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Open AccessArticle

A Multiplex Analysis of Potentially Toxic Cyanobacteria in Lake Winnipeg during the 2013 Bloom Season

1
Department of Biology, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 43403, USA
2
Center for Coastal Studies, Texas A&M University—Corpus Christi, 6300 Ocean Dr., Corpus Christi, TX 78412, USA
3
Base Pair Biotechnologies, 8619 Broadway St, Suite 100, Pearland, TX 77584, USA
4
Department of Biology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada
5
Mass Spectrometry Research Center, Department. of Biochemistry, Vanderbilt University, 9160 Medical University Bldg III, 465 21 Ave South, Nashville, TN 37240, USA
6
Department of Chemistry, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202, USA
7
Algal Taxonomy and Ecology Inc., PO Box 761, Stony Mountain, MB ROC 3A0, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Toxins 2019, 11(10), 587; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11100587
Received: 5 September 2019 / Revised: 4 October 2019 / Accepted: 6 October 2019 / Published: 11 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Drivers of Algal and Cyanobacterial Toxin Dynamics)
Lake Winnipeg (Manitoba, Canada), the world’s 12th largest lake by area, is host to yearly cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (cHABs) dominated by Aphanizomenon and Dolichospermum. cHABs in Lake Winnipeg are primarily a result of eutrophication but may be exacerbated by the recent introduction of dreissenid mussels. Through multiple methods to monitor the potential for toxin production in Lake Winnipeg in conjunction with environmental measures, this study defined the baseline composition of a Lake Winnipeg cHAB to measure potential changes because of dreissenid colonization. Surface water samples were collected in 2013 from 23 sites during summer and from 18 sites in fall. Genetic data and mass spectrometry cyanotoxin profiles identified microcystins (MC) as the most abundant cyanotoxin across all stations, with MC concentrations highest in the north basin. In the fall, mcyA genes were sequenced to determine which species had the potential to produce MCs, and 12 of the 18 sites were a mix of both Planktothrix and Microcystis. Current blooms in Lake Winnipeg produce low levels of MCs, but the capacity to produce cyanotoxins is widespread across both basins. If dreissenid mussels continue to colonize Lake Winnipeg, a shift in physicochemical properties of the lake because of faster water column clearance rates may yield more toxic blooms potentially dominated by microcystin producers. View Full-Text
Keywords: cyanobacteria; cylindrospermopsin; microcystin; multiplex qPCR; Lake Winnipeg; saxitoxin cyanobacteria; cylindrospermopsin; microcystin; multiplex qPCR; Lake Winnipeg; saxitoxin
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McKindles, K.M.; Zimba, P.V.; Chiu, A.S.; Watson, S.B.; Gutierrez, D.B.; Westrick, J.; Kling, H.; Davis, T.W. A Multiplex Analysis of Potentially Toxic Cyanobacteria in Lake Winnipeg during the 2013 Bloom Season. Toxins 2019, 11, 587.

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