Spatiotemporal variations in microcystin concentrations and in the proportions of microcystin-producing cells in several Microcystis aeruginosa populations.
ABSTRACT With the aim of explaining the variations in microcystin (MC) concentrations during cyanobacterial blooms, we studied several Microcystis aeruginosa populations blooming in different freshwater ecosystems located in the same geographical area. As assessed by real-time PCR, it appeared that the potentially MC-producing cells (mcyB(+)) were predominant (70 to 100%) in all of these M. aeruginosa populations, with the exception of one population in which non-MC-producing cells always dominated. Apart from the population in the Grangent Reservoir, we found that the proportions of potentially MC-producing and non-MC-producing cells varied little over time, which was consistent with the fact that according to a previous study of the same populations, the intergenic transcribed spacer (ITS) genotype composition did not change (38). In the Grangent Reservoir, the MC-RR variant was the dominant microcystin variant throughout the bloom season, despite changes in the ITS composition and in the proportions of mcyB(+) cells. Finally, the variations in total MC concentrations (0.3 to 15 microg liter(-1)) and in the MC cellular quotas (0.01 to 3.4 pg cell(-1)) were high both between and within sites, and no correlation was found between the MC concentrations and the proportion of mcyB(+) cells. All of these findings demonstrate that very different results can be found for the proportions of potentially MC-producing and non-MC-producing cells and MC concentrations, even in M. aeruginosa populations living in more or less connected ecosystems, demonstrating the importance of the effect of very local environmental conditions on these parameters and also the difficulty of predicting the potential toxicity of Microcystis blooms.
Article: Evidence of the cost of the production of microcystins by Microcystis aeruginosa under differing light and nitrate environmental conditions.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa is known to proliferate in freshwater ecosystems and to produce microcystins. It is now well established that much of the variability of bloom toxicity is due to differences in the relative proportions of microcystin-producing and non-microcystin-producing cells in cyanobacterial populations. In an attempt to elucidate changes in their relative proportions during cyanobacterial blooms, we compared the fitness of the microcystin-producing M. aeruginosa PCC 7806 strain (WT) to that of its non-microcystin-producing mutant (MT). We investigated the effects of two light intensities and of limiting and non-limiting nitrate concentrations on the growth of these strains in monoculture and co-culture experiments. We also monitored various physiological parameters, and microcystin production by the WT strain. In monoculture experiments, no significant difference was found between the growth rates or physiological characteristics of the two strains during the exponential growth phase. In contrast, the MT strain was found to dominate the WT strain in co-culture experiments under favorable growth conditions. Moreover, we also found an increase in the growth rate of the MT strain and in the cellular MC content of the WT strain. Our findings suggest that differences in the fitness of these two strains under optimum growth conditions were attributable to the cost to microcystin-producing cells of producing microcystins, and to the putative existence of cooperation processes involving direct interactions between these strains.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(1):e29981. · 4.09 Impact Factor
Article: Use of a generalized additive model to investigate key abiotic factors affecting microcystin cellular quotas in heavy bloom areas of Lake Taihu.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Lake Taihu is the third largest freshwater lake in China and is suffering from serious cyanobacterial blooms with the associated drinking water contamination by microcystin (MC) for millions of citizens. So far, most studies on MCs have been limited to two small bays, while systematic research on the whole lake is lacking. To explain the variations in MC concentrations during cyanobacterial bloom, a large-scale survey at 30 sites across the lake was conducted monthly in 2008. The health risks of MC exposure were high, especially in the northern area. Both Microcystis abundance and MC cellular quotas presented positive correlations with MC concentration in the bloom seasons, suggesting that the toxic risks during Microcystis proliferations were affected by variations in both Microcystis density and MC production per Microcystis cell. Use of a powerful predictive modeling tool named generalized additive model (GAM) helped visualize significant effects of abiotic factors related to carbon fixation and proliferation of Microcystis (conductivity, dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), water temperature and pH) on MC cellular quotas from recruitment period of Microcystis to the bloom seasons, suggesting the possible use of these factors, in addition to Microcystis abundance, as warning signs to predict toxic events in the future. The interesting relationship between macrophytes and MC cellular quotas of Microcystis (i.e., high MC cellular quotas in the presence of macrophytes) needs further investigation.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(2):e32020. · 4.09 Impact Factor
Article: Seasonal dynamics of Microcystis spp. and their toxigenicity as assessed by qPCR in a temperate reservoir.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Blooms of toxic cyanobacteria are becoming increasingly frequent, mainly due to water quality degradation. This work applied qPCR as a tool for early warning of microcystin(MC)-producer cyanobacteria and risk assessment of water supplies. Specific marker genes for cyanobacteria, Microcystis and MC-producing Microcystis, were quantified to determine the genotypic composition of the natural Microcystis population. Correlations between limnological parameters, pH, water temperature, dissolved oxygen and conductivity and MC concentrations as well as Microcystis abundance were assessed. A negative significant correlation was observed between toxic (with mcy genes) to non-toxic (without mcy genes) genotypes ratio and the overall Microcystis density. The highest proportions of toxic Microcystis genotypes were found 4-6 weeks before and 8-10 weeks after the peak of the bloom, with the lowest being observed at its peak. These results suggest positive selection of non-toxic genotypes under favorable environmental growth conditions. Significant positive correlations could be found between quantity of toxic genotypes and MC concentration, suggesting that the method applied can be useful to predict potential MC toxicity risk. No significant correlation was found between the limnological parameters measured and MC concentrations or toxic genotypes proportions indicating that other abiotic and biotic factors should be governing MC production and toxic genotypes dynamics. The qPCR method here applied is useful to rapidly estimate the potential toxicity of environmental samples and so, it may contribute to the more efficient management of water use in eutrophic systems.Marine Drugs 01/2011; 9(10):1715-30. · 3.85 Impact Factor