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Toxins 2014, 6(6), 1837-1854; doi:10.3390/toxins6061837

Exposure of Lycopersicon Esculentum to Microcystin-LR: Effects in the Leaf Proteome and Toxin Translocation from Water to Leaves and Fruits

2,†,* , 2,3
1 Area of Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Seville, Seville 41012, Spain 2 Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research (CIIMAR/CIMAR), Porto 4050-123, Portugal 3 Polytechnic Institute of Porto, Escola Superior de Tecnologia da Saúde do Porto, Research Center in Environment and Health (CISA), Gaia 440-330, Portugal 4 Department of Environment and Agro-biotechnologies (EVA), Centre de Recherche Public-Gabriel Lippmann, Belvaux L-4422, Luxembourg 5 Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto, Porto 4169-007, Portugal These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 March 2014 / Revised: 30 May 2014 / Accepted: 3 June 2014 / Published: 11 June 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genomics and Proteomics of Cyanotoxins)
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Natural toxins such as those produced by freshwater cyanobacteria have been regarded as an emergent environmental threat. However, the impact of these water contaminants in agriculture is not yet fully understood. The aim of this work was to investigate microcystin-LR (MC-LR) toxicity in Lycopersicon esculentum and the toxin accumulation in this horticultural crop. Adult plants (2 month-old) grown in a greenhouse environment were exposed for 2 weeks to either pure MC-LR (100 μg/L) or Microcystis aeruginosa crude extracts containing 100 μg/L MC-LR. Chlorophyll fluorescence was measured, leaf proteome investigated with two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time-of-Flight (MALDI-TOF)/TOF, and toxin bioaccumulation assessed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS)/MS. Variations in several protein markers (ATP synthase subunits, Cytochrome b6-f complex iron-sulfur, oxygen-evolving enhancer proteins) highlight the decrease of the capacity of plants to synthesize ATP and to perform photosynthesis, whereas variations in other proteins (ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase large subunit and ribose-5-phosphate isomerase) suggest an increase of carbon fixation and decrease of carbohydrate metabolism reactions in plants exposed to pure MC-LR and cyanobacterial extracts, respectively. MC-LR was found in roots (1635.21 μg/kg fw), green tomatoes (5.15–5.41 μg/kg fw), mature tomatoes (10.52–10.83 μg/kg fw), and leaves (12,298.18 μg/kg fw). The results raise concerns relative to food safety and point to the necessity of monitoring the bioaccumulation of water toxins in agricultural systems affected by cyanotoxin contamination.
Keywords: Lycopersicon esculentum; microcystin; phytotoxicity; bioaccumulation; proteomics Lycopersicon esculentum; microcystin; phytotoxicity; bioaccumulation; proteomics
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.


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Gutiérrez-Praena, D.; Campos, A.; Azevedo, J.; Neves, J.; Freitas, M.; Guzmán-Guillén, R.; Cameán, A.M.; Renaut, J.; Vasconcelos, V. Exposure of Lycopersicon Esculentum to Microcystin-LR: Effects in the Leaf Proteome and Toxin Translocation from Water to Leaves and Fruits. Toxins 2014, 6, 1837-1854.

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