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GreenWater Laboratories Potentially Toxigenic (PTOX) Cyanobacteria List

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  • Greenwater Laboratories


Some Known and Suspected Toxigenic Cyanobacteria from Around the World This list includes taxa that have had toxins identified, have been implicated in toxic events in the field, or have elicited a positive response in laboratory assays. New toxigenic cyanobacteria species are continually being discovered and data concerning known and suspected toxin producers continues to be refined and expanded. As a result, this list is by no means meant to be an exhaustive list of toxin producing cyanobacteria and their toxins.
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GreenWater Laboratories
Potentially Toxigenic (PTOX) Cyanobacteria List
Authors: Andrew Chapman & Amanda Foss
Updated: February 27, 2020
Document # 200227_PTOX
Some Known and Suspected Toxigenic Cyanobacteria from Around the World
This list includes taxa that have had toxins identified, have been implicated in toxic events in the
field, or have elicited a positive response in laboratory assays. New toxigenic cyanobacteria
species are continually being discovered and data concerning known and suspected toxin
producers continues to be refined and expanded. As a result, this list is by no means meant to be
an exhaustive list of toxin producing cyanobacteria and their toxins.
Page 2 of 13
Anagnostidinema amphibium
(previously Geitlerinema
(Borges et al., 2015) - Brazil
Anagnostidinema carotinosum
(previously Geitlerinema
Microcystins (-LY)
(Aboal, 2017) - Benthic
Anagnostidinema lemmermannii
(previously Geitlerinema
(Borges et al., 2015) - Brazil
Anabaenopsis arnoldii
(-RR, -YR, unidentified
(Mohamed and Al Shehri, 2009) Saudi Arabia
Anabaenopsis milleri
(Lanaras and Cook, 1994) Extracted from bloom, confirmed
hepatotoxic via mouse bioassay, LC-UV max abs=238-240,
likely microcystin
Anabaena spp. WA102, AL93 &
(would be classified as
Dolichospermum due to gas
vesicle presence)
(Brown et al., 2016) strain WA102; confirmed using
molecular techniques & LC-MS/MS.
(Rantala-Ylinen et al., 2011) strains 14, 37, 54, 86, 130
confirmed using molecular primers (anaC) & LC-MS/MS. All
described strains are planktonic.
Anabaena lapponica
(Spoof et al., 2006)Finland; CYN confirmed with LC-UV,
Anabaena cylindrica
(previously A. subcylindrica)
Microcystins (-YR, -LR)
(Mohamed et al., 2006)Saudi Arabia; benthic mats isolates
measured using ELISA and LC-UV after mouse bioassay
confirmed hepatotoxicity
Aphanizomenon flos-aquae &
Aph. flos-aquae/klebahnii
Anatoxin-a detected by UV/PDA (Rapala et al. (1993) but not
Cylindrospermopsin production reported by Preußel et al.,
(2009, 2006) has been contested by Oregon D. Ag. due to AFA
harvesting. Saxitoxin production was originally thought to be
Aph. flos-aquae, but the organism was reclassified to Aph. gracile
(NH) or C. issatschenkoi (China) by W. Carmichael.
Aphanizomenon gracile
STXs GTX1,4,5, STX,
(Kokociński et al., 2013)—Poland CYN confirmed in isolates
using molecular & toxin analyses (ELISA, LC-UV & MS/MS)
(Pereira et al., 2004)Portugal strain LMECYA40 isolated and
NEO & STX confirmed LC-FL (post);
US-MA lake sample dominated by Aph. gracile contained
GTX1,4, NEO & STX via LC-FL (pre)
Turkey Isolate (Yilmaz et al., 2018) had dcSTX. dcNEO, NEO,
STX, & 3 unknowns (MS/MS)
Aphanocapsa cumulus
(Domingos et al., 1999) Brazil ELISA used to screen, too low
(≤0.3 ng/mg) for LC-UV confirmation; an unidentified
spherical picoplankton was confirmed, possibly A. cumulus
Arthrospira fusiformis
(Ballot et al., 2004)Kenya isolate; MCs screened using ELISA
& confirmed with LC-UV; ANTX only LC-UV
Blennothrix lyngbyacea
Hydrocoleum lyngbyaceum)
(Méjean et al., 2010)- benthic marine associated with giant
clam poisoning event (ciguatoxins)
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Chrysosporum bergii
(previously Anabaena bergii)
(Schembri et al., 2001)Australia CYN production supported
with molecular work & LC-MS/MS
Anecdotal microcystin observation (by Adda ELISA) in bloom
dominated by C. bergii in a Texas Lake Field Collection
Chrysosporum ovalisporum
(previously Aphanizomenon
(Yilmaz et al., 2008)US-FL isolates confirmed using LC-
MS/MS, ELISA and molecular work
(Akcaalan et al., 2014)Turkey; blooms confirmed LC-MS/MS
(Banker et al., 1997) Lake Kinneret, identified using UV, MS
Cuspidothrix issatschenkoi
(previously Aphanizomenon
(Wood et al., 2007) New Zealand ANTX production
confirmed LC-MS/MS (CYN genes present, but no CYN
(Ballot et al., 2010) Germany ANTX by LC-MS/MS
(Li et al., 2003; Pereira et al., 2000) reclassification from Aph.
flos-aquae to Aph. issatschenkoi); Both studies for STXs used LC-
Cylindrospermum sp. (Finland)
(Sivonen et al., 1989)
Cylindrospermum stagnale
(Borges et al., 2015) - Brazil
Desmonostoc muscorum
(previously Nostoc muscorum)
(Mynderse et al., 1977)
(Oudra et al., 2009)Morocco
Dolichospermum circinale
(previously Anabaena circinalis)
STXs STX, GTX235, C12,
dcSTX, dcGTX3
Unknown cytotoxin
(Beltran and Neilan, 2000; Froscio et al., 2011; Pereyra et al.,
2017; Vezie et al., 1998)
Dolichospermum crassum
(previously Anabaena crassa)
(Becker et al., 2010)Brazil
Not certain if identification accurate
Dolichospermum flos-aquae
(previously Anabaena flos-
(Devlin and Edwards, 1977; Sivonen et al., 1989)
(Matsunaga et al., 1989)
(Harada et al., 1991)
Dolichospermum lemmermannii
(previously Anabaena
(Lepistö et al., 2005)
(Henriksen et al., 1997; Onodera et al., 1997)
(Onodera et al., 1997)Denmark
Oregon Bloom of D. lemmermannii produced Epi-CYN (dom)
& CYN, re-occurs annually
(Rapala et al., 2005) STX; not isolated strain
Dolichospermum macrosporum
(previously Anabaena
(Park et al., 1993) - only LC-PDA used, not confirmed
Dolichospermum mendotae
(previously Anabaena mendotae)
(Rapala et al., 1993) - only LC-PDA used, not confirmed
(Akcaalan et al., 2014)- Turkey CYN
Dolichospermum planctonicum
(previously Anabaena
(Bruno et al., 1994; Park et al., 1993)
Park et al. study only used LC-UV
Bruno et al. utilized GC-MS for derivatized ATX
Dolichospermum spiroides
(previously Anabaena spiroides)
(Park et al., 1993) (only LC-UV)
(Abreu and Ferrão-Filho, 2013) Thought to be misidentified
in other manuscripts and may be Sphaerospermopsis torques-
(Fewer et al., 2011) Finland
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Anabaena sp.
(Namikoshi et al., 1992b)
(Wang et al., 2012) - Anabaena sp. strain 90 genome, likely D.
Fischerella sp. strain CENA161
(Fiore et al., 2009)Brazil
Geitlerinema splendidum
(previously Phormidium
(-LF, -RR)
Pro-inflammatory & anti-
AChE substances
(Aboal et al., 2005)
(Rangel et al., 2014)
(Aboal, 2017) - Benthic
Gloeotrichia echinulata
(Carey et al., 2007)USA-NH; ELISA only, not confirmed
Gloeotrichia natans
(-RR & -LF)
(Aboal, 2017) - Benthic
Hapalosiphon hibernicus
(Prinsep et al., 1992)
Soil sample Hawaii (MS Thesis 2006 Philmus)
Hassallia sp.
(Vestola et al., 2014)
Heteroscytonema cf. crispum
(previously Scytonema crispum)
STXs GTX1,2,3,4,5
dcGTX23 dcSTX
(Smith et al., 2012)
Iningainema pulvinus
(McGregor and Sendall, 2017) - freshwater
Kamptonema formosum
(previously Phormidium
(Hemscheidt et al., 1995)
Leibleinia gracilis (previously
Phormidium gracile)
Hoiamide A,
(Pereira et al., 2009) marine; associated with Moorena
Leptolyngbya sp. CENA103 &
(Furtado et al., 2009) Brazil wastewater isolates, only
measured using ELISA (Beacon) at 0.14-0.31 ppb (ng/mL), no
confirmatory analysis
Leptolyngbya boryana
(previously Plectonema
(Mohamed et al., 2006) ELISA, Bioassay & HPLC (-LR, -YR)
Limnothrix redekei
(Pineda-Mendoza et al., 2012)Mexico - (low levels by ELISA
and not confirmed by other techniques
Limnothrix sp. CENA109 &
CENA110 (likely L. redekei
based on genetics)
(Furtado et al., 2009) Brazil wastewater isolates, only
measured using ELISA (Beacon) at 0.19-0.42 ppb (ng/mL), no
confirmatory analysis
Lyngbya confervoides
(Williams et al., 2002)US
Merismopedia sp. CENA106 (M.
cf. tenuissima)
(Furtado et al., 2009) Brazil wastewater isolate, only
measured using ELISA (Beacon) at 2.17 ppb (ng/mL), no
confirmatory analysis
Microcoleus autumnalis
(previously Phormidium
(Heath et al., 2010)
Microcystis aeruginosa
(Le Ai Nguyen et al., 2012)
Microcystis botrys
(Stefanelli et al., 2017)
Microcystis ichthyoblabe
(Sabour et al., 2002)
Microcystis panniformis
(Bittencourt-Oliveira et al., 2005)
Microcystis smithii
(Liu et al., 2011)- China
Microcystis viridis
(Kameyama et al., 2004; Song et al., 1998)
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Microcystis wesenbergii
(Namikoshi et al., 1992a)
Microcystis sp. (Japan)
(Park et al., 1993)-Only LC-UV used, highly suspect
Microcoleus autumnalis
(previously Phormidium
(Heath et al., 2014)
(Aboal, 2017) - Benthic
Microseira (Lyngbya) wollei
STXs - dcSTX, dcGTX23,
(Seifert et al., 2007)Australia
(Onodera et al., 1997)USA-AL
(Foss et al., 2012)USA-FL
Moorena bouillonii (previously
(Klein et al., 1999)New Guinea
Moorena producens (previously
Lyngbya majuscula)
(Capper et al., 2005; Edwards et al., 2004; Liu and Rein, 2010;
Osborne et al., 2008, 2001; Taylor et al., 2014) - marine
Nodularia sphaerocarpa
(Beattie et al., 2000) - freshwater
Nodularia spumigena
(Mazur-Marzec et al., 2013) - marine
Nostoc sp. 5/96
(Tomsickova et al., 2014)
Nostoc sp. 152
[DMAdda5] &
[ADMAdda5] MCs
(Sivonen et al., 1992)
Nostoc spp.
(Sivonen et al., 1990)
Nostoc cf. commune
(-LF, -LY)
(Teneva et al., 2012) - ?
(Aboal, 2017) - Benthic
Nostoc linckia
(Teneva et al., 2012) ?
Nostoc paludosum
(La Claire and Manning, 2015)
Nostoc carneum (previously
Nostoc spongiaeforme)
Microcystins (-YR, -LR)
(Mohamed et al., 2006)Saudi Arabia; benthic isolate
confirmed using mouse bioassay, ELISA & LC-UV
Oscillatoria limosa
(Mohamed, 2008)Saudi Arabia
Oscillatoria margaritifera
(-RR, -LF, -LY)
(Aboal, 2017) - Benthic
Oscillatoria spp.
(Cadel-Six et al., 2009)
Oscillatoria PCC 6506
Anatoxin-a (99:1)
7-epi-CYN & CYN
(Méjean et al., 2010)FR: New Caledonia, (Mazmouz et al.,
Oscillatoria tenuis
(Brittain et al., 2000)Egypt
oscillatorialean strains PCC
10601, PCC 10702, PCC 10608
(A, B, C in micrograph)
(Cadel-Six et al., 2007)
Phormidium spp.
(Izaguirre et al., 2007) Analyzed by PP1A and HPLC-PDA
and/or MS indicated MC-LR was present
Potamolinea aerugineocaerulea
(previously Phormidium
(Teneva et al., 2003) freshwater Europe
Phormidium corium
(Mohamed et al., 2006)Saudi Arabia
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Phormidium favosum
(Gugger et al., 2005)France (river)
Phormidium nigroviride
(previously Oscillatoria
(Mynderse et al., 1977) - Tropic/subtropic sea water
Phormidium willei
(Krienitz et al., 2003)
Phormidium uncinatum
(-LF, -LY)
(Borges et al., 2015)
(Aboal, 2017) - Benthic
Planktothrix agardhii
Anatoxin-a Microcystins
(Osswald et al., 2007)
(Luukkainen et al., 1993)
Planktothrix isothrix
(Bittencourt-Oliveira et al., 2014)
Planktothrix rubescens
Microcystins (Hty
(Viaggiu et al., 2004)
(Ernst et al., 2006; Niedermeyer et al., 2014)
Planktothrix sp. FP1
(Pomati et al., 2000)Italy- identification based on genetics
which may support novo status; pre- & post-column oxidation
Pseudanabaena galeata
(Oudra et al., 2002) benthic LC-UV/PDA & ELISA
Pseudanabaena mucicola
(Oudra et al., 2002) planktonic - LC-UV/PDA &ELISA
Pseudanabaena limnetica
(Marsalek et al., 2003)Czech Repub. not unialgal LC-
Pseudocapsa dubia
(-RR, -YR)
(Cantoral Uriza et al., 2017) - Benthic
Radiocystis fernandoi
(Vieira et al., 2003)
Raphidiopsis curvata
(Eaglesham et al., 2003)
Raphidiopsis brookii
(Yunes et al., 2009) Sub tropical
Raphidiopsis mediterranea
(Hodoki et al., 2013)
(Watanabe et al., 2003)
(McGregor et al., 2011)
Raphidiopsis raciborskii
(previously Cylindrospermopsis
2,3,56, dcNEO
(Vehovszky et al., 2009) Hungary; only single quad MS used
after + neuronal effect (snail neurons) for ATX/HTX
(Schembri et al., 2001)Australia confirmed CYN in isolates
molecular & LC-MS/MS
(Lagos et al., 1999; Miotto et al., 2017)Brazil mouse
bioassay, LC-FL & MS on isolates
Rivularia biasolettiana
(-RR, -LR, -LY)
(Aboal et al., 2005)
(Cantoral Uriza et al., 2017)
Rivularia haematites
(Aboal et al., 2005)
Romeria caruaru
(Komárek et al., 2001)
Schizothrix calcicola
(Mynderse et al., 1977)
Scytonematopsis crustacea
(previously Calothrix crustacea)
(Mynderse et al., 1977)
Scytonema drilosiphon
(Cantoral Uriza et al., 2017) - Benthic
Page 7 of 13
Scytonema ocellatum
(antineoplastic &
(Ishibashi et al., 1986)
Scytonema pseudohofmannii
(antineoplastic &
(Ishibashi et al., 1986)
Snowella lacustris
(Sant’Anna and Azevedo, 2000)—Brazil
aphanizomenoides (previously
Anabaena and Aphanizomenon)
(Bittencourt-Oliveira et al., 2011) potential CYN & STX
producer Brazil
(Sabour et al., 2005) MC production questioned by (Cirés
and Ballot, 2016)
Sphaerospermopsis torques-
reginae (previously Anabaena)
(Dörr et al., 2010) Originally published as T? Anabaena
spiroides, Anabaena oumiana, changed to Sphaerospermopsis
oumiana and is now Sphaerospermopsis torques-reginae
Stenomitos frigidus (previously
Pseudanabaena frigida)
(Aboal, 2017) - Benthic
Symploca muscorum
(Mynderse et al., 1977)
Synechococcus sp.
(Carmichael and Li, 2006) - marine
Synechococcus sp. CENA108
(Furtado et al., 2009) Brazil wastewater isolate, only
measured using ELISA (Beacon) at 0.22 ppb (ng/mL), no
confirmatory analysis
Synechocystis sp.
(Oudra et al., 2002) UV PDA only
Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803
(Bi et al., 2011)
Synechocystis aquatilis
(Domingos et al., 1999) Brazil, brackish lagoon isolate
Tolypothrix conglutinata
(antineoplastic &
(Ishibashi et al., 1986)
Tolypothrix distorta
(Aboal et al., 2005)
Trichodesmium erythraeum
Aplysiatoxins (5 variants)
(Gupta et al., 2014; Ramos et al., 2005) brackish, marine
Trichodesmium thiebautii
Trichotoxin 2 - neurotoxin
(Schock et al., 2011) brackish, marine
Trichormus variabilis
(previously Anabaena)
Microcystin (-YR, -LR)
(Mohamed et al., 2006)Saudi Arabia, benthic mat isolate
toxic via mouse bioassay, MCs by ELISA and LC-UV
Tychonema bourrellyi
(Shams et al., 2015)
Umezakia natans
(Harada et al., 1994)
Woronichinia naegeliana
(Bober et al., 2011) trace MC-LR
Page 8 of 13
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... produces microcystin in all 3 reservoirs, and Sphaerospermum in Little Dixie (Table 4). The diazotroph Aphanizomenon was dominant in DiSalvo, and while not known to produce microcystin, it does produce the cyanotoxin cylindrospermopsin and the T&O compound geosmin (Chapman and Foss 2019). The increase in cyanobacterial biovolume (with the exception of DiSalvo), presence of PTOX, and increase in microcystin (Table 3). ...
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Landscape-level analyses based on land cover, morphology, and hydrology account for most of the cross-system variation in pelagic nutrients and suspended solids in Missouri reservoirs. They are based on geometric means, which reduce the influence of extreme temporal variation measured in individual reservoirs. This analysis of 3 conservation reservoirs, managed to benefit recreational fisheries, details how internal processes can alter nutrients, chlorophyll, mineral turbidity, and transparency in long-term (21-42 year) datasets, which contribute to temporal variation. Management practices include the addition of grass carp and herbicides to control nuisance macrophytes and shoreline stabilization with rock and water willow. Among these reservoirs, there is strong evidence that macrophyte removal can increase pelagic nutrients by >90%, resulting in a switch to plankton-dominated conditions (alternative states). In one case, eradication of aquatic vegetation increased mineral turbidity by >60%, which was reversed by reestablishing macrophytes and stabilizing the shoreline. This temporal series supports the modifications of phytoplankton-nutrient relations by mineral turbidity shown in statewide analyses. Collectively, the long-term data show a significant increase in cyanobacteria biovolume and cyanotoxins, with maximum microcystin concentrations increasing as much as 20 times. Actively flipping lakes to plankton-dominated systems via fisheries management and shoreline stabilization practices has negative impacts on overall water quality, with implications for human and wildlife health. ARTICLE HISTORY
... For example, both cryptophytes and dinoflagellates have 2 flagella, are known to participate in diel vertical migrations to take advantage of both the nutrient-rich hypolimnion and light-replete surface waters, and can supplement metabolic requirements with mixotrophy (Raven and Richardson, 1984;Lee, 2008). We classified phytoplankton by the following 6 taxonomic groups: (1) potentially toxigenic cyanophyta (Chapman and Foss, 2019), (2) non-toxin producing cyanophyta, (3) chlorophyta, (4) euglenophyta, (5) cryptophyta and dinoflagellates, and (6) chrysophyta, including chrysophytes, bacillariophyta, ochrophytes, and haptophytes (Supplementary Table 3). ...
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Cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms are one of the most prominent threats to water quality in freshwater ecosystems and are expected to become more common as the climate continues to change. While traditional strategies to manage algal blooms have focused on controlling nutrients, manipulating light as a way to reduce cyanobacteria is less frequently explored. Here, we propose the addition of glacial rock flour (GRF), a fine particulate that floats on the water's surface and remains suspended in the water column, to reduce light availability and in turn, phytoplankton biomass dominated by cyanobacteria. To determine if a sustained reduction in light could lower cyanobacteria biomass and microcystin concentrations, we applied GRF to large-scale (11 kL) mesocosm tanks for 9 consecutive days. Mesocosm tanks were amended by adding nitrogen and phosphorus to generate chlorophyte-and cyanophyte-dominated experimental tanks. To assess how the phytoplankton community was impacted in each tank, we measured photosynthetic irradiance parameters, the maximum quantum yield of photosystem II, gross primary productivity (GPP), phytoplankton biovolume, and phytoplankton community composition before and after the addition of GRF. GRF effectively reduced cyanophyte biovolume by 78% in the cyanophyte-dominated tanks, despite no significant change in total phytoplankton community biovolume. Cyanophytes were replaced by cryptophytes, which increased by 106% in the chlorophyte-dominated tanks and by 240% in the cyanophyte-dominated tanks. The change in photosynthetic irradiance parameters and GPP after the addition of GRF was not significantly different between any of the treatment or control groups, suggesting that either the cyanophytes will likely recover if light availability increases, or that the new cryptophyte-dominated community was well suited to a reduced light environment. Cyanobacterial blooms are expected to increase in frequency and magnitude as climate change progresses, but our study suggests that light manipulation may be a useful in-lake management strategy for controlling these blooms and warrants further investigation.
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Microcystins (MCs) are potent hepatotoxins, and their presence in water bodies poses a threat to wildlife and human populations. Most of the available information refers to plankton, and much less is known about microcystins in other habitats. To broaden our understanding of the presence and environmental distribution of this group of toxins, we conducted extensive sampling throughout Spain, under a range of conditions and in distinct aquatic and terrestrial habitats. More than half of the tested strains were toxic; concentrations of the hepatotoxin were low compared with planktic communities, and the number of toxic variants identified in each sample of the Spanish strains ranged from 1–3. The presence of microcystins LF and LY (MC-LF and MC-LY) in the tested samples was significant, and ranged from 21.4% to 100% of the total microcystins per strain. These strains were only detected in cyanobacteria Oscillatoriales and Nostocales. We can report, for the first time, seven new species of microcystin producers in high mountain rivers and chasmoendolithic communities. This is the first report of these species in Geitlerinema and the confirmation of Anatoxin-a in Phormidium uncinatum. Our findings show that microcystins are widespread in all habitat types, including both aerophytic and endolithic peat bogs and that it is necessary to identify all the variants of microcystins in aquatic bodies as the commonest toxins sometimes represent a very low proportion of the total. © 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. All rights reserved.
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In the present work, we attempted to characterize two isolates of Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii, LP1 and LP2, from Peri Lagoon, for their morphology, ecophysiology, and toxin profiles. The genetic identity of the isolates was confirmed by amplifying and sequencing 16S rRNA. The isolates showed different morphologies and significant differences in the length of trichomes. LP2 showed a trend for higher growth rates than LP1 at the different temperatures and N:P ratios. Both isolates showed low light requirements, but were able to tolerate irradiances of around 200 μmol photons m⁻² s⁻¹. LP2 showed higher concentrations of saxitoxin than LP1 and wider range of analogs, therefore being considered more toxic. These results support the hypothesis of ecotype selection for this species, which probably originated in response to environmental fluctuations in Peri Lagoon. Dominance during almost the entire year can be explained by the alternation of these ecotypes in the total biomass contribution according to their physiological advantages, contributing to the ecological success of this species.
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p>Seasonal blooms of cyanobacteria (CB) are a typical feature of Lake Alto Flumendosa (Sardinia, Italy). The waters of this lake are used for drinking water supply, for agricultural and industrial uses, and fish farming activities. Since cyanotoxins are not monitored in edible organisms, diet could be a relevant route of human exposure. CB also represent a threat for the health of wild and domestic animals that use lake water for beverage. Therefore, to characterize the CB community and assess the risk for human and animal population, CB dynamic, mcy B<sup>+</sup> fraction, and microcystins (MCs) concentration have been followed monthly for 18 months, in three stations. Results confirmed the presence of several toxigenic species. Planktothrix rubescens dominated between August 2011 and April 2012 (3.5×10<sup>6</sup> cells L<sup>-1</sup>), alternating with Woronichinia naegeliana (8×10<sup>6</sup> cells L<sup>-1</sup>) and Microcystis botrys (9×10<sup>5</sup> cells L<sup>-1</sup>). Dolichospermum planctonicum was always present at low densities (10<sup>4 </sup>cells L<sup>-1</sup>). MCs were detected, at values well below the 1 µg L<sup>-1</sup> threshold of WHO for drinking water. The molecular analysis of mcy B gene for P. rubescens indicated the presence of a persistent toxic population (average 0.45 mcy B/16S rDNA). Highly significant linear regressions were found between P. rubescens and the sum of the demethylated MC variants, and between M. botrys and the sum of MC-LR and MC-LA, also when co-occurring, suggesting that these two species were responsible for different MC patterns production. The regression lines indicated a quite stable MC cell quota. However, in some spotted samples very different values were obtained for both MC concentrations and cell quota (from 10-fold lower to 30-40-fold higher than the ‘average’) showing an unexpected significant variability in the rate of toxin production. The relatively low cell densities during the monitoring period is consistent with the low-to absent MC contamination level found in trout muscle; however, the analytical method was affected by low recovery, probably due to MC-protein binding. Our results show that, during the study period, no risk of exposure for the human and animal population occurred. However, the persistence of a complex CB community characterised by a significant toxic fraction suggests the need for periodic monitoring activity. Particularly, the hidden deep summer P. rubescens blooms, located where water is taken for drinking water supply, and M. botrys , able to produce the most toxic MC variants with high cell quota, should be kept under control. The documentation and interpretation of sudden changes in toxins concentrations deserve special attention. This is particularly relevant in proximity of fish farming plants and water catchment sites. </p
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Background Very few closed genomes of the cyanobacteria that commonly produce toxic blooms in lakes and reservoirs are available, limiting our understanding of the properties of these organisms. A new anatoxin-a-producing member of the Nostocaceae, Anabaena sp. WA102, was isolated from a freshwater lake in Washington State, USA, in 2013 and maintained in non-axenic culture. ResultsThe Anabaena sp. WA102 5.7 Mbp genome assembly has been closed with long-read, single-molecule sequencing and separately a draft genome assembly has been produced with short-read sequencing technology. The closed and draft genome assemblies are compared, showing a correlation between long repeats in the genome and the many gaps in the short-read assembly. Anabaena sp. WA102 encodes anatoxin-a biosynthetic genes, as does its close relative Anabaena sp. AL93 (also introduced in this study). These strains are distinguished by differences in the genes for light-harvesting phycobilins, with Anabaena sp. AL93 possessing a phycoerythrocyanin operon. Biologically relevant structural variants in the Anabaena sp. WA102 genome were detected only by long-read sequencing: a tandem triplication of the anaBCD promoter region in the anatoxin-a synthase gene cluster (not triplicated in Anabaena sp. AL93) and a 5-kbp deletion variant present in two-thirds of the population. The genome has a large number of mobile elements (160). Strikingly, there was no synteny with the genome of its nearest fully assembled relative, Anabaena sp. 90. Conclusion Structural and functional genome analyses indicate that Anabaena sp. WA102 has a flexible genome. Genome closure, which can be readily achieved with long-read sequencing, reveals large scale (e.g., gene order) and local structural features that should be considered in understanding genome evolution and function.
A new nodularin producing benthic cyanobacterium Iningainema pulvinus gen nov., sp nov. was isolated from a freshwater ambient spring wetland in tropical, north-eastern Australia and characterised using combined morphological and phylogenetic attributes. It formed conspicuous irregularly spherical to discoid, blue-green to olive-green cyanobacterial colonies across the substratum of shallow pools. Morphologically Iningainema is most similar to Scytonematopsis Kiseleva and Scytonema Agardh ex Bornet & Flahault. All three genera have isopolar filaments enveloped by a firm, often layered and coloured sheath; false branching is typically geminate, less commonly singly. Phylogenetic analyses using partial 16S rRNA sequences of three clones of Iningainema pulvinus strain ES0614 showed that it formed a well-supported monophyletic clade. All three clones were 99.7–99.9% similar, however they shared less than 93.9% nucleotide similarity with other cyanobacterial sequences including putatively related taxa within the Scytonemataceae. Amplification of a fragment of the ndaF gene involved in nodularin biosynthesis from Iningainema pulvinus confirmed that it has this genetic determinant. Consistent with these results, analysis of two extracts from strain ES0614 by HPLC–MS/MS confirmed the presence of nodularin at concentrations of 796 and 1096 μg g⁻¹ dry weight. This is the third genus of cyanobacteria shown to produce the cyanotoxin nodularin and the first report of nodularin synthesis from the cyanobacterial family Scytonemataceae. These new findings may have implications for the aquatic biota at Edgbaston Reserve, a spring complex which has been identified as a priority conservation area in the central Australian arid and semiarid zones, based on patterns of endemicity.