related to thylakoids and photosynthesis, followed by genes involved in metabolism, and finally with regulation-related genes, primarily in angiosperms. The results demonstrate that DNA is supplied to the nuclear genome on a permanent basis with no regard to function, and only what is needed is kept, which thereby expands on the GO space along the related genes.

  2. Pore formation by Cry toxins.

    PubMed

    Soberón, Mario; Pardo, Liliana; Muñóz-Garay, Carlos; Sánchez, Jorge; Gómez, Isabel; Porta, Helena; Bravo, Alejandra

    2010-01-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) bacteria produce insecticidal Cry and Cyt proteins used in the biological control of different insect pests. In this review, we will focus on the 3d-Cry toxins that represent the biggest group of Cry proteins and also on Cyt toxins. The 3d-Cry toxins are pore-forming toxins that induce cell death by forming ionic pores into the membrane of the midgut epithelial cells in their target insect. The initial steps in the mode of action include ingestion of the protoxin, activation by midgut proteases to produce the toxin fragment and the interaction with the primary cadherin receptor. The interaction of the monomeric CrylA toxin with the cadherin receptor promotes an extra proteolytic cleavage, where helix alpha-1 of domain I is eliminated and the toxin oligomerization is induced, forming a structure of 250 kDa. The oligomeric structure binds to a secondary receptor, aminopeptidase N or alkaline phosphatase. The secondary receptor drives the toxin into detergent resistant membrane microdomains formingpores that cause osmotic shock, burst of the midgut cells and insect death. Regarding to Cyt toxins, these proteins have a synergistic effect on the toxicity of some Cry toxins. Cyt proteins are also proteolytic activated in the midgut lumen of their target, they bind to some phospholipids present in the mosquito midgut cells. The proposed mechanism of synergism between Cry and Cyt toxins is that Cyt1Aa function as a receptor for Cry toxins. The Cyt1A inserts into midgut epithelium membrane and exposes protein regions that are recognized by Cry11Aa. It was demonstrated that this interaction facilitates the oligomerization of Cry11Aa and also its pore formation activity.

  3. 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

  4. Overview of key phytoplankton toxins and their recent occurrence in the North and Baltic Seas.

    PubMed

    Luckas, B; Dahlmann, J; Erler, K; Gerdts, G; Wasmund, N; Hummert, C; Hansen, P D

    2005-02-01

    The frequency and intensity of harmful algal blooms (HABs) appear to be on the rise globally. There is also evidence of the geographic spreading of toxic strains of these algae. Consequently, methods had to be established and new ones are still needed for the evaluation of possible hazards caused by increased algal toxin production in the marine food chain. Different clinical effects of algae-related poisoning have attracted scientific attention; paralytic shellfish poisoning, diarrhetic shellfish poisoning, and amnesic shellfish poisoning are among the most common. Additionally, cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) in brackish waters often produce neurotoxic and hepatotoxic substances. Bioassays with mice or rats are common methods to determine algal and cyanobacterial toxins. However, biological tests are not really satisfactory because of their low sensitivity. In addition, there is growing public opposition to animal testing. Therefore, there has been increasing effort to determine algal toxins by chemical methods. Plankton samples from different European marine and brackish waters were taken during research cruises and analyzed on board directly. The ship routes covered marine areas in the northwest Atlantic, Orkney Islands, east coast of Scotland, and the North and Baltic seas. The first results on the occurrence and frequency of harmful algal species were obtained in 1997 and 1998. During the 2000 cruise an HPLC/MS coupling was established on board, and algal toxins were measured directly after extraction of the plankton samples. In contrast to earlier cruises, the sampling areas were changed in 2000 to focusing on coastal zones. The occurrence of toxic algae in these areas was compared to toxin formation during HABs in the open sea. It was found that the toxicity of the algal blooms depended on the prevailing local conditions. This observation was also confirmed by monitoring cyanobacterial blooms in the Baltic Sea. Optimal weather conditions, for example

  5. Nutrient-Controlled Niche Differentiation of Western Lake Erie Cyanobacterial Populations Revealed via Metatranscriptomic Surveys.

    PubMed

    Harke, Matthew J; Davis, Timothy W; Watson, Susan B; Gobler, Christopher J

    2016-01-19

    Although toxic cyanobacterial blooms in western Lake Erie threaten drinking water supplies and are promoted by nutrient loading, the precise nutrient regime that selects specific cyanobacteria populations is poorly understood. Here, we assess shifts in cyanobacterial abundances and global gene-expression patterns in response to natural and manipulated gradients in nitrogen and phosphorus to identify gene pathways that facilitate dominance by different cyanobacteria. Gradients in soluble reactive phosphorus shaped cyanobacterial communities and elicited the largest transcriptomic responses. Under high-P conditions (closest to the mouth of the Maumee River), Anabaena and Planktothrix were the dominant cyanobacterial populations, and experimental P and ammonium enrichment promoted nitrogen fixation gene (nifH) expression in Anabaena. For Microcystis, experimental additions of P up-regulated genes involved in phage defense, genomic rearrangement, and nitrogen acquisition but led to lower abundances. Within offshore, low-P regions of the western basin of Lake Erie, Microcystis up-regulated genes associated with P scavenging (pstSCAB, phoX) and dominated cyanobacterial communities. Experimental additions of ammonium and urea did not alter Microcystis abundances but did up-regulate protease inhibitors (aer and mcn gene sets) and microcystin synthetase genes (mcy), with urea enrichment yielding significant increases in microcystin concentrations. Our findings suggest that management plans that reduce P loads alone may not significantly reduce the risk of cyanobacterial blooms in western Lake Erie but rather may promote a shift among cyanobacterial populations (Microcystis, Anabaena, and Planktothrix) toward a greater dominance by toxic strains of Microcystis.

  6. Determining the probability of cyanobacterial blooms: the application of Bayesian networks in multiple lake systems.

    PubMed

    Rigosi, Anna; Hanson, Paul; Hamilton, David P; Hipsey, Matthew; Rusak, James A; Bois, Julie; Sparber, Karin; Chorus, Ingrid; Watkinson, Andrew J; Qin, Boqiang; Kim, Bomchul; Brookes, Justin D

    2015-01-01

    A Bayesian network model was developed to assess the combined influence of nutrient conditions and climate on the occurrence of cyanobacterial blooms within lakes of diverse hydrology and nutrient supply. Physicochemical, biological, and meteorological observations were collated from 20 lakes located at different latitudes and characterized by a range of sizes and trophic states. Using these data, we built a Bayesian network to (1) analyze the sensitivity of cyanobacterial bloom development to different environmental factors and (2) determine the probability that cyanobacterial blooms would occur. Blooms were classified in three categories of hazard (low, moderate, and high) based on cell abundances. The most important factors determining cyanobacterial bloom occurrence were water temperature, nutrient availability, and the ratio of mixing depth to euphotic depth. The probability of cyanobacterial blooms was evaluated under different combinations of total phosphorus and water temperature. The Bayesian network was then applied to quantify the probability of blooms under a future climate warming scenario. The probability of the "high hazardous" category of cyanobacterial blooms increased 5% in response to either an increase in water temperature of 0.8°C (initial water temperature above 24°C) or an increase in total phosphorus from 0.01 mg/L to 0.02 mg/L. Mesotrophic lakes were particularly vulnerable to warming. Reducing nutrient concentrations counteracts the increased cyanobacterial risk associated with higher temperatures.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. The toxins of Cyanobacteria.

    PubMed

    Patocka, J

    2001-01-01

    Cyanobacteria, formerly called "blue-green algae", are simple, primitive photosynthetic microorganism wide occurrence in fresh, brackish and salt waters. Forty different genera of Cyanobacteria are known and many of them are producers of potent toxins responsible for a wide array of human illnesses, aquatic mammal and bird morbidity and mortality, and extensive fish kills. These cyanotoxins act as neurotoxins or hepatotoxins and are structurally and functionally diverse, and many are derived from unique biosynthetic pathways. All known cyanotoxins and their chemical and toxicological characteristics are presented in this article.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Toxin-Based Therapeutic Approaches

    PubMed Central

    Shapira, Assaf; Benhar, Itai

    2010-01-01

    Protein toxins confer a defense against predation/grazing or a superior pathogenic competence upon the producing organism. Such toxins have been perfected through evolution in poisonous animals/plants and pathogenic bacteria. Over the past five decades, a lot of effort has been invested in studying their mechanism of action, the way they contribute to pathogenicity and in the development of antidotes that neutralize their action. In parallel, many research groups turned to explore the pharmaceutical potential of such toxins when they are used to efficiently impair essential cellular processes and/or damage the integrity of their target cells. The following review summarizes major advances in the field of toxin based therapeutics and offers a comprehensive description of the mode of action of each applied toxin. PMID:22069564

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Cyanobacterial Diazotrophy and Earth’s Delayed Oxygenation

    PubMed Central

    Olson, Stephanie L.; Reinhard, Christopher T.; Lyons, Timothy W.

    2016-01-01

    The redox landscape of Earth’s ocean-atmosphere system has changed dramatically throughout Earth history. Although Earth’s protracted oxygenation is undoubtedly the consequence of cyanobacterial oxygenic photosynthesis, the relationship between biological O2 production and Earth’s redox evolution remains poorly understood. Existing models for Earth’s oxygenation cannot adequately explain the nearly 2.5 billion years delay between the origin of oxygenic photosynthesis and the oxygenation of the deep ocean, in large part owing to major deficiencies in our understanding of the coevolution of O2 and Earth’s key biogeochemical cycles (e.g., the N cycle). For example, although possible links between O2 and N scarcity have been previously explored, the consequences of N2 limitation for net biological O2 production have not been examined thoroughly. Here, we revisit the prevailing view that N2 fixation has always been able to keep pace with P supply and discuss the possibility that bioavailable N, rather than P, limited export production for extended periods of Earth’s history. Based on the observation that diazotrophy occurs at the expense of oxygenesis in the modern ocean, we suggest that an N-limited biosphere may be inherently less oxygenic than a P-limited biosphere—and that cyanobacterial diazotrophy was a primary control on the timing and tempo of Earth’s oxygenation by modulating net biogenic O2 fluxes. We further hypothesize that negative feedbacks inhibit the transition between N and P limitation, with the implication that the pervasive accumulation of O2 in Earth’s ocean-atmosphere system may not have been an inevitable consequence of oxygenic photosynthesis by marine cyanobacteria. PMID:27721813

  19. Sample amount alternatives for data adjustment in comparative cyanobacterial metabolomics.

    PubMed

    Huege, Jan; Krall, Leonard; Steinhauser, Marie-Caroline; Giavalisco, Patrick; Rippka, Rosmarie; Tandeau de Marsac, Nicole; Steinhauser, Dirk

    2011-04-01

    Here we describe an integrative protocol for metabolite extraction and the measurement of three cellular constituents, chlorophyll a, total protein, and glycogen from the same small volume of cyanobacterial cultures that can be used as alternative sample amount parameters for data adjustment in comparative metabolome studies. We conducted recovery experiments to assess the robustness and reproducibility of the measurements obtained for the cellular constituents. Also, we have chosen three profile-intrinsic parameters derived from gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS) data in order to test their utility for spectral data adjustment. To demonstrate the relevance of these six parameters, we analyzed three cyanobacteria with greatly different morphologies, comprising a unicellular, a filamentous, and a filamentous biofilm-forming strain. Comparative analysis of GC/MS data from cultures grown under standardized conditions indicated that adjustment of the corresponding metabolite profiles by any of the measured cellular constituents or chosen intrinsic parameters led to similar results with respect to sample cohesion and strain separation. Twenty-one metabolites significantly enriched for the carbohydrate and amine superclasses are mainly responsible for strain separation, with a majority of the remaining metabolites contributing to sample group cohesion. Therefore, we conclude that any of the parameters tested in this study can be used for spectral data adjustment of cyanobacterial strains grown under controlled conditions. However, their use for the differentiation between different stresses or physiological states within a strain remains to be shown. Interestingly, both the adjustment approaches and statistical tests applied effected the detection of metabolic differences and their patterns among the analyzed strains.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Insights from Cyanobacterial Genomes for the Development of Extraterrestrial Photoautotrophic Biotechnologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, I. I.; Bryant, D. A.; Tringe, S. G.; Malley, K.; Sosa, O.; Sarkisova, S. A.; Garrison, D. H.; McKay, D. S.

    2010-04-01

    Using genomic and metagenomic analysis, Fe-tolerant cyanobacterial species with a large and diverse set of stress-tolerant genes, were identified as prime candidates for in situ resource utilization in a biogeoreactor at extraterrestrial outposts.

  4. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Conserved transcriptional responses to cyanobacterial stressors are mediated by alternate regulation of paralogous genes in Daphnia.

    PubMed

    Asselman, Jana; Pfrender, Michael E; Lopez, Jacqueline A; De Coninck, Dieter I M; Janssen, Colin R; Shaw, Joseph R; De Schamphelaere, Karel A C

    2015-04-01

    Despite a significant increase in genomic data, our knowledge of gene functions and their transcriptional responses to environmental stimuli remains limited. Here, we use the model keystone species Daphnia pulex to study environmental responses of genes in the context of their gene family history to better understand the relationship between genome structure and gene function in response to environmental stimuli. Daphnia were exposed to five different treatments, each consisting of a diet supplemented with one of five cyanobacterial species, and a control treatment consisting of a diet of only green algae. Differential gene expression profiles of Daphnia exposed to each of these five cyanobacterial species showed that genes with known functions are more likely to be shared by different expression profiles, whereas genes specific to the lineage of Daphnia are more likely to be unique to a given expression profile. Furthermore, while only a small number of nonlineage-specific genes were conserved across treatment type, there was a high degree of overlap in expression profiles at the functional level. The conservation of functional responses across the different cyanobacterial treatments can be attributed to the treatment-specific expression of different paralogous genes within the same gene family. Comparison with available gene expression data in the literature suggests differences in nutritional composition in diets with cyanobacterial species compared to diets of green algae as a primary driver for cyanobacterial effects on Daphnia. We conclude that conserved functional responses in Daphnia across different cyanobacterial treatments are mediated through alternate regulation of paralogous gene families.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Stoichiometric regulation of phytoplankton toxins.

    PubMed

    Van de Waal, Dedmer B; Smith, Val H; Declerck, Steven A J; Stam, Eva C M; Elser, James J

    2014-06-01

    Ecological Stoichiometry theory predicts that the production, elemental structure and cellular content of biomolecules should depend on the relative availability of resources and the elemental composition of their producer organism. We review the extent to which carbon- and nitrogen-rich phytoplankton toxins are regulated by nutrient limitation and cellular stoichiometry. Consistent with theory, we show that nitrogen limitation causes a reduction in the cellular quota of nitrogen-rich toxins, while phosphorus limitation causes an increase in the most nitrogen-rich paralytic shellfish poisoning toxin. In addition, we show that the cellular content of nitrogen-rich toxins increases with increasing cellular N : P ratios. Also consistent with theory, limitation by either nitrogen or phosphorus promotes the C-rich toxin cell quota or toxicity of phytoplankton cells. These observed relationships may assist in predicting and managing toxin-producing phytoplankton blooms. Such a stoichiometric regulation of toxins is likely not restricted to phytoplankton, and may well apply to carbon- and nitrogen-rich secondary metabolites produced by bacteria, fungi and plants.

  16. Time-dependent alterations in growth, photosynthetic pigments and enzymatic defense systems of submerged Ceratophyllum demersum during exposure to the cyanobacterial neurotoxin anatoxin-a.

    PubMed

    Ha, Mi-Hee; Pflugmacher, Stephan

    2013-08-15

    Recently, aquatic macrophytes have been considered as promising tools for eco-friendly water management with a low running cost. However, only little information is available thus far regarding the metabolic capacity of macrophytes for coping with cyanobacterial toxins (cyanotoxins) in the aquatic environment. Cyanotoxins have become emerging contaminants of great concern due to the high proliferation of cyanobacteria (cyanobacterial bloom) accelerated by eutrophication and climate change. Anatoxin-a, one of the common and major cyanotoxins, is suggested as a high priority water pollutant for regulatory consideration owing to its notoriously rapid mode of action as a neurotoxin. In this study, the time-course metabolic regulation of the submerged macrophyte Ceratophyllum demersum (C. demersum) was investigated during exposure to anatoxin-a at an environmentally relevant concentration (15 μg/L). Biotransformation and antioxidative systems in C. demersum responded positively to anatoxin-a through the promoted synthesis of most of the involved enzymes within 8h. Maximum enzyme activities were exhibited after 24 or 48 h of exposure to anatoxin-a. However, an apparent decline in enzyme activities was also observed at longer exposure duration (168 and 336 h) in company with high steady-state levels of cell internal H₂O₂, which showed its highest level after 48 h. Meanwhile, irreversible inhibitory influence on chlorophyll content (vitality) was noticed, whereas the ratio of carotenoids to total chlorophyll was increased with the increase in exposure duration. Consequently, the reduction in growth (biomass) of C. demersum was observed in sub-chronic exposure to anatoxin-a (8 weeks). Overall results clearly indicate, on the one hand, that anatoxin-a causes negative allelopathic effects on the macrophyte by inducing oxidative stress. On the other hand, the macrophyte might have interactions with anatoxin-a, based on the prompt reaction of its enzymatic defense systems

  17. 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

  18. 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...

  19. 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. ...

  20. [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

  1. Bioactive toxins from stinging jellyfish.

    PubMed

    Badré, Sophie

    2014-12-01

    Jellyfish blooms occur throughout the world. Human contact with a jellyfish induces a local reaction of the skin, which can be painful and leave scaring. Systemic symptoms are also observed and contact with some species is lethal. A number of studies have evaluated the in vitro biological activity of whole jellyfish venom or of purified fractions. Hemolytic, cytotoxic, neurotoxic or enzymatic activities are commonly observed. Some toxins have been purified and characterized. A family of pore forming toxins specific to Medusozoans has been identified. There remains a need for detailed characterization of jellyfish toxins to fully understand the symptoms observed in vivo.

  2. 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.

  3. THE PRODUCTION OF DIPHTHERIA TOXIN.

    PubMed

    Park, W H; Williams, A W

    1896-01-01

    Toxin of sufficient strength to kill a 400-gramme guinea-pig in three days and a half in a dose of 0.cubic centimetre developed in suitable bouillon, contained in ordinary Erlenmeyer flasks, within a period of twenty-four hours. In such boullon the toxin reached its greatest strength in from four to seven days (0.005 cubic centimetre killing a 500-gramme guinea-pig in three days). This period of time covered that of the greatest growth of the bacilli, as shown both by the appearance of the culture and by the number of colonies developing an agar plates. The bodies of the diphtheria bacili did not at any time contain toxin in cosiderable amounts. The type of growth of the bacili and the rapidity and extent of the production of toxin depended more on the reaction of the bouillon than upon any other single factor. The best results were obtained in bouillon which, after being neutralized to litmus, had about seven cubic centimetres of normal soda solution added to each litre. An excessive amount of either acid or alkali prevented the development of toxin. Strong toxin was produced in bouillon containing peptone ranging from one to ten per cent. The strength of toxin averaged greater in the two and four-per-cent peptone solutions than in the one-percent. When the stage of acid reaction was brief and the degree of acidity probably slight, strong toxin developed while the culture bouillon was still acid; but when the stage of acid reaction was prolonged, little if any toxin was produced until just before the fluid became alkaline. Glucose is deleterious to the growth of the diphtheria bacillus and to the production of toxin when it is present in sufficient amounts to cause by its disintegration too great a degree of acidity in the fluid culture. When the acid resulting from decomposition of glucose is neutralized by the addition of alkali the diphtheria bacilus again grows abundantly. Glucose is not present, at least as a rule, in sufficient amounts in the meat as

  4. Botulinum toxin in clinical practice

    PubMed Central

    Jankovic, J

    2004-01-01

    Botulinum toxin, the most potent biological toxin, has become a powerful therapeutic tool for a growing number of clinical applications. This review draws attention to new findings about the mechanism of action of botulinum toxin and briefly reviews some of its most frequent uses, focusing on evidence based data. Double blind, placebo controlled studies, as well as open label clinical trials, provide evidence that, when appropriate targets and doses are selected, botulinum toxin temporarily ameliorates disorders associated with excessive muscle contraction or autonomic dysfunction. When injected not more often than every three months, the risk of blocking antibodies is slight. Long term experience with this agent suggests that it is an effective and safe treatment not only for approved indications but also for an increasing number of off-label indications. PMID:15201348

  5. [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

  6. Short-term dynamics of cyanobacterial toxins (microcystins) following a discharge from a coastal reservoir in Isahaya Bay, Japan.

    PubMed

    Umehara, Akira; Komorita, Tomohiro; Tai, Akira; Takahashi, Tohru; Orita, Ryo; Tsutsumi, Hiroaki

    2015-03-15

    Freshwater cyanobacteria produce highly toxic substances such as microcystins (MCs), and water containing MCs is often discharged to downstream and coastal areas. We conducted field monitoring in Isahaya Bay to clarify the short-term dynamics of MCs discharged from a reservoir following a cyanobacteria bloom in the warm season. MCs were detected in the seawater of the bay (max. 0.10 μg L(-1)), and were deposited on the sea floor, with the MC content of the surface sediment increasing by approximately five times (0.11±0.077-0.53±0.15 μg kgww(-1), mean±SD) at the four stations near the reservoir drainage gate before and after the discharge. The MCs was then transported from the mouth of the bay by tidal currents during the period of the study. Therefore, the MCs were moved away from the closed water area where the cyanobacteria blooms, and spread throughout the coastal area. PMID:25595488

  7. Retention and degradation of the cyanobacterial toxin cylindrospermopsin in sediments - the role of sediment preconditioning and DOM composition.

    PubMed

    Klitzke, Sondra; Apelt, Susann; Weiler, Christiane; Fastner, Jutta; Chorus, Ingrid

    2010-05-01

    Recent results show that cylindrospermopsin is more frequent and widespread in surface waters than previously assumed. Studies on the fate of CYN in sediments are lacking, but this is important if these resources are used for drinking-water production via sediment passage. Therefore, the aim of our study was to determine a) CYN retention in two sandy sediments as a function of flow rate, CYN concentration, the presence of DOM and the content of fines (1% and 4%, respectively) and b) the influence of sediment preconditioning and DOM composition of the water (aquatic DOM versus DOM released from lysed cells) on CYN degradation. Retention of CYN proved negligible under the investigated conditions. Degradation in virgin sediments showed the highest lag phases (20 days). Preconditioned sediments showed no lag phase. The presence of aquatic DOM yielded highest degradation rates (kappa(1)=0.46 and 0.49 day(-1)) without a lag phase. Readily available organic carbon sources were preferentially metabolized and hence induced a lag phase. Thus, the presence and composition of DOM in the water proved important for both CYN degradation rates in preconditioned sediments and for the lag phase. Cylindrospermopsin degradation took place solely in the sediment and not in the water body.

  8. 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

  9. Chlorination of Microcystis aeruginosa: toxin release and oxidation, cellular chlorine demand and disinfection by-products formation.

    PubMed

    Zamyadi, Arash; Fan, Yan; Daly, Rob I; Prévost, Michèle

    2013-03-01

    Direct chlorination of toxic cyanobacteria cells can occur at various stages of treatment. The objectives of this work are to determine and model the extent of Microcystis aeruginosa cells lysis, toxins and organic compounds release and oxidation, and quantify the subsequent disinfection by-products formation. Chlorine exposure (CT) values of 296 and 100 mg min/L were required to obtain 76% cell lysis and oxidation of released cell-bound toxins at levels below the provisional World Health Organisation guideline value (1 μg/L MC-LR). Toxin oxidation rates were similar or faster than cell lysis rates in ultrapure water. This work presents much needed unit M. aeruginosa cellular chlorine demand (5.6 ± 0.2 pgCl(2)/cell) which could be used to adjust the chlorination capacity to satisfy the total chlorine demand associated with the presence of cells. Furthermore, a novel successive reaction kinetics model is developed using the kinetics of the chlorine reaction with cyanobacterial cells and cell-bound toxins. Chlorination of dense cell suspensions (500,000 cells/mL) in ultrapure water at CT up to 3051 mg min/L resulted in modest concentrations of trihalomethanes (13 μg/L) and haloacetic acids (below detection limit).

  10. The lipopeptide toxins anabaenolysin A and B target biological membranes in a cholesterol-dependent manner.

    PubMed

    Oftedal, Linn; Myhren, Lene; Jokela, Jouni; Gausdal, Gro; Sivonen, Kaarina; Døskeland, Stein Ove; Herfindal, Lars

    2012-12-01

    The two novel cyanobacterial cyclic lipopeptides, anabaenolysin (Abl) A and B permeabilised mammalian cells, leading to necrotic death. Abl A was a more potent haemolysin than other known biodetergents, including digitonin, and induced discocyte-echinocyte transformation in erythrocytes. The mitochondria of the dead cells appeared intact with regard to both ultrastructure and membrane potential. Also isolated rat liver mitochondria were resistant to Abl, judged by their ultrastructure and lack of cytochrome c release. The sparing of the mitochondria could be related to the low cholesterol content of their outer membrane. In fact, a supplement of cholesterol in liposomes sensitised them to Abl. In contrast, the prokaryote-directed cyclic lipopeptide surfactin lysed preferentially non-cholesterol-containing membranes. In silico comparison of the positions of relevant functional chemical structures revealed that Abl A matched poorly with surfactin in spite of the common cyclic lipopeptide structure. Abl A and the plant-derived glycolipid digitonin had, however, predicted overlaps of functional groups, particularly in the cholesterol-binding tail of digitonin. This may suggest independent evolution of Abl and digitonin to target eukaryotic cholesterol-containing membranes. Sub-lytic concentrations of Abl A or B allowed influx of propidium iodide into cells without interfering with their long-term cell viability. The transient permeability increase allowed the influx of enough of the cyanobacterial cyclic peptide toxin nodularin to induce apoptosis. The anabaenolysins might therefore not only act solely as lysins, but also as cofactors for the internalisation of other toxins. They represent a potent alternative to digitonin to selectively disrupt cholesterol-containing biological membranes.

  11. 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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-20

    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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Lake level fluctuations boost toxic cyanobacterial "oligotrophic blooms".

    PubMed

    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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. DNA profiling of complex bacterial populations: toxic cyanobacterial blooms.

    PubMed

    Saker, Martin; Moreira, Cristiana; Martins, Joana; Neilan, Brett; Vasconcelos, Vitor Manuel

    2009-11-01

    Cyanobacteria are prokaryotic photosynthetic living organisms that inhabit our planet for over three billion years. With a worldwide distribution, they can be found in all types of environments: fresh, brackish and saltwater as well as terrestrial. Though beneficial in the development of life on earth, they also constitute a serious risk to our ecosystems since they can biologically produce harmful secondary metabolites named cyanotoxins. When studying cyanobacteria and their cyanotoxins, several methodologies have been applied with an increasing relevance to molecular methods. Therefore, the aim of this review is to describe alternative molecular methods that can be used as alternative methods for the identification of cyanobacteria. More traditional chemotaxonomic methods are discussed briefly as are the standard and somewhat dated techniques for assessing genome content for taxonomic classification schemes. The use of DNA amplification technology has been applied to the systematics and phylogeny of many bacterial groups, and the optimisation of methods for rapid identification and classification of cyanobacteria are presented. Together with novel methods developed for these photosynthetic microorganisms, the generated DNA profiles have been utilised to study cyanobacterial bloom population diversity and prediction of strain toxigenicity. Finally, the genotypes found were applied to a variety of phylogenetic analyses; trees were reconstructed and compared to the current morphological system of classification. The ecology and diversity of the cyanobacteria is discussed with respect to the derived molecular phylogenies and systematics.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Synchronized Cycles: An allosteric model of the cyanobacterial circadian oscillator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lubensky, David; van Zon, J. S.; Altena, P.; Ten Wolde, P. R.

    2007-03-01

    In a remarkable experiment, Nakajima et al. [Science, 2005] showed that the 3 cyanobacterial clock proteins KaiA, KaiB, and KaiC are sufficient to generate circadian phosphorylation of KaiC in vitro. This system is thus a rare example of a functioning biochemical circuit that can be reconstituted in the test tube. Theoretically, it presents the further challenge that the only reactions driven out of equilibrium are those associated with KaiC phosphorylation and dephosphorylation. Here, we present a model of the Kai system. At its heart is the assumption, motivated by classical models of allostery, that each KaiC hexamer to tends to be phosphorylated in a cyclic manner. For macroscopic oscillations to be possible, however, the cycles of the different hexamers must be synchronized. We propose a novel synchronisation mechanism that allows us to reproduce a wide range of published data, including temperature compensation of the oscillation period, and to make nontrivial predictions about the effects of varying the concentrations of the Kai proteins.

  5. 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%.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Nemertean toxin genes revealed through transcriptome sequencing.

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-27

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  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. Deletions in the repeating sequences of the toxin A gene of toxin A-negative, toxin B-positive Clostridium difficile strains.

    PubMed

    Kato, H; Kato, N; Katow, S; Maegawa, T; Nakamura, S; Lyerly, D M

    1999-06-15

    The repeating sequences of the toxin A gene from toxin A-negative, toxin B-positive (toxin A-, toxin B+) strains of Clostridium difficile which were isolated in geographically separated facilities in Japan and Indonesia were determined. All six strains tested had identical repeating sequences with two deletions (1548 and 273 nucleotides in size) in the toxin A gene. A PCR method was designed to detect the deletions and the deletions were confirmed in all 50 toxin A-, toxin B+ strains examined by this method. Western immunoblot analysis revealed that polyclonal antiserum against native toxin A did not react with the concentrated culture filtrates of the toxin A-, toxin B+ strains. These results may suggest that toxin A-, toxin B+ strains have deletions of the two thirds of the repeating regions of the toxin A gene, which encodes the epitopes fully responsible for the reaction with the polyclonal antiserum.

  16. 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.

  17. Total synthesis of the marine cyanobacterial cyclodepsipeptide apratoxin A

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Jiehao; Forsyth, Craig J.

    2004-01-01

    A total synthesis of apratoxin A was developed. Apratoxin A, isolated from Lyngbya spp. cyanobacteria, is representative of a growing class of marine cyanobacterial cyclodepsipeptides wherein discrete polypeptide and polyketide domains are merged by ester and amide or amide-derived linkages. In the apratoxins, the N terminus of the peptide domain [(Pro)-(N-Me-Ile)-(N-Me-ala)-(O-Me-Tyr)-(moCys)] is a modified vinylogous cysteine that is joined to a novel ketide [3,7-dihydroxy-2,5,8,8-tetramethylnonanoic acid (Dtna)] by an acid-sensitive thiazoline. The C-terminal proline is esterified to a hindered hydroxyl vicinal to the ketide's tert-butyl terminus. Major synthetic challenges included assembly and maintenance the thiazoline-containing moiety and macrolide formation involving acylation of the C39 hydroxyl. The Dtna domain was assembled in the biogenetic direction beginning with a Brown allylation of trimethylacetaldehyde to establish the C39 alcohol configuration. Diastereofacial selective addition of a higher-order dimethylcuprate upon a ring-closing metathesis-derived α,β-unsaturated valerolactone installed the C37 methyl-bearing center. A Paterson anti-aldol process was used to incorporate the remaining two ketide stereogenic centers at C34 and C35. Although attempts to incorporate the thiazoline moiety by condensations of thiol esters bearing α-amino carbamate derivatives failed, an intramolecular Staudinger reduction–aza-Wittig process using α-azido thiol esters was uniquely successful. Late-stage macrocycle closure proceeded well by lactam formation between Pro and N-Me-Ile residues, but attempted lactonizations of the Pro carboxylate with the C39 hydroxyl failed. Optimization of C35 hydroxyl group protection-deprotection completed the effort, which culminated in the first total synthesis of apratoxin A and will enable analog generation toward improving differential cytotoxicity. PMID:15231999

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Cyanobacterial composition and spatial distribution based on pyrosequencing data in the Gurbantunggut Desert, Northwestern China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Bingchang; Li, Renhui; Xiao, Peng; Su, Yangui; Zhang, Yuanming

    2016-03-01

    Cyanobacteria are the primary colonizers and form a dominant component of soil photosynthetic communities in biological soil crusts. They are crucial in improving soil environments, namely accumulating soil carbon and nitrogen. Many classical studies have examined cyanobacterial diversity in desert crusts, but relatively few comprehensive molecular surveys have been conducted. We used 454 pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA to investigate cyanobacterial composition and distribution on regional scales in the Gurbantunggut Desert. The relationship between cyanobacterial distribution and environmental factors was also explored. A total of 24,973 cyanobacteria partial 16S rRNA gene sequences were obtained, and 507OTUs were selected, as most OTUs had very few reads. Among these, 347 OTU sequences were of cyanobacteria origin, belonging to Oscillatoriales, Nostocales, Chroococcales, and uncultured cyanobacterium clone, respectively. Microcoleus vaginatus, Chroococcidiopsis spp. and M. steenstrupii were the dominant species in most areas of the Gurbantunggut Desert. Compared with other desert, the Gurbantunggut Desert differed in the prominence of Chroococcidiopsis spp. and lack of Pseudanabaenales. Species composition and abundance of cyanobacteria also showed distinct variations. Soil texture, precipitation, and nutrients and salt levels affected cyanobacterial distribution. Increased precipitation was helpful in improving cyanobacterial diversity. A higher content of coarse sand promoted the colonization and growth of Oscillatoriales and some phylotypes of Chroococcales. The fine-textured soil with higher nutrients and salts supported more varied populations of cyanobacteria, namely some heterocystous cyanobacteria. The results suggested that the Gurbantunggut Desert was rich in cyanobacteria and that precipitation was a primary regulating factor for cyanobacterial composition on a regional scale.

  2. Sources of edaphic cyanobacterial diversity in the Dry Valleys of Eastern Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Wood, Susanna A; Rueckert, Andreas; Cowan, Donald A; Cary, S Craig

    2008-03-01

    Cyanobacteria are major components of Antarctic Dry Valley ecosystems. Their occurrence in lakes and ponds is well documented, however, less is known about their distribution in edaphic environments. There has been considerable debate about the contribution of aquatic organic matter derived largely from cyanobacteria to terrestrial ecosystems. In this study, automated rRNA intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA) and 16S rRNA gene clone libraries were used to investigate cyanobacterial diversity in a range of soil environments within the Miers and Beacon Valleys. These data were used to elucidate the input of aquatic cyanobacteria to soil communities. Thirty-eight samples were collected from a variety of soil environments including dry and moist soils, hypoliths and lake and hydroterrestrial microbial mats. The results from the ARISA and 16S rRNA clone library analysis demonstrated that diverse cyanobacterial communities exist within the mineral soils of the Miers Valley. The soil samples from Beacon Valley were depauparate in cyanobacterial signals. Within Miers Valley, significant portions (29%-58%) of ARISA fragment lengths found in aquatic cyanobacterial mats were also present in soil and hypolith samples, indicating that lacustrine and hydroterrestrial cyanobacteria play a significant role in structuring soil communities. The influence of abiotic variables on the community structure of soil samples was assessed using BEST analysis. The results of BEST analysis of samples from within Miers Valley showed that total percentage of carbon content was the most important variable in explaining differences in cyanobacterial community structure. The BEST analyses indicated that four elements contributed significantly to species compositional differences between valleys. We suggest that the complete absence of lakes or ponds from Beacon Valley is a contributing factor to the low cyanobacterial component of these soils.

  3. 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

  4. Gene expression and activity of digestive proteases in Daphnia: effects of cyanobacterial protease inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The frequency of cyanobacterial blooms has increased worldwide, and these blooms have been claimed to be a major factor leading to the decline of the most important freshwater herbivores, i.e. representatives of the genus Daphnia. This suppression of Daphnia is partly attributed to the presence of biologically active secondary metabolites in cyanobacteria. Among these metabolites, protease inhibitors are found in almost every natural cyanobacterial bloom and have been shown to specifically inhibit Daphnia's digestive proteases in vitro, but to date no physiological responses of these serine proteases to cyanobacterial protease inhibitors in Daphnia have been reported in situ at the protein and genetic levels. Results Nine digestive proteases were detected in D. magna using activity-stained SDS-PAGE. Subsequent analyses by LC-MS/MS and database search led to the identification of respective protease genes. D. magna responded to dietary protease inhibitors by up-regulation of the expression of these respective proteases at the RNA-level and by the induction of new and less sensitive protease isoforms at the protein level. The up-regulation in response to dietary trypsin- and chymotrypsin-inhibitors ranged from 1.4-fold to 25.6-fold. These physiological responses of Daphnia, i.e. up-regulation of protease expression and the induction of isoforms, took place even after feeding on 20% cyanobacterial food for only 24 h. These physiological responses proved to be independent from microcystin effects. Conclusion Here for the first time it was shown in situ that a D. magna clone responds physiologically to dietary cyanobacterial protease inhibitors by phenotypic plasticity of the targets of these specific inhibitors, i.e. Daphnia gut proteases. These regulatory responses are adaptive for D. magna, as they increase the capacity for protein digestion in the presence of dietary protease inhibitors. The type and extent of these responses in protease expression might

  5. Vibrational raman spectroscopic study of scytonemin, the UV-protective cyanobacterial pigment.

    PubMed

    Edwards, H G; Garcia-Pichel, F; Newton, E M; Wynn-Williams, D D

    2000-01-01

    The Raman spectrum of the photoprotective pigment scytonemin found in cyanobacterial sheaths has been obtained for the first time. Its skeletal structure is extensively conjugated and unique in nature. Detailed molecular vibrational assignments are proposed and a distinctive group of four corroborative vibrational bands have been identified as unique indicators for the compound. These bands, especially a prominent feature at wavenumber 1590 cm(-1), are sufficiently conspicuous to be detectable in the mixed biomolecular pools of undisturbed natural microbial communities. This has been confirmed by demonstrating the Raman spectral bands for scytonemin in a sample of an intact intertidal cyanobacterial mat.

  6. Vibrational Raman spectroscopic study of scytonemin, the UV-protective cyanobacterial pigment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edwards, H. G. M.; Garcia-Pichel, F.; Newton, E. M.; Wynn-Williams, D. D.

    2000-01-01

    The Raman spectrum of the photoprotective pigment scytonemin found in cyanobacterial sheaths has been obtained for the first time. Its skeletal structure is extensively conjugated and unique in nature. Detailed molecular vibrational assignments are proposed and a distinctive group of four corroborative vibrational bands have been identified as unique indicators for the compound. These bands, especially a prominent feature at wavenumber 1590 cm -1, are sufficiently conspicuous to be detectable in the mixed biomolecular pools of undisturbed natural microbial communities. This has been confirmed by demonstrating the Raman spectral bands for scytonemin in a sample of an intact intertidal cyanobacterial mat.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Polymer antidotes for toxin sequestration.

    PubMed

    Weisman, Adam; Chou, Beverly; O'Brien, Jeffrey; Shea, Kenneth J

    2015-08-01

    Toxins delivered by envenomation, secreted by microorganisms, or unintentionally ingested can pose an immediate threat to life. Rapid intervention coupled with the appropriate antidote is required to mitigate the threat. Many antidotes are biological products and their cost, methods of production, potential for eliciting immunogenic responses, the time needed to generate them, and stability issues contribute to their limited availability and effectiveness. These factors exacerbate a world-wide challenge for providing treatment. In this review we evaluate a number of polymer constructs that may serve as alternative antidotes. The range of toxins investigated includes those from sources such as plants, animals and bacteria. The development of polymeric heavy metal sequestrants for use as antidotes to heavy metal poisoning faces similar challenges, thus recent findings in this area have also been included. Two general strategies have emerged for the development of polymeric antidotes. In one, the polymer acts as a scaffold for the presentation of ligands with a known affinity for the toxin. A second strategy is to generate polymers with an intrinsic affinity, and in some cases selectivity, to a range of toxins. Importantly, in vivo efficacy has been demonstrated for each of these strategies, which suggests that these approaches hold promise as an alternative to biological or small molecule based treatments.

  10. 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

  11. 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....

  12. Novel receptors for bacterial protein toxins.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Gudula; Papatheodorou, Panagiotis; Aktories, Klaus

    2015-02-01

    While bacterial effectors are often directly introduced into eukaryotic target cells by various types of injection machines, toxins enter the cytosol of host cells from endosomal compartments or after retrograde transport via Golgi from the ER. A first crucial step of toxin-host interaction is receptor binding. Using optimized protocols and new methods novel toxin receptors have been identified, including metalloprotease ADAM 10 for Staphylococcus aureus α-toxin, laminin receptor Lu/BCAM for Escherichia coli cytotoxic necrotizing factor CNF1, lipolysis stimulated lipoprotein receptor (LSR) for Clostridium difficile transferase CDT and low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein (LRP) 1 for Clostridium perfringens TpeL toxin.

  13. Inactivation of allergens and toxins.

    PubMed

    Morandini, Piero

    2010-11-30

    Plants are replete with thousands of proteins and small molecules, many of which are species-specific, poisonous or dangerous. Over time humans have learned to avoid dangerous plants or inactivate many toxic components in food plants, but there is still room for ameliorating food crops (and plants in general) in terms of their allergens and toxins content, especially in their edible parts. Inactivation at the genetic rather than physical or chemical level has many advantages and classical genetic approaches have resulted in significant reduction of toxin content. The capacity, offered by genetic engineering, of turning off (inactivating) specific genes has opened up the possibility of altering the plant content in a far more precise manner than previously available. Different levels of intervention (genes coding for toxins/allergens or for enzymes, transporters or regulators involved in their metabolism) are possible and there are several tools for inactivating genes, both direct (using chemical and physical mutagens, insertion of transposons and other genetic elements) and indirect (antisense RNA, RNA interference, microRNA, eventually leading to gene silencing). Each level/strategy has specific advantages and disadvantages (speed, costs, selectivity, stability, reversibility, frequency of desired genotype and regulatory regime). Paradigmatic examples from classical and transgenic approaches are discussed to emphasize the need to revise the present regulatory process. Reducing the content of natural toxins is a trade-off process: the lesser the content of natural toxins, the higher the susceptibility of a plant to pests and therefore the stronger the need to protect plants. As a consequence, more specific pesticides like Bt are needed to substitute for general pesticides.

  14. Stability and Noise in the Cyanobacterial Circadian Clock

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mihalcescu, Irina

    2008-03-01

    of the coupling constant that is small compared to the diffusion constant. These results therefore confirm that the cyanobacterial clock stability is a built-in property: the cyanobacterian clock mechanism is not only the simplest but also the most robust.

  15. A green-light inducible lytic system for cyanobacterial cells

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Cyanobacteria are an attractive candidate for the production of biofuel because of their ability to capture carbon dioxide by photosynthesis and grow on non-arable land. However, because huge quantities of water are required for cultivation, strict water management is one of the greatest issues in algae- and cyanobacteria-based biofuel production. In this study, we aim to construct a lytic cyanobacterium that can be regulated by a physical signal (green-light illumination) for future use in the recovery of biofuel related compounds. Results We introduced T4 bacteriophage-derived lysis genes encoding holin and endolysin under the control of the green-light regulated cpcG2 promoter in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. When cells harboring the lysis genes were illuminated with both red and green light, we observed a considerable decrease in growth rate, a significant increase in cellular phycocyanin released in the medium, and a considerable fraction of dead cells. These effects were not observed when these cells were illuminated with only red light, or when cells not containing the lysis genes were grown under either red light or red and green light. These results indicate that our constructed green-light inducible lytic system was clearly induced by green-light illumination, resulting in lytic cells that released intracellular phycocyanin into the culture supernatant. This property suggests a future possibility to construct photosynthetic genetically modified organisms that are unable to survive under sunlight exposure. Expression of the self-lysis system with green-light illumination was also found to greatly increase the fragility of the cell membrane, as determined by subjecting the induced cells to detergent, osmotic-shock, and freeze-thaw treatments. Conclusions A green-light inducible lytic system was constructed in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. The engineered lytic cyanobacterial cells should be beneficial for the recovery of biofuels and related compounds

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. A review of current knowledge on toxic benthic freshwater cyanobacteria--ecology, toxin production and risk management.

    PubMed

    Catherine, Quiblier; Susanna, Wood; Isidora, Echenique-Subiabre; Mark, Heath; Aurélie, Villeneuve; Jean-François, Humbert

    2013-10-01

    Benthic cyanobacteria are found globally in plethora of environments. Although they have received less attention than their planktonic freshwater counterparts, it is now well established that they produce toxins and reports of their involvement in animal poisonings have increased markedly during the last decade. Most of the known cyanotoxins have been identified from benthic cyanobacteria including: the hepatotoxic microcystins, nodularins and cylindrospermopsins, the neurotoxic saxitoxins, anatoxin-a and homoanatoxin-a and dermatotoxins, such as lyngbyatoxin. In most countries, observations of toxic benthic cyanobacteria are fragmented, descriptive and in response to animal toxicosis events. Only a limited number of long-term studies have aimed to understand why benthic proliferations occur, and/or how toxin production is regulated. These studies have shown that benthic cyanobacterial blooms are commonly a mixture of toxic and non-toxic genotypes and that toxin concentrations can be highly variable spatially and temporally. Physiochemical parameters responsible for benthic proliferation vary among habitat type with physical disturbance (e.g., flow regimes, wave action) and nutrients commonly identified as important. As climatic conditions change and anthropogenic pressures on waterways increase, it seems likely that the prevalence of blooms of benthic cyanobacteria will increase. In this article we review current knowledge on benthic cyanobacteria: ecology, toxin-producing species, variables that regulate toxin production and bloom formation, their impact on aquatic and terrestrial organisms and current monitoring and management strategies. We suggest research needs that will assist in filling knowledge gaps and ultimately allow more robust monitoring and management protocols to be developed.

  19. 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

  20. Binding of cholera toxin by various tissues.

    PubMed

    Gascoyne, N; Van Heyningen, W E

    1975-09-01

    Under certain conditions, it is possible to confirm the observation by Peterson (1974) that the cholera toxin-binding capacities of tissues from brain and colon mucosa, and from liver and small intestine mucosa, are comparable. Binding of toxin by all tissues except brain is very variable, but is roughtly proportional to their content of the toxin-binding ganglioside galactosyl-N-acetylgalactosaminyl (sialosyl) lactosyl ceramide. It appears that some toxin-binding sites of the mucosa of the small intestin and colon may be masked. It has also been confirmed that there may be some solubilization of toxin-binding material from brain on standing a few days at 4 C, but this is comparatively slight. Some disadvantages of measuring toxin binding by adding small amounts of radioactive toxin to compartively large amounts of tissue are discussed.

  1. 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.

  2. Cyanobacterial construction of hot spring siliceous stromatolites in Yellowstone National Park.

    PubMed

    Pepe-Ranney, Charles; Berelson, William M; Corsetti, Frank A; Treants, Merika; Spear, John R

    2012-05-01

    Living stromatolites growing in a hot spring in Yellowstone National Park are composed of silica-encrusted cyanobacterial mats. Two cyanobacterial mat types grow on the stromatolite surfaces and are preserved as two distinct lithofacies. One mat is present when the stromatolites are submerged or at the water-atmosphere interface and the other when stromatolites protrude from the hot spring. The lithofacies created by the encrustation of submerged mats constitutes the bulk of the stromatolites, is comprised of silica-encrusted filaments, and is distinctly laminated. To better understand the cyanobacterial membership and community structure differences between the mats, we collected mat samples from each type. Molecular methods revealed that submerged mat cyanobacteria were predominantly one novel phylotype while the exposed mats were predominantly heterocystous phylotypes (Chlorogloeopsis HTF and Fischerella). The cyanobacterium dominating the submerged mat type does not belong in any of the subphylum groups of cyanobacteria recognized by the Ribosomal Database Project and has also been found in association with travertine stromatolites in a Southwest Japan hot spring. Cyanobacterial membership profiles indicate that the heterocystous phylotypes are 'rare biosphere' members of the submerged mats. The heterocystous phylotypes likely emerge when the water level of the hot spring drops. Environmental pressures tied to water level such as sulfide exposure and possibly oxygen tension may inhibit the heterocystous types in submerged mats. These living stromatolites are finely laminated and therefore, in texture, may better represent similarly laminated ancient forms compared with more coarsely laminated living marine examples. PMID:22356555

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Cyanobacterial construction of hot spring siliceous stromatolites in Yellowstone National Park.

    PubMed

    Pepe-Ranney, Charles; Berelson, William M; Corsetti, Frank A; Treants, Merika; Spear, John R

    2012-05-01

    Living stromatolites growing in a hot spring in Yellowstone National Park are composed of silica-encrusted cyanobacterial mats. Two cyanobacterial mat types grow on the stromatolite surfaces and are preserved as two distinct lithofacies. One mat is present when the stromatolites are submerged or at the water-atmosphere interface and the other when stromatolites protrude from the hot spring. The lithofacies created by the encrustation of submerged mats constitutes the bulk of the stromatolites, is comprised of silica-encrusted filaments, and is distinctly laminated. To better understand the cyanobacterial membership and community structure differences between the mats, we collected mat samples from each type. Molecular methods revealed that submerged mat cyanobacteria were predominantly one novel phylotype while the exposed mats were predominantly heterocystous phylotypes (Chlorogloeopsis HTF and Fischerella). The cyanobacterium dominating the submerged mat type does not belong in any of the subphylum groups of cyanobacteria recognized by the Ribosomal Database Project and has also been found in association with travertine stromatolites in a Southwest Japan hot spring. Cyanobacterial membership profiles indicate that the heterocystous phylotypes are 'rare biosphere' members of the submerged mats. The heterocystous phylotypes likely emerge when the water level of the hot spring drops. Environmental pressures tied to water level such as sulfide exposure and possibly oxygen tension may inhibit the heterocystous types in submerged mats. These living stromatolites are finely laminated and therefore, in texture, may better represent similarly laminated ancient forms compared with more coarsely laminated living marine examples.

  8. 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.

  9. Cyanobacterial Protease Inhibitor Microviridin J Causes a Lethal Molting Disruption in Daphnia pulicaria

    PubMed Central

    Rohrlack, Thomas; Christoffersen, Kirsten; Kaebernick, Melanie; Neilan, Brett A.

    2004-01-01

    Laboratory experiments identified microviridin J as the source of a fatal molting disruption in Daphnia species organisms feeding on Microcystis cells. The molting disruption was presumably linked to the inhibitory effect of microviridin J on daphnid proteases, suggesting that hundreds of further cyanobacterial protease inhibitors must be considered potentially toxic to zooplankton. PMID:15294849

  10. Cyanobacterial protease inhibitor microviridin J causes a lethal molting disruption in Daphnia pulicaria.

    PubMed

    Rohrlack, Thomas; Christoffersen, Kirsten; Kaebernick, Melanie; Neilan, Brett A

    2004-08-01

    Laboratory experiments identified microviridin J as the source of a fatal molting disruption in Daphnia species organisms feeding on Microcystis cells. The molting disruption was presumably linked to the inhibitory effect of microviridin J on daphnid proteases, suggesting that hundreds of further cyanobacterial protease inhibitors must be considered potentially toxic to zooplankton.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Contributions of meteorology to the phenology of cyanobacterial blooms: implications for future climate change.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Min; Duan, Hongtao; Shi, Xiaoli; Yu, Yang; Kong, Fanxiang

    2012-02-01

    Cyanobacterial blooms are often a result of eutrophication. Recently, however, their expansion has also been found to be associated with changes in climate. To elucidate the effects of climatic variables on the expansion of cyanobacterial blooms in Taihu, China, we analyzed the relationships between climatic variables and bloom events which were retrieved by satellite images. We then assessed the contribution of each climate variable to the phenology of blooms using multiple regression models. Our study demonstrates that retrieving ecological information from satellite images is meritorious for large-scale and long-term ecological research in freshwater ecosystems. Our results show that the phenological changes of blooms at an inter-annual scale are strongly linked to climate in Taihu during the past 23 yr. Cyanobacterial blooms occur earlier and last longer with the increase of temperature, sunshine hours, and global radiation and the decrease of wind speed. Furthermore, the duration increases when the daily averages of maximum, mean, and minimum temperature each exceed 20.3 °C, 16.7 °C, and 13.7 °C, respectively. Among these factors, sunshine hours and wind speed are the primary contributors to the onset of the blooms, explaining 84.6% of their variability over the past 23 yr. These factors are also good predictors of the variability in the duration of annual blooms and determined 58.9% of the variability in this parameter. Our results indicate that when nutrients are in sufficiently high quantities to sustain the formation of cyanobacterial blooms, climatic variables become crucial in predicting cyanobacterial bloom events. Climate changes should be considered when we evaluate how much the amount of nutrients should be reduced in Taihu for lake management.

  17. Physiological interaction of Daphnia and Microcystis with regard to cyanobacterial secondary metabolites.

    PubMed

    Sadler, Thomas; von Elert, Eric

    2014-11-01

    Cyanobacterial blooms in freshwater ecosystems are a matter of high concern with respect to human health and ecosystem services. Investigations on the role of cyanobacterial secondary metabolites have largely been confined to microcystins, although cyanobacteria produce a huge variety of toxic or inhibitory secondary metabolites. Mass occurrences of toxic cyanobacteria strongly impact freshwater zooplankton communities; especially the unselective filter feeder Daphnia. Daphnids have been shown to successfully suppress bloom formation. However, the opposite situation, i.e. the suppression of Daphnia populations by cyanobacteria can be observed as well. To understand these contradictory findings the elucidation of the underlying physiological mechanisms that help daphnids to cope with cyanotoxins is crucial. We fed Daphnia magna with the cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa PCC7806 for 24h and used high-resolution LCMS analytics to analyze the Microcystis cells, the Daphnia tissue and the surrounding medium in order to investigate the fate of seven investigated cyanobacterial compounds (cyanopeptolins A-C, microcyclamide 7806A and aerucyclamides B-D). For none of these bioactive compounds evidence for biotransformation or biodegradation by Daphnia were found. Instead feeding and subsequent release experiments point at the importance of transport mechanisms in Daphnia with regard to the cyanopeptolins A and C and microcyclamide 7806A. In addition we found hints for new inducible defense mechanism in Microcystis against predation by Daphnia. These putative defense mechanisms include the elevated production of toxic compounds other than microcystins, as could be demonstrated here for aerucyclamide B and D, cyanopoeptolin B and microcyclamide 7806A. Moreover, our data demonstrate the elevated active export of at least one cyanobacterial compound (microcyclamide 7806A) into the surrounding medium as a response to grazer presence, which might constitute an entirely new

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Bacterial protein toxins in human cancers.

    PubMed

    Rosadi, Francesca; Fiorentini, Carla; Fabbri, Alessia

    2016-02-01

    Many bacteria causing persistent infections produce toxins whose mechanisms of action indicate that they could have a role in carcinogenesis. Some toxins, like CDT and colibactin, directly attack the genome by damaging DNA whereas others, as for example CNF1, CagA and BFT, impinge on key eukaryotic processes, such as cellular signalling and cell death. These bacterial toxins, together with other less known toxins, mimic carcinogens and tumour promoters. The aim of this review is to fulfil an up-to-date analysis of toxins with carcinogenic potential that have been already correlated to human cancers. Bacterial toxins-induced carcinogenesis represents an emerging aspect in bacteriology, and its significance is increasingly recognized.

  10. 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

  11. Modeling of toxin-antibody interaction and toxin transport toward the endoplasmic reticulum.

    PubMed

    Skakauskas, Vladas; Katauskis, Pranas

    2016-01-01

    A model for toxin-antibody interaction and toxin trafficking towards the endoplasmic-reticulum is presented. Antibody and toxin (ricin) initially are delivered outside the cell. The model involves: the pinocytotic (cellular drinking) and receptor-mediated toxin internalization modes from the extracellular into the intracellular domain, its exocytotic excretion from the cytosol back to the extracellular medium, the intact toxin retrograde transport to the endoplasmic reticulum, the anterograde toxin movement outward from the cell across the plasma membrane, the lysosomal toxin degradation, and the toxin clearance (removal from the system) flux. The model consists of a set of coupled PDEs. Using an averaging procedure, the model is reduced to a system of coupled ODEs. Both PDEs and ODEs systems are solved numerically. Numerical results are illustrated by figures and discussed.

  12. 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

  13. Rho-modifying bacterial protein toxins.

    PubMed

    Aktories, Klaus

    2015-12-01

    Rho proteins are targets of numerous bacterial protein toxins, which manipulate the GTP-binding proteins by covalent modifications, including ADP ribosylation, glycosylation, adenylylation, proteolytic cleavage and deamidation. Bacterial toxins are important virulence factors but are also potent and efficient pharmacological tools to study the physiological functions of their eukaryotic targets. Recent studies indicate that amazing variations exist in the molecular mechanisms by which toxins attack Rho proteins, which are discussed here.

  14. Application of botulinum toxin in pain management.

    PubMed

    Sim, Woo Seog

    2011-03-01

    Botulinum toxin has been used for the treatment of many clinical disorders by producing temporary skeletal muscle relaxation. In pain management, botulinum toxin has demonstrated an analgesic effect by reducing muscular hyperactivity, but recent studies suggest this neurotoxin could have direct analgesic mechanisms different from its neuromuscular actions. At the moment, botulinum toxin is widely investigated and used in many painful diseases such as myofascial syndrome, headaches, arthritis, and neuropathic pain. Further studies are needed to understand the exact analgesic mechanisms, efficacy and complications of botulinum toxin in chronic pain disorders.

  15. Adaptive evolution of animal toxin multigene families.

    PubMed

    Kordis, D; Gubensek, F

    2000-12-30

    Animal toxins comprise a diverse array of proteins that have a variety of biochemical and pharmacological functions. A large number of animal toxins are encoded by multigene families. From studies of several toxin multigene families at the gene level the picture is emerging that most have been functionally diversified by gene duplication and adaptive evolution. The number of pharmacological activities in most toxin multigene families results from their adaptive evolution. The molecular evolution of animal toxins has been analysed in some multigene families, at both the intraspecies and interspecies levels. In most toxin multigene families, the rate of non-synonymous to synonymous substitutions (dN/dS) is higher than one. Thus natural selection has acted to diversify coding sequences and consequently the toxin functions. The selection pressure for the rapid adaptive evolution of animal toxins is the need for quick immobilization of the prey in classical predator and prey interactions. Currently available evidence for adaptive evolution in animal toxin multigene families will be considered in this review.

  16. [Cervical dystonia treatment with botulin toxin].

    PubMed

    Cervical Dystonia Treatment With Botulin Toxin, Kazimierz

    2016-08-01

    Cervical dystonia is the most common form of dystonia in adult age. It is characterized by involuntary muscle contractions that cause abnormal movements and positioning of the head and neck. Symptoms of it are often associated with pain. This distinguishes this form from other dystonia. The drug of choice is botulinum toxin. It effectively reduces both pain and abnormal excessive muscle activity. In some cases, particularly where there is not obtained the full recovery after treatment botulinum toxin we used drugs for systemic effect. To increase the effectiveness and reduce the side effects of botulinum toxin more commonly we used administration of toxin under the EMG and ultrasound control. PMID:27591450

  17. [Cervical dystonia treatment with botulin toxin].

    PubMed

    Cervical Dystonia Treatment With Botulin Toxin, Kazimierz

    2016-07-01

    Cervical dystonia is the most common form of dystonia in adult age. It is characterized by involuntary muscle contractions that cause abnormal movements and positioning of the head and neck. Symptoms of it are often associated with pain. This distinguishes this form from other dystonia. The drug of choice is botulinum toxin. It effectively reduces both pain and abnormal excessive muscle activity. In some cases, particularly where there is not obtained the full recovery after treatment botulinum toxin we used drugs for systemic effect. To increase the effectiveness and reduce the side effects of botulinum toxin more commonly we used administration of toxin under the EMG and ultrasound control. PMID:27590655

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Oligopeptides as biomarkers of cyanobacterial subpopulations. Toward an understanding of their biological role.

    PubMed

    Agha, Ramsy; Quesada, Antonio

    2014-06-23

    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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Genomic deletions disrupt nitrogen metabolism pathways of a cyanobacterial diatom symbiont.

    PubMed

    Hilton, Jason A; Foster, Rachel A; Tripp, H James; Carter, Brandon J; Zehr, Jonathan P; Villareal, Tracy A

    2013-01-01

    Diatoms with symbiotic N₂-fixing cyanobacteria are often abundant in the oligotrophic open ocean gyres. The most abundant cyanobacterial symbionts form heterocysts (specialized cells for N₂ fixation) and provide nitrogen (N) to their hosts, but their morphology, cellular locations and abundances differ depending on the host. Here we show that the location of the symbiont and its dependency on the host are linked to the evolution of the symbiont genome. The genome of Richelia (found inside the siliceous frustule of Hemiaulus) is reduced and lacks ammonium transporters, nitrate/nitrite reductases and glutamine:2-oxoglutarate aminotransferase. In contrast, the genome of the closely related Calothrix (found outside the frustule of Chaetoceros) is more similar to those of free-living heterocyst-forming cyanobacteria. The genome of Richelia is an example of metabolic streamlining that has implications for the evolution of N₂-fixing symbiosis and potentially for manipulating plant-cyanobacterial interactions. PMID:23612308

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. PCR analysis of the distribution of unicellular cyanobacterial diazotrophs in the Arabian Sea.

    PubMed

    Mazard, Sophie L; Fuller, Nicholas J; Orcutt, Karen M; Bridle, Oliver; Scanlan, Dave J

    2004-12-01

    An oligonucleotide primer, NITRO821R, targeting the 16S rRNA gene of unicellular cyanobacterial N2 fixers was developed based on newly derived sequences from Crocosphaera sp. strain WH 8501 and Cyanothece sp. strains WH 8902 and WH 8904 as well as several previously described sequences of Cyanothece sp. and sequences of intracellular cyanobacterial symbionts of the marine diatom Climacodium frauenfeldianum. This oligonucleotide is specific for the targeted organisms, which represent a well-defined phylogenetic lineage, and can detect as few as 50 cells in a standard PCR when it is used as a reverse primer together with the cyanobacterium- and plastid-specific forward primer CYA359F (U. Nubel, F. Garcia-Pichel, and G. Muyzer, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 63:3327-3332, 1997). Use of this primer pair in the PCR allowed analysis of the distribution of marine unicellular cyanobacterial diazotrophs along a transect following the 67 degrees E meridian from Victoria, Seychelles, to Muscat, Oman (0.5 degrees S to 26 degrees N) in the Arabian Sea. These organisms were found to be preferentially located in warm (>29 degrees C) oligotrophic subsurface waters between 0 and 7 degrees N, but they were also found at a station north of Oman at 26 degrees N, 56 degrees 35'E, where similar water column conditions prevailed. Slightly cooler oligotrophic waters (<29 degrees C) did not contain these organisms or the numbers were considerably reduced, suggesting that temperature is a key factor in dictating the abundance of this unicellular cyanobacterial diazotroph lineage in marine environments.

  14. Molecular mechanisms of tolerance to cyanobacterial protease inhibitors revealed by clonal differences in Daphnia magna.

    PubMed

    Schwarzenberger, Anke; Kuster, Christian J; Von Elert, Eric

    2012-10-01

    Protease inhibitors of primary producers are a major food quality constraint for herbivores. In nutrient-rich freshwater ecosystems, the interaction between primary producers and herbivores is mainly represented by Daphnia and cyanobacteria. Protease inhibitors have been found in many cyanobacterial blooms. These inhibitors have been shown (both in vitro and in situ) to inhibit the most important group of digestive proteases in the daphnid's gut, that is, trypsins and chymotrypsins. In this study, we fed four different Daphnia magna genotypes with the trypsin-inhibitor-containing cyanobacterial strain Microcystis aeruginosa PCC 7806 Mut. Upon exposure to dietary trypsin inhibitors, all D. magna genotypes showed increased gene expression of digestive trypsins and chymotrypsins. Exposure to dietary trypsin inhibitors resulted in increased activity of chymotrypsins and reduced activity of trypsin. Strong intraspecific differences in tolerance of the four D. magna genotypes to the dietary trypsin inhibitors were found. The degree of tolerance depended on the D. magna genotype. The genotypes' tolerance was positively correlated with the residual trypsin activity and the different IC(50) values of the trypsins. On the genetic level, the different trypsin loci varied between the D. magna genotypes. The two tolerant Daphnia genotypes that both originate from the same lake, which frequently produces cyanobacterial blooms, clustered in a neighbour-joining phylogenetic tree based on the three trypsin loci. This suggests that the genetic variability of trypsin loci was an important cause for the observed intraspecific variability in tolerance to cyanobacterial trypsin inhibitors. Based on these findings, it is reasonable to assume that such genetic variability can also be found in natural populations and thus constitutes the basis for local adaptation of natural populations to dietary protease inhibitors.

  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. The composition of the global and feature specific cyanobacterial core-genomes.

    PubMed

    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

  17. 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

  18. The genome and structural proteome of an ocean siphovirus: a new window into the cyanobacterial 'mobilome'.

    PubMed

    Sullivan, Matthew B; Krastins, Bryan; Hughes, Jennifer L; Kelly, Libusha; Chase, Michael; Sarracino, David; Chisholm, Sallie W

    2009-11-01

    Prochlorococcus, an abundant phototroph in the oceans, are infected by members of three families of viruses: myo-, podo- and siphoviruses. Genomes of myo- and podoviruses isolated on Prochlorococcus contain DNA replication machinery and virion structural genes homologous to those from coliphages T4 and T7 respectively. They also contain a suite of genes of cyanobacterial origin, most notably photosynthesis genes, which are expressed during infection and appear integral to the evolutionary trajectory of both host and phage. Here we present the first genome of a cyanobacterial siphovirus, P-SS2, which was isolated from Atlantic slope waters using a Prochlorococcus host (MIT9313). The P-SS2 genome is larger than, and considerably divergent from, previously sequenced siphoviruses. It appears most closely related to lambdoid siphoviruses, with which it shares 13 functional homologues. The approximately 108 kb P-SS2 genome encodes 131 predicted proteins and notably lacks photosynthesis genes which have consistently been found in other marine cyanophage, but does contain 14 other cyanobacterial homologues. While only six structural proteins were identified from the genome sequence, 35 proteins were detected experimentally; these mapped onto capsid and tail structural modules in the genome. P-SS2 is potentially capable of integration into its host as inferred from bioinformatically identified genetic machinery int, bet, exo and a 53 bp attachment site. The host attachment site appears to be a genomic island that is tied to insertion sequence (IS) activity that could facilitate mobility of a gene involved in the nitrogen-stress response. The homologous region and a secondary IS-element hot-spot in Synechococcus RS9917 are further evidence of IS-mediated genome evolution coincident with a probable relic prophage integration event. This siphovirus genome provides a glimpse into the biology of a deep-photic zone phage as well as the ocean cyanobacterial prophage and IS element

  19. Biologic response to environmental toxins

    SciTech Connect

    Lerner, S.

    1983-12-01

    Biological response to environmental toxins results from the sum of natural, environmental, avocational, inapparent, and occupational exposures. These external exposures result in acceptable or unacceptable levels of absorption or internal exposure based on anticipated biological effects. There is no level of exposure which is in and of itself synonymous with intoxication. Biological effects may be classified as physiologic or pathologic, adaptive or nonadaptive, respectively. In each instance, the response may be acceptable or unacceptable. Intoxication requires the demonstration of a significant impairment of health. One may have an unacceptable pathologic response and still not have intoxication. Professional judgment is required.

  20. Designing Inhibitors of Anthrax Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Nestorovich, Ekaterina M.; Bezrukov, Sergey M.

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Present-day rational drug design approaches are based on exploiting unique features of the target biomolecules, small- or macromolecule drug candidates, and physical forces that govern their interactions. The 2013 Nobel Prize in chemistry awarded “for the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems” once again demonstrated the importance of the tailored drug discovery that reduces the role of the trial and error approach to a minimum. The “rational drug design” term is rather comprehensive as it includes all contemporary methods of drug discovery where serendipity and screening are substituted by the information-guided search for new and existing compounds. Successful implementation of these innovative drug discovery approaches is inevitably preceded by learning the physics, chemistry, and physiology of functioning of biological structures under normal and pathological conditions. Areas covered This article provides an overview of the recent rational drug design approaches to discover inhibitors of anthrax toxin. Some of the examples include small-molecule and peptide-based post-exposure therapeutic agents as well as several polyvalent compounds. The review also directs the reader to the vast literature on the recognized advances and future possibilities in the field. Expert opinion Existing options to combat anthrax toxin lethality are limited. With the only anthrax toxin inhibiting therapy (PA-targeting with a monoclonal antibody, raxibacumab) approved to treat inhalational anthrax, in our view, the situation is still insecure. The FDA’s animal rule for drug approval, which clears compounds without validated efficacy studies on humans, creates a high level of uncertainty, especially when a well-characterized animal model does not exist. Besides, unlike PA, which is known to be unstable, LF remains active in cells and in animal tissues for days. Therefore, the effectiveness of the post-exposure treatment of the individuals

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Electrochemical Detection of Circadian Redox Rhythm in Cyanobacterial Cells via Extracellular Electron Transfer.

    PubMed

    Nishio, Koichi; Pornpitra, Tunanunkul; Izawa, Seiichiro; Nishiwaki-Ohkawa, Taeko; Kato, Souichiro; Hashimoto, Kazuhito; Nakanishi, Shuji

    2015-06-01

    Recent research on cellular circadian rhythms suggests that the coupling of transcription-translation feedback loops and intracellular redox oscillations is essential for robust circadian timekeeping. For clarification of the molecular mechanism underlying the circadian rhythm, methods that allow for the dynamic and simultaneous detection of transcription/translation and redox oscillations in living cells are needed. Herein, we report that the cyanobacterial circadian redox rhythm can be electrochemically detected based on extracellular electron transfer (EET), a process in which intracellular electrons are exchanged with an extracellular electrode. As the EET-based method is non-destructive, concurrent detection with transcription/translation rhythm using bioluminescent reporter strains becomes possible. An EET pathway that electrochemically connected the intracellular region of cyanobacterial cells with an extracellular electrode was constructed via a newly synthesized electron mediator with cell membrane permeability. In the presence of the mediator, the open circuit potential of the culture medium exhibited temperature-compensated rhythm with approximately 24 h periodicity. Importantly, such circadian rhythm of the open circuit potential was not observed in the absence of the electron mediator, indicating that the EET process conveys the dynamic information regarding the intracellular redox state to the extracellular electrode. These findings represent the first direct demonstration of the intracellular circadian redox rhythm of cyanobacterial cells.

  7. Detecting KaiC phosphorylation rhythms of the cyanobacterial circadian oscillator in vitro and in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Yong-Ick; Boyd, Joseph S.; Espinosa, Javier; Golden, Susan S.

    2016-01-01

    The central oscillator of the cyanobacterial circadian clock is unique in the biochemical simplicity of its components and the robustness of the oscillation. The oscillator is composed of three cyanobacterial proteins, KaiA, KaiB, and KaiC. If very pure preparations of these three proteins are mixed in a test tube in the right proportions and with ATP and MgCl2, the phosphorylation states of KaiC will oscillate with a circadian period and these states can be analyzed simply by SDS-PAGE. The purity of the proteins is critical for obtaining robust oscillation. Contaminating proteases will destroy oscillation by degradation of Kai proteins, and ATPases will attenuate robustness by consumption of ATP. Here, we provide a detailed protocol to obtain pure recombinant proteins from Escherichia coli to construct a robust cyanobacterial circadian oscillator in vitro. In addition, we present a protocol that facilitates analysis of phosphoryation states of KaiC and other phosphorylated proteins from in vivo samples. PMID:25662456

  8. Phosphonate degradation by Spirulina strains: cyanobacterial biofilters for the removal of anticorrosive polyphosphonates from wastewater.

    PubMed

    Forlani, Giuseppe; Prearo, Valentina; Wieczorek, Dorota; Kafarski, Paweł; Lipok, Jacek

    2011-03-01

    The ability of Spirulina spp. to metabolize the recalcitrant xenobiotic Dequest 2054(®) [hexamethylenediamine-N,N,N',N'-tetrakis(methylphosphonic acid)], a CaSO(4) inhibitor used for boiler treatment and reverse osmosis desalination, was investigated. The compound served as sole source of phosphorus, but not of nitrogen, for cyanobacterial growth. In vivo utilization was followed by (31)P NMR analysis. The disappearance of the polyphosphonate proceeded only with actively dividing cells, and no release of inorganic phosphate was evident. However, no difference was found between P-starved and P-fed cultures. Maximal utilization reached 1.0 ± 0.2 mmoll(-1), corresponding to 0.56 ± 0.11 mmol g(-1) dry biomass, thus residual amounts were still present in the exhausted medium when the compound was supplied at higher initial concentrations. At low substrate levels metabolism rates were lower, suggesting that a concentration-driven uptake may represent a limiting step during the biodegradation process. The compound was not retained by biocolumns made with immobilized cyanobacterial cells, either alive or dead. A lab-scale pilot plant, consisting of a series of sequentially connected vessels containing an actively proliferating algal culture, was built and tested for wastewater treatment. Results showed 50% removal of the polyphosphonate added to an initial concentration of 2.5mM. Although further optimization will be required, data strengthen the possibility of using cyanobacterial strains for bioremediation purposes. PMID:22112915

  9. Diversity of Heterotrophic Nitrogen Fixation Genes in a Marine Cyanobacterial Mat

    PubMed Central

    Zehr, J. P.; Mellon, M.; Braun, S.; Litaker, W.; Steppe, T.; Paerl, H. W.

    1995-01-01

    The diversity of nitrogenase genes in a marine cyanobacterial mat was investigated through amplification of a fragment of nifH, which encodes the Fe protein of the nitrogenase complex. The amplified nifH products were characterized by DNA sequencing and were compared with the sequences of nitrogenase genes from cultivated organisms. Phylogenetic analysis showed that similar organisms clustered together, with the exception that anaerobic bacteria clustered together, even though they represented firmicutes, (delta)-proteobacteria, and (gamma)-proteobacteria. Mat nifH sequences were most closely related to those of the anaerobes, with a few being most closely related to the cluster of (gamma)-proteobacteria containing Klebsiella and Azotobacter species. No cyanobacterial nifH sequences were found from the mat collected in November when Microcoleus chthonoplastes was the dominant cyanobacterium, but sequences closely related to the cyanobacterium Lyngbya lagerheimeii were found during summer, when a Lyngbya strain was dominant. The results indicate that there is a high diversity of heterotrophic nitrogen-fixing organisms in marine cyanobacterial mats. PMID:16535068

  10. Phosphonate degradation by Spirulina strains: cyanobacterial biofilters for the removal of anticorrosive polyphosphonates from wastewater.

    PubMed

    Forlani, Giuseppe; Prearo, Valentina; Wieczorek, Dorota; Kafarski, Paweł; Lipok, Jacek

    2011-03-01

    The ability of Spirulina spp. to metabolize the recalcitrant xenobiotic Dequest 2054(®) [hexamethylenediamine-N,N,N',N'-tetrakis(methylphosphonic acid)], a CaSO(4) inhibitor used for boiler treatment and reverse osmosis desalination, was investigated. The compound served as sole source of phosphorus, but not of nitrogen, for cyanobacterial growth. In vivo utilization was followed by (31)P NMR analysis. The disappearance of the polyphosphonate proceeded only with actively dividing cells, and no release of inorganic phosphate was evident. However, no difference was found between P-starved and P-fed cultures. Maximal utilization reached 1.0 ± 0.2 mmoll(-1), corresponding to 0.56 ± 0.11 mmol g(-1) dry biomass, thus residual amounts were still present in the exhausted medium when the compound was supplied at higher initial concentrations. At low substrate levels metabolism rates were lower, suggesting that a concentration-driven uptake may represent a limiting step during the biodegradation process. The compound was not retained by biocolumns made with immobilized cyanobacterial cells, either alive or dead. A lab-scale pilot plant, consisting of a series of sequentially connected vessels containing an actively proliferating algal culture, was built and tested for wastewater treatment. Results showed 50% removal of the polyphosphonate added to an initial concentration of 2.5mM. Although further optimization will be required, data strengthen the possibility of using cyanobacterial strains for bioremediation purposes.

  11. Fungal and cyanobacterial gene expression in a lichen symbiosis: Effect of temperature and location.

    PubMed

    Steinhäuser, Sophie S; Andrésson, Ólafur S; Pálsson, Arnar; Werth, Silke

    2016-10-01

    Organisms have evolved different cellular mechanisms to deal with environmental stress, primarily through complex molecular mechanisms including protein refolding and DNA repair. As mutualistic symbioses, lichens offer the possibility of analyzing molecular stress responses in a particularly tight interspecific relationship. We study the widespread cyanolichen Peltigera membranacea, a key player in carbon and nitrogen cycling in terrestrial ecosystems at northern latitudes. We ask whether increased temperature is reflected in mRNA levels of selected damage control genes, and do the response patterns show geographical associations? Using real-time PCR quantification of 38 transcripts, differential expression was demonstrated for nine cyanobacterial and nine fungal stress response genes (plus the fungal symbiosis-related lec2 gene) when the temperature was increased from 5 °C to 15 °C and 25 °C. Principle component analysis (PCA) revealed two gene groups with different response patterns. Whereas a set of cyanobacterial DNA repair genes and the fungal lec2 (PC1 group) showed an expression drop at 15 °C vs. 5 °C, most fungal candidates (PC2 group) showed increased expression at 25 °C vs. 5 °C. PC1 responses also correlated with elevation. The correlated downregulation of lec2 and cyanobacterial DNA repair genes suggests a possible interplay between the symbionts warranting further studies. PMID:27647237

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Complex polar lipids of a hot spring cyanobacterial mat and its cultivated inhabitants.

    PubMed

    Ward, D M; Panke, S; Kloppel, K D; Christ, R; Fredrickson, H

    1994-09-01

    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.

  19. Cyanobacterial diversity in the hot spring, pelagic and benthic habitats of a tropical soda lake.

    PubMed

    Dadheech, Pawan K; Glöckner, Gernot; Casper, Peter; Kotut, Kiplagat; Mazzoni, Camila Junqueira; Mbedi, Susan; Krienitz, Lothar

    2013-08-01

    Hot springs and saline-alkaline lakes of East Africa are extreme habitats regarding temperature, or salinity and pH, respectively. This study examines whether divergent habitats of Lake Bogoria, Kenya, impacts cyanobacterial community structure. Samples from the hot springs, pelagic zone and sediment were analysed by light microscopy, multilocus 454-amplicons sequencing and metagenomics to compare the cyanobacterial diversity. Most of the phylogenetic lineages of Cyanobacteria occurred exclusively in the Bogoria hot springs suggesting a high degree of endemism. The prevalent phylotypes were mainly members of the Oscillatoriales (Leptolyngbya, Spirulina, Oscillatoria-like and Planktothricoides). The Chroococcales were represented by different clades of Synechococcus but not a single phylotype clustered with any of the lineages described earlier from different continents. In contrast, we found that the pelagic zone and the sediments were inhabited by only a few taxa, dominated by Arthrospira and Anabaenopsis. Arthrospira, the main food base of Lesser Flamingo, was detected in all three habitats by amplicons pyrosequencing, indicating its resilience and key role as a primary producer. Despite the close connection between the three habitats studied, the cyanobacterial communities in the hot springs and lake differed considerably, suggesting that they are unable to adapt to the extreme conditions of the neighbouring habitat.

  20. Multifunctional-autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX) Toxins of Vibrios.

    PubMed

    Satchell, Karla J F

    2015-06-01

    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.

  1. Multifunctional-autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX) Toxins of Vibrios.

    PubMed

    Satchell, Karla J F

    2015-06-01

    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

  2. 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

  3. Target-Driven Evolution of Scorpion Toxins

    PubMed Central

    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

  4. Target-Driven Evolution of Scorpion Toxins.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shangfei; Gao, Bin; Zhu, Shunyi

    2015-10-07

    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.

  5. MARTX toxins as effector delivery platforms.

    PubMed

    Gavin, Hannah E; Satchell, Karla J F

    2015-12-01

    Bacteria frequently manipulate their host environment via delivery of microbial 'effector' proteins to the cytosol of eukaryotic cells. In the case of the multifunctional autoprocessing repeats-in-toxins (MARTX) toxin, this phenomenon is accomplished by a single, >3500 amino acid polypeptide that carries information for secretion, translocation, autoprocessing and effector activity. MARTX toxins are secreted from bacteria by dedicated Type I secretion systems. The released MARTX toxins form pores in target eukaryotic cell membranes for the delivery of up to five cytopathic effectors, each of which disrupts a key cellular process. Targeted cellular processes include modulation or modification of small GTPases, manipulation of host cell signaling and disruption of cytoskeletal integrity. More recently, MARTX toxins have been shown to be capable of heterologous protein translocation. Found across multiple bacterial species and genera--frequently in pathogens lacking Type 3 or Type 4 secretion systems--MARTX toxins in multiple cases function as virulence factors. Innovative research at the intersection of toxin biology and bacterial genetics continues to elucidate the intricacies of the toxin as well as the cytotoxic mechanisms of its diverse effector collection.

  6. Plant insecticidal toxins in ecological networks.

    PubMed

    Ibanez, Sébastien; Gallet, Christiane; Després, Laurence

    2012-04-01

    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.

  7. [Axillary hyperhidrosis, botulinium A toxin treatment: Review].

    PubMed

    Clerico, C; Fernandez, J; Camuzard, O; Chignon-Sicard, B; Ihrai, T

    2016-02-01

    Injection of type A botulinum toxin in the armpits is a temporary treatment for axillary hyperhidrosis. This technique described in 1996 by Bushara et al., is known to be efficient and safe. The purpose of this article was to review the data concerning the treatment of axillary hyperhidrosis with botulinum toxin type A, and discuss the other treatment modalities for this socially disabling entity.

  8. 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

  9. Botulinum Toxin and Gastrointestinal Tract Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Weiser, Kirsten; Kennedy, Abigail

    2008-01-01

    The history of botulinum toxin is fascinating. First recognized as the cause of botulism nearly 200 years ago, it was originally feared as a deadly poison. Over the last 30 years, however, botulinum toxin has been transformed into a readily available medication used to treat a variety of medical disorders. Interest in the use of botulinum toxin has been particularly strong for patients with spastic smooth muscle disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. Patients with achalasia, diffuse esophageal spasm, gastroparesis, sphincter of Oddi dysfunction, and anal fissures have all been treated with botulinum toxin injections, often with impressive results. However, not all patients respond to botulinum toxin therapy, and large randomized controlled trials are lacking for many conditions commonly treated with botulinum toxin. This paper reviews the history, microbiology, and pharmacology of botulinum toxin, discusses its mechanism of action, and then presents recent evidence from the literature regarding the use of botulinum toxin for the treatment of a variety of gastrointestinal tract disorders. PMID:21960915

  10. [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

  11. 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 ...

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Renal response to environmental toxins.

    PubMed

    Finn, W F

    1977-10-01

    Several characteristics of normal renal function increase the risk to the kidney of damage by environmental toxins. Due to the magnitude of renal blood flow the total amount of noxious substance delivered may be disproportionately high. Furthermore, the capacity to concentrate substances within the kidney by processes of filtration, reabsorption and secretion has the potential to increase the toxicity of agents which would otherwise not lead to tissue injury. Unfortunately, there are few tests of renal function which are able to detect early functional abnormalities and which, at the same time, are suited for screening purposes by virtue of their simplicity, cost and safety. Furthermore, interpretation of the tests is complicated by adaptive changes in renal function which occur with aging and in response to other disease processes. Environmental agents produce a wide spectrum of renal dysfunction. Acute renal damage follows exposure to glycols, organic solvents, heavy metals, diagnostic and therapeutic agents and a variety of miscellaneous substances. Chronic renal disease may take the form of isolated tubular defects as seen with cadmium, interstitial nephritis due to the ingestion of lead, or vascular damage induced by external radiation. Some forms of glomerulonephritis may also be related to environmental toxins as are certain tumors of the urinary tract. In a somewhat different fashion, patients whose renal function is limited by the presence of pre-existing disease may manifest toxicity from substances ordinarily excreted in the urine. Particular problems exist with the patients on dialysis, as they are at considerable risk to alterations in the environment.

  15. Botulinum toxin in poststroke spasticity.

    PubMed

    Ozcakir, Suheda; Sivrioglu, Koncuy

    2007-06-01

    Poststroke hemiparesis, together with abnormal muscle tone, is a major cause of morbidity and disability. Although most hemiparetic patients are able to reach different ambulatory levels with rehabilitation efforts, upper and lower limb spasticity can impede activities of daily living, personal hygiene, ambulation and, in some cases, functional improvement. The goals of spasticity management include increasing mobility and range of motion, attaining better hygiene, improving splint wear and other functional activities. Conservative measures, such as positioning, stretching and exercise are essential in spasticity management, but alone often are inadequate to effectively control it. Oral antispastic medications often provide limited effects with short duration and frequent unwanted systemic side effects, such as weakness, sedation and dry mouth. Therefore, neuromuscular blockade by local injections have become the first choice for the treatment of focal spasticity, particularly in stroke patients. Botulinum toxin (BTX), being one of the most potent biological toxins, acts by blocking neuromuscular transmission via inhibiting acetylcholine release. Currently, focal spasticity is being treated successfully with BTX via injecting in the spastic muscles. Two antigenically distinct serotypes of BTX are available on the market as type A and B. Clinical studies of BTX used for spastic hemiplegic patients are reviewed in this article in two major categories, upper and lower limb applications. This review addresses efficacy in terms of outcome measures, such as muscle tone reduction and functional outcome, as well as safety issues. Application modifications of dose, dilutions, site of injections and combination therapies with BTX injections are also discussed. PMID:17607049

  16. Crystallization of isoelectrically homogeneous cholera toxin

    SciTech Connect

    Spangler, B.D.; Westbrook, E.M. )

    1989-02-07

    Past difficulty in growing good crystals of cholera toxin has prevented the study of the crystal structure of this important protein. The authors have determined that failure of cholera toxin to crystallize well has been due to its heterogeneity. They have now succeeded in overcoming the problem by isolating a single isoelectric variant of this oligomeric protein (one A subunit and five B subunits). Cholera toxin purified by their procedure readily forms large single crystals. The crystal form has been described previously. They have recorded data from native crystals of cholera toxin to 3.0-{angstrom} resolution with our electronic area detectors. With these data, they have found the orientation of a 5-fold symmetry axis within these crystals, perpendicular to the screw dyad of the crystal. They are now determining the crystal structure of cholera toxin by a combination of multiple heavy-atom isomorphous replacement and density modification techniques, making use of rotational 5-fold averaging of the B subunits.

  17. Epidemiology of cancers in Serbia and possible connection with cyanobacterial blooms.

    PubMed

    Svirčev, Zorica; Drobac, Damjana; Tokodi, Nada; Lužanin, Zorana; Munjas, Ana Marija; Nikolin, Branislava; Vuleta, Dušan; Meriluoto, Jussi

    2014-01-01

    Cyanobacteria produce toxic metabolites known as cyanotoxins. These bioactive compounds can cause acute poisoning, and some of them may promote cancer through chronic exposure. Direct ingestion of and contact with contaminated water is one of the many exposure routes to cyanotoxins. The aim of this article was to review the incidence of 13 cancers during a 10-year period in Serbia and to assess whether there is a correlation between the cancer incidences and cyanobacterial bloom occurrence in reservoirs for drinking water supply. The types of cancers were chosen and subjected to epidemiological analyses utilizing previously published data. Based on the epidemiological and statistical analysis, the group of districts in which the incidences of cancers are significant, and may be considered as critical, include Nišavski, Toplički, and Šumadijski district. A significantly higher incidence of ten cancers was observed in the three critical districts as compared to the remaining 14 districts in Central Serbia. These elevated incidences of cancer include: brain cancer, heart, mediastinum and pleura cancer, ovary cancer, testicular cancer, gastric cancer, colorectal cancer, retroperitoneum and peritoneum cancer, leukemia, malignant melanoma of skin, and primary liver cancer. In addition, the mean incidence of five chosen cancers was the highest in the three critical regions, then in the rest of Central Serbia, while the lowest values were recorded in Vojvodina. Persistent and recurrent cyanobacterial blooms occur during summer months in reservoirs supplying water to waterworks in the three critical districts. People in Central Serbia mainly use surface water as water supply (but not all the water bodies are blooming) while in Vojvodina region (control region in this study) only groundwater is used. Among the 14 "noncritical" districts, reservoirs used for drinking water supply have been affected by recurrent cyanobacterial blooms in two districts (Rasinski and Zaje

  18. Cytokine response by human monocytes to Clostridium difficile toxin A and toxin B.

    PubMed Central

    Flegel, W A; Müller, F; Däubener, W; Fischer, H G; Hadding, U; Northoff, H

    1991-01-01

    Clostridium difficile toxins A and B isolated from strain VPI 10463 were tested for induction of cytokine release by human monocytes. Toxin B at 10(-12) M activated human monocytes as measured by release of interleukin-1 (IL-1), tumor necrosis factor (TNF), or IL-6. These effects of toxin B were heat labile (51 degrees C, 30 min). Toxin B was as effective as bacterial lipopolysaccharides in inducing IL-1 beta but less effective in inducing TNF or IL-6. Toxin B and lipopolysaccharides were synergistic in induction of IL-1 beta, TNF, and IL-6. The toxin A preparation used was 1,000-fold less active than toxin B. Apart from the difference in activity, the two toxins showed identical patterns of reaction and there was no synergism between them. A short pulse with toxin B was sufficient to trigger IL-1 release. Toxin B was also extremely toxic for monocytes. The toxicity and the induced proinflammatory monokines (IL-1 and TNF) may contribute to the pathogenic mechanisms of C. difficile infection and pseudomembranous colitis. Images PMID:1910012

  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.

  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. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Clostridium perfringens type A-E toxin plasmids.

    PubMed

    Freedman, John C; Theoret, James R; Wisniewski, Jessica A; Uzal, Francisco A; Rood, Julian I; McClane, Bruce A

    2015-05-01

    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.

  5. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for Clostridium difficile toxin A.

    PubMed Central

    Lyerly, D M; Sullivan, N M; Wilkins, T D

    1983-01-01

    Antibodies against Clostridium difficile toxin A were purified by affinity chromatography from antiserum prepared against crude C. difficile toxin preparations. The affinity-purified antibody preparation was free of detectable amounts of antibodies to other C. difficile antigens, as demonstrated by crossed immunoelectrophoresis, and specifically neutralized the cytotoxicity of toxin A. An indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was subsequently developed using the antibody preparation for the specific detection of toxin A. The ELISA, which could detect 1 ng (5 ng/ml) of toxin A, was used to quantitate the toxin in the culture supernatant fluids of strains of C. difficile. The ELISA values for toxin A closely correlated with the toxin A and B cytotoxic titers of the supernatant fluids. In addition, toxin A was detected by ELISA in human fecal specimens from persons with antibiotic-associated colitis, demonstrating that this toxin is produced during C. difficile colitis. Images PMID:6338036

  6. 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...

  7. Mega assemblages of oligomeric aerolysin-like toxins stabilized by toxin-associating membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Shimada, Hiroyasu; Kitada, Sakae

    2011-01-01

    Most β pore-forming toxins need to be oligomerized via receptors in order to form membrane pores. Though oligomerizing toxins frequently form SDS-resistant oligomers, it was questionable whether SDS-resistant oligomers reflected native functional toxin complexes. In order to elucidate the essence of the cytocidal assemblages, oligomers of aerolysin-like toxins, aerolysin, parasporin-2 and epsilon toxin, were examined with or without SDS. On Blue Native PAGE, each toxin, which had been solubilized from target cells with mild detergent, was a much larger complex (nearly 1 MDa) than the typical SDS-resistant oligomers (∼200 kDa). Size exclusion chromatography confirmed the huge toxin complexes. While a portion of the huge complexes were sensitive to proteases, SDS-resistant oligomers resist the proteolysis. Presumably the core toxin complexes remained intact while the cellular proteins were degraded. Moreover, intermediate complexes, which included no SDS-resistant oligomers, could be detected at lower temperatures. This study provides evidence for huge functional complexes of β pore-forming toxins and emphasizes their potential variance in composition.

  8. 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.

  9. The Interactions of Human Neutrophils with Shiga Toxins and Related Plant Toxins: Danger or Safety?

    PubMed Central

    Brigotti, Maurizio

    2012-01-01

    Shiga toxins and ricin are well characterized similar toxins belonging to quite different biological kingdoms. Plant and bacteria have evolved the ability to produce these powerful toxins in parallel, while humans have evolved a defense system that recognizes molecular patterns common to foreign molecules through specific receptors expressed on the surface of the main actors of innate immunity, namely monocytes and neutrophils. The interactions between these toxins and neutrophils have been widely described and have stimulated intense debate. This paper is aimed at reviewing the topic, focusing particularly on implications for the pathogenesis and diagnosis of hemolytic uremic syndrome. PMID:22741061

  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. 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

  12. Flavodiiron proteins Flv1 and Flv3 enable cyanobacterial growth and photosynthesis under fluctuating light.

    PubMed

    Allahverdiyeva, Yagut; Mustila, Henna; Ermakova, Maria; Bersanini, Luca; Richaud, Pierre; Ajlani, Ghada; Battchikova, Natalia; Cournac, Laurent; Aro, Eva-Mari

    2013-03-01

    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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. First evidence of accumulation in cyanobacteria of guanidinoacetate, a precursor of the toxin cylindrospermopsin.

    PubMed

    Barón-Sola, Ángel; Sanz-Alférez, Soledad; del Campo, Francisca F

    2015-01-01

    Guanidinoacetate (GAA) is one of the most extensively studied toxic guanidine compounds. Changes in GAA can affect the nervous system and induce hyperhomocysteinemia, representing a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. In cyanobacteria, GAA is thought to be an intermediate in the synthesis of the toxin cylindrospermopsin (CYN), one of the most common known cyanotoxins that affects multiple organs and functions in animals and plants. In spite of the evidence supporting GAA toxicity and its role in CYN synthesis, no data have been reported on the accumulation of GAA in any cyanobacterium. We have analyzed and compared the content of GAA in cultures of diverse cyanobacteria types, both cylindrospermopsin producing (CYN(+)) and not producing (CYN(-)). The results obtained show that GAA accumulates in the majority of the strains tested, although the highest content was found in one of the CYN(+) strain, Aphanizomenon ovalisporum UAM-MAO. In this strain, both GAA and CYN can be located within and out the cells. In conclusion, GAA appears to be a general cyanobacterial metabolite that due to its proven toxic should be considered when studying and managing cyanobacteria toxicity.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. [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

  20. 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...

  1. Bacterial Toxins as Pathogen Weapons Against Phagocytes.

    PubMed

    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.

  2. 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 ...

  3. 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

  4. Bacterial Toxins as Pathogen Weapons Against Phagocytes.

    PubMed

    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

  5. [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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Effects of cyanobacterial biomass and purified microcystins on malformations in Xenopus laevis: teratogenesis assay (FETAX).

    PubMed

    Dvoráková, Dagmar; Dvoráková, Katerina; Bláha, Ludek; Marsálek, Blahoslav; Knotková, Zora

    2002-12-01

    Xenopus laevis (African clawed frog) embryos in a 96-h teratogenesis assay (FETAX) were exposed to 0-250 microg/L and 500 microg/L of purified microcystin-LR (MCYST-LR) for the estimation of lethality, as well as to equivalent concentrations of biomass containing MCYST-LR (natural water bloom dominated by Microcystis aeruginosa) and biomass without MCYST-LR (bloom dominated by Microcystis wesenbergii). The highest tested concentrations of purified MCYST-LR caused up to 30% lethality after a 96-h exposure, corresponding to a LC(25) of 380 microg/L. Cyanobacterial biomass containing MCYST-LR caused significant lethality up to 50% at the highest tested concentrations (300 mg/L, i.e., 250 microg/L of MCYST-LR). The estimated 96-h LC(25) values varied from 125 mg/L (biomass containing MCYST-LR) up to 232 mg/L (biomass without MCYST-LR). A statistically significant increase in the number of malformed embryos was observed after exposure to cyanobacterial samples. Purified MCYST-LR at and above 25 microg/L significantly increased the number of malformations, with 53% of surviving embryos malformed in the highest tested concentration, 250 microg/L (EC(25) = 27 microg/L). Exposure to the highest concentration of MCYST-LR containing biomass resulted in more than 60% of the embryos being malformed and an EC(25) of 52 mg/L (i.e., 43 microg of MCYST-LR/L). Cyanobacterial biomass with no natural microcystin also induced substantial malformations-about 50% aberrant embryos at the highest concentration, 300 mg/L (EC(25) = 75 mg/L). External additions of purified MCYST-LR to the biomass that was originally without microcystins resulted in a slight additional increase in the rate of malformations (80% at the highest concentration, 300 mg of biomass plus 250 microg of MCYST-LR per liter). A comparison of lethality and effects on malformations (teratogenic index, TI = LC(25)/EC(25)) showed that all samples had significant teratogenic potential in the FETAX assay (TI(MCYST-LR) = 14; TI

  10. Filamentous anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria from cyanobacterial mats of Alla hot springs (Barguzin Valley, Russia).

    PubMed

    Gaisin, Vasil A; Kalashnikov, Alexander M; Sukhacheva, Marina V; Namsaraev, Zorigto B; Barhutova, Darima D; Gorlenko, Vladimir M; Kuznetsov, Boris B

    2015-11-01

    Alkaline hydrotherms of the Baikal rift zone are unique systems to study the diversity of thermophilic bacteria. In this study, we present data on the phototrophic bacterial community of cyanobacterial mats from the alkaline Alla hot spring. Using a clonal analysis approach, this study evaluated the species diversity, the proportion of oxygenic and anoxygenic phototrophs and their distribution between various areas of the spring. Novel group-specific PCR primers were designed and applied to detect representatives of the Chloroflexus and Roseiflexus genera in mat samples. For the first time, the presence of Roseiflexus-like bacteria was detected in the Baikal rift zone.

  11. Dynamics of cyanobacterial bloom formation during short-term hydrodynamic fluctuation in a large shallow, eutrophic, and wind-exposed Lake Taihu, China.

    PubMed

    Wu, Tingfeng; Qin, Boqiang; Zhu, Guangwei; Luo, Liancong; Ding, Yanqing; Bian, Geya

    2013-12-01

    Short-term hydrodynamic fluctuations caused by extreme weather events are expected to increase worldwide because of global climate change, and such fluctuations can strongly influence cyanobacterial blooms. In this study, the cyanobacterial bloom disappearance and reappearance in Lake Taihu, China, in response to short-term hydrodynamic fluctuations, was investigated by field sampling, long-term ecological records, high-frequency sensors and MODIS satellite images. The horizontal drift caused by the dominant easterly wind during the phytoplankton growth season was mainly responsible for cyanobacterial biomass accumulation in the western and northern regions of the lake and subsequent bloom formation over relatively long time scales. The cyanobacterial bloom changed slowly under calm or gentle wind conditions. In contrast, the short-term bloom events within a day were mainly caused by entrainment and disentrainment of cyanobacterial colonies by wind-induced hydrodynamics. Observation of a westerly event in Lake Taihu revealed that when the 30 min mean wind speed (flow speed) exceeded the threshold value of 6 m/s (5.7 cm/s), cyanobacteria in colonies were entrained by the wind-induced hydrodynamics. Subsequently, the vertical migration of cyanobacterial colonies was controlled by hydrodynamics, resulting in thorough mixing of algal biomass throughout the water depth and the eventual disappearance of surface blooms. Moreover, the intense mixing can also increase the chance for forming larger and more cyanobacterial colonies, namely, aggregation. Subsequently, when the hydrodynamics became weak, the cyanobacterial colonies continuously float upward without effective buoyancy regulation, and cause cyanobacterial bloom explosive expansion after the westerly. Furthermore, the results of this study indicate that the strong wind happening frequently during April and October can be an important cause of the formation and expansion of cyanobacterial blooms in Lake Taihu. PMID

  12. Detection of antibodies against botulinum toxins.

    PubMed

    Sesardic, Dorothea; Jones, Russell G A; Leung, Tong; Alsop, Toni; Tierney, Robert

    2004-03-01

    After immunisation with botulinum vaccine, antibodies to multiple epitopes are produced. Only some of these will have the capacity to neutralise the toxin activity. In fact, the ability of toxoid vaccine to induce toxin neutralising antibodies has provided the basis for the use of therapeutic antitoxins and immunoglobulins for the prophylaxis and treatment of diseases caused by bacterial toxins. Increasing indications for the chronic use of botulinum toxin for therapy have inevitably resulted in concern for patients becoming unresponsive because of the presence of circulating toxin-specific antibodies. Highly sensitive and relevant assays to detect only clinically relevant toxin neutralising antibodies are essential. Although immunoassays often provide the sensitivity, their relevance and specificity is often questioned. The mouse protection LD(50) bioassay is considered most relevant but can often only detect 10 mIU/ml of antitoxin. This sensitivity, although sufficient for confirming protective immunity, is inadequate for patients undergoing toxin therapy. An intramuscular paralysis assay improves the sensitivity to ca. 1 mIU/ml, and a mouse ex vivo diaphragm assay, with sensitivity of < 0.5 mIU/ml, is the most sensitive functional assay to date for this purpose. Alternative approaches for the detection of antibodies to botulinum toxin have included in vitro endopeptidase activity neutralisation. Unlike any other functional assay, this approach is not reliant on serotype-specific antibodies for specificity. Most recent promising developments are focused on cellular assays utilising primary rat embryonic cord cells or more conveniently in vitro differentiated established cell lines such as human neuroblastoma cells.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Toxin-Antitoxin Systems of Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    Schuster, Christopher F; Bertram, Ralph

    2016-05-05

    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.

  17. 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

  18. Tetra- versus Pentavalent Inhibitors of Cholera Toxin**

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Ou; Pukin, Aliaksei V; van Ufford, H C Quarles; Branson, Thomas R; Thies-Weesie, Dominique M E; Turnbull, W Bruce; Visser, Gerben M; Pieters, Roland J

    2015-01-01

    The five B-subunits (CTB5) of the Vibrio cholerae (cholera) toxin can bind to the intestinal cell surface so the entire AB5 toxin can enter the cell. Simultaneous binding can occur on more than one of the monosialotetrahexosylganglioside (GM1) units present on the cell surface. Such simultaneous binding arising from the toxins multivalency is believed to enhance its affinity. Thus, blocking the initial attachment of the toxin to the cell surface using inhibitors with GM1 subunits has the potential to stop the disease. Previously we showed that tetravalent GM1 molecules were sub-nanomolar inhibitors of CTB5. In this study, we synthesized a pentavalent version and compared the binding and potency of penta- and tetravalent cholera toxin inhibitors, based on the same scaffold, for the first time. The pentavalent geometry did not yield major benefits over the tetravalent species, but it was still a strong inhibitor, and no major steric clashes occurred when binding the toxin. Thus, systems which can adopt more geometries, such as those described here, can be equally potent, and this may possibly be due to their ability to form higher-order structures or simply due to more statistical options for binding. PMID:26478842

  19. Presence of Potential Toxin-Producing Cyanobacteria in an Oligo-Mesotrophic Lake in Baltic Lake District, Germany: An Ecological, Genetic and Toxicological Survey

    PubMed Central

    Dadheech, Pawan K.; Selmeczy, Géza B.; Vasas, Gábor; Padisák, Judit; Arp, Wolfgang; Tapolczai, Kálmán; Casper, Peter; Krienitz, Lothar

    2014-01-01

    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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. A biomimetic nanosponge that absorbs pore-forming toxins.

    PubMed

    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.

  4. Mechanism of Gene Regulation by a Staphylococcus aureus Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Joo, Hwang-Soo; Chatterjee, Som S.; Villaruz, Amer E.; Dickey, Seth W.; Tan, Vee Y.; Chen, Yan; Sturdevant, Daniel E.; Ricklefs, Stacy M.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The virulence of many bacterial pathogens, including the important human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus, depends on the secretion of frequently large amounts of toxins. Toxin production involves the need for the bacteria to make physiological adjustments for energy conservation. While toxins are primarily targets of gene regulation, such changes may be accomplished by regulatory functions of the toxins themselves. However, mechanisms by which toxins regulate gene expression have remained poorly understood. We show here that the staphylococcal phenol-soluble modulin (PSM) toxins have gene regulatory functions that, in particular, include inducing expression of their own transport system by direct interference with a GntR-type repressor protein. This capacity was most pronounced in PSMs with low cytolytic capacity, demonstrating functional specification among closely related members of that toxin family during evolution. Our study presents a molecular mechanism of gene regulation by a bacterial toxin that adapts bacterial physiology to enhanced toxin production. PMID:27795396

  5. Red tide (Ptychodiscus brevis) toxin aerosols: a review.

    PubMed

    Pierce, R H

    1986-01-01

    Advances in knowledge concerning red tide toxin aerosols (airborne) of the Florida red tide organism, Ptychodiscus brevis, have not kept pace with information about waterborne toxins. This review provides a summary of current knowledge regarding the characterization, effect and production of red tide toxin aerosols. Insight into the chemical characterization and toxic effects of aerosolized toxins is provided from investigations of toxins extracted from natural blooms, as well as from laboratory cultures, of P. brevis. This information is used in conjunction with the few studies that have been performed on toxin aerosols to consider toxic effects. The production of aerosolized toxins is considered through studies of jet drop aerosol formation from bursting bubbles. Existing information suggests that aerosolized red tide toxins may be the same chemicals as those extracted from laboratory cultures, with one of the