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Toxins 2018, 10(3), 123;

Warming Affects Growth Rates and Microcystin Production in Tropical Bloom-Forming Microcystis Strains

Aquatic Ecology & Water Quality Management Group, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
Institute for Environment and Resources, Vietnam National University, Hochiminh City, Linh Trung Ward, Thu Duc District, 700000 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Hochiminh City University of Technology, Vietnam National University, Hochiminh City, 268 Ly Thuong Kiet Street, District 10, 700000 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
National Breeding Center for Southern Marine Aquaculture, 167 Thuy Van Street, Vung Tau Town, Ba Ria 790000, Vung Tau Province, Vietnam
Department of Aquatic Ecology, Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), P.O. Box 50, 6700 AB Wageningen, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 January 2018 / Revised: 27 February 2018 / Accepted: 12 March 2018 / Published: 14 March 2018
PDF [5453 KB, uploaded 14 March 2018]


Warming climate is predicted to promote cyanobacterial blooms but the toxicity of cyanobacteria under global warming is less well studied. We tested the hypothesis that raising temperature may lead to increased growth rates but to decreased microcystin (MC) production in tropical Microcystis strains. To this end, six Microcystis strains were isolated from different water bodies in Southern Vietnam. They were grown in triplicate at 27 °C (low), 31 °C (medium), 35 °C (high) and 37 °C (extreme). Chlorophyll-a-, particle- and MC concentrations as well as dry-weights were determined. All strains yielded higher biomass in terms of chlorophyll-a concentration and dry-weight at 31 °C compared to 27 °C and then either stabilised, slightly increased or declined with higher temperature. Five strains easily grew at 37 °C but one could not survive at 37 °C. When temperature was increased from 27 °C to 37 °C total MC concentration decreased by 35% in strains with MC-LR as the dominant variant and by 94% in strains with MC-RR. MC quota expressed per particle, per unit chlorophyll-a and per unit dry-weight significantly declined with higher temperatures. This study shows that warming can prompt the growth of some tropical Microcystis strains but that these strains become less toxic. View Full-Text
Keywords: cell quota; climate change; cyanobacterial blooms; cyanotoxins; Mekong delta; Vietnam cell quota; climate change; cyanobacterial blooms; cyanotoxins; Mekong delta; Vietnam

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Bui, T.; Dao, T.-S.; Vo, T.-G.; Lürling, M. Warming Affects Growth Rates and Microcystin Production in Tropical Bloom-Forming Microcystis Strains. Toxins 2018, 10, 123.

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