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Microorganisms 2017, 5(3), 45;

Growth and Photosynthetic Characteristics of Toxic and Non-Toxic Strains of the Cyanobacteria Microcystis aeruginosa and Anabaena circinalis in Relation to Light

School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Clayton VIC 3800, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 June 2017 / Revised: 26 July 2017 / Accepted: 2 August 2017 / Published: 4 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxic Cyanobacteria and Toxic Dinoflagellates)
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Cyanobacteria are major bloom-forming organisms in freshwater ecosystems and many strains are known to produce toxins. Toxin production requires an investment in energy and resources. As light is one of the most important factors for cyanobacterial growth, any changes in light climate might affect cyanobacterial toxin production as well as their growth and physiology. To evaluate the effects of light on the growth and physiological parameters of both toxic and non-toxic strains of Microcystis aeruginosa and Anabaena circinalis, cultures were grown at a range of light intensities (10, 25, 50, 100, 150 and 200 µmol m−2 s−1). The study revealed that the toxic strains of both species (CS558 for M. aeruginosa and CS537 and CS541 for A. circinalis) showed growth (µ) saturation at a higher light intensity compared to the non-toxic strains (CS338 for M. aeruginosa and CS534 for A. circinalis). Both species showed differences in chlorophyll a, carotenoid, allophycocyanin (APC) and phycoerythrin (PE) content between strains. There were also differences in dark respiration (Rd), light saturated oxygen evolution rates (Pmax) and efficiency of light harvesting (α) between strains. All other physiological parameters showed no statistically significant differences between strains. This study suggest that the different strains respond differently to different light habitats. Thus, changes in light availability may affect bloom intensity of toxic and nontoxic strains of cyanobacteria by changing the dominance and succession patterns. View Full-Text
Keywords: cyanobacteria; growth; physiology; toxin; energy investment; strain cyanobacteria; growth; physiology; toxin; energy investment; strain

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Islam, M.A.; Beardall, J. Growth and Photosynthetic Characteristics of Toxic and Non-Toxic Strains of the Cyanobacteria Microcystis aeruginosa and Anabaena circinalis in Relation to Light. Microorganisms 2017, 5, 45.

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