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Open AccessArticle

High Diversity of Microcystin Chemotypes within a Summer Bloom of the Cyanobacterium Microcystis botrys

Department of Biology, Lund University, Ecology Building, Sölvegatan 35-37, 22362 Lund, Sweden
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Linnaeus University, 39182 Kalmar, Sweden
Department of Marine Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Box 461, 40530 Göteborg, Sweden
Department of Marine Biotechnology, University of Gdansk, Marszałka J. Piłusudskiego 46, 81378 Gdynia, Poland
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Toxins 2019, 11(12), 698;
Received: 11 October 2019 / Revised: 19 November 2019 / Accepted: 20 November 2019 / Published: 1 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Drivers of Algal and Cyanobacterial Toxin Dynamics)
The fresh-water cyanobacterium Microcystis is known to form blooms world-wide, and is often responsible for the production of microcystins found in lake water. Microcystins are non-ribosomal peptides with toxic effects, e.g. on vertebrates, but their function remains largely unresolved. Moreover, not all strains produce microcystins, and many different microcystin variants have been described. Here we explored the diversity of microcystin variants within Microcystis botrys, a common bloom-former in Sweden. We isolated a total of 130 strains through the duration of a bloom in eutrophic Lake Vomb, and analyzed their microcystin profiles with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). We found that microcystin producing (28.5%) and non-producing (71.5%) M. botrys strains, co-existed throughout the bloom. However, microcystin producing strains were more prevalent towards the end of the sampling period. Overall, 26 unique M. botrys chemotypes were identified, and while some chemotypes re-occurred, others were found only once. The M. botrys chemotypes showed considerable variation both in terms of number of microcystin variants, as well as in what combinations the variants occurred. To our knowledge, this is the first report on microcystin chemotype variation and dynamics in M. botrys. In addition, our study verifies the co-existence of microcystin and non-microcystin producing strains, and we propose that environmental conditions may be implicated in determining their composition. View Full-Text
Keywords: microcystin; Microcystis botrys; chemotypes; cyanobacteria; diversity microcystin; Microcystis botrys; chemotypes; cyanobacteria; diversity
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Johansson, E.; Legrand, C.; Björnerås, C.; Godhe, A.; Mazur-Marzec, H.; Säll, T.; Rengefors, K. High Diversity of Microcystin Chemotypes within a Summer Bloom of the Cyanobacterium Microcystis botrys. Toxins 2019, 11, 698.

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