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Mar. Drugs 2017, 15(7), 233; doi:10.3390/md15070233

Toxicity at the Edge of Life: A Review on Cyanobacterial Toxins from Extreme Environments

1
Departamento de Biología, Darwin, 2, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049 Madrid, Spain
2
Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, MNCN-CSIC, Calle Serrano 115, 28006 Madrid, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 June 2017 / Revised: 6 July 2017 / Accepted: 16 July 2017 / Published: 24 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Algal Toxins II, 2017)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [318 KB, uploaded 24 July 2017]

Abstract

Cyanotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by cyanobacteria, of varied chemical nature and toxic effects. Although cyanobacteria thrive in all kinds of ecosystems on Earth even under very harsh conditions, current knowledge on cyanotoxin distribution is almost restricted to freshwaters from temperate latitudes. In this review, we bring to the forefront the presence of cyanotoxins in extreme environments. Cyanotoxins have been reported especially in polar deserts (both from the Arctic and Antarctica) and alkaline lakes, but also in hot deserts, hypersaline environments, and hot springs. Cyanotoxins detected in these ecosystems include neurotoxins—anatoxin-a, anatoxin-a (S), paralytic shellfish toxins, β-methylaminopropionic acid, N-(2-aminoethyl) glycine and 2,4-diaminobutyric acid- and hepatotoxins –cylindrospermopsins, microcystins and nodularins—with microcystins being the most frequently reported. Toxin production there has been linked to at least eleven cyanobacterial genera yet only three of these (Arthrospira, Synechococcus and Oscillatoria) have been confirmed as producers in culture. Beyond a comprehensive analysis of cyanotoxin presence in each of the extreme environments, this review also identifies the main knowledge gaps to overcome (e.g., scarcity of isolates and –omics data, among others) toward an initial assessment of ecological and human health risks in these amazing ecosystems developing at the very edge of life. View Full-Text
Keywords: anatoxin-a; cylindrospermopsin; microcystin; nodularin; extremophiles; Arctic; Antarctica; hot deserts; hypersaline; alkaline lakes anatoxin-a; cylindrospermopsin; microcystin; nodularin; extremophiles; Arctic; Antarctica; hot deserts; hypersaline; alkaline lakes
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Cirés, S.; Casero, M.C.; Quesada, A. Toxicity at the Edge of Life: A Review on Cyanobacterial Toxins from Extreme Environments. Mar. Drugs 2017, 15, 233.

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