Special Issue "Algal Toxins"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 January 2010)
Prof. Dr. John P. Berry
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Florida International University (FIU), 354/332 Marine Science, Biscayne Bay Campus, 3000 NE 151st St., North Miami, FL 33181, USA
Phone: +1 305 919 4569
Fax: +1 305 919 4030
Interests: cyanobacteria; toxins; bioactive compounds; zebrafish embryo model; natural products
Marine and freshwater algae are recognized to produce a diverse array of toxic or otherwise bioactive metabolites. These toxic metabolites are globally widespread, and humans and other animals can be exposed to them through both direct routes, including contamination of drinking water and recreational exposure, and indirect routes, including accumulation of these toxins by (and consequent contamination of) various species of fish, shellfish and other animals used as food. Exposure to these toxins has been linked to both acute health effects, including numerous cases of severe illness and mortality, as well as possible long-term health effects, ranging from higher incidence of certain cancers and neurodegenerative disease to prenatal developmental dysfunction. As such algal toxins are emerging as a potentially important human and environmental health concern. Accordingly, a growing number of studies have likewise emerged to address this issue. Areas of investigation particularly include (1) identification and characterization of new toxins; (2) genes and pathways for biosynthesis; (3) bioaccumulation in aquatic food-webs; (4) environmental and ecological factors that contribute to toxin production; (5) methods and technologies for effective detection and monitoring of toxins; (6) epidemiological studies to evaluate the human health impacts of toxins; and (7) strategies and technologies for mitigation of these threats to human health. In addition to their roles as toxins, a number of these bioactive metabolites have also been investigated with respect to possible development as drugs, or otherwise biomedically useful agents, addressing a range of pharmacological targets, as well as other applications with potential commercial importance, including herbicides and pesticides. This special issue will present a relevant sample of current studies investigating these various aspects of algal toxins.
Prof. Dr. John P. Berry
- harmful algal blooms
- non-ribsomal peptides
- chemical ecology