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Suppressing Cyanobacteria with Hydrogen Peroxide Is More Effective at High Light Intensities

Department of Freshwater and Marine Ecology, Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, University of Amsterdam, P.O. Box 94240, 1090 GE Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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Toxins 2020, 12(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins12010018
Received: 21 October 2019 / Revised: 18 December 2019 / Accepted: 20 December 2019 / Published: 31 December 2019
Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) can be used as an emergency method to selectively suppress cyanobacterial blooms in lakes and drinking water reservoirs. However, it is largely unknown how environmental parameters alter the effectiveness of H2O2 treatments. In this study, the toxic cyanobacterial strain Microcystis aeruginosa PCC 7806 was treated with a range of H2O2 concentrations (0 to 10 mg/L), while being exposed to different light intensities and light colors. H2O2 treatments caused a stronger decline of the photosynthetic yield in high light than in low light or in the dark, and also a stronger decline in orange than in blue light. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that H2O2 causes major damage at photosystem II (PSII) and interferes with PSII repair, which makes cells more sensitive to photoinhibition. Furthermore, H2O2 treatments caused a decrease in cell size and an increase in extracellular microcystin concentrations, indicative of leakage from disrupted cells. Our findings imply that even low H2O2 concentrations of 1–2 mg/L can be highly effective, if cyanobacteria are exposed to high light intensities. We therefore recommend performing lake treatments during sunny days, when a low H2O2 dosage is sufficient to suppress cyanobacteria, and may help to minimize impacts on non-target organisms. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydrogen peroxide; Microcystis aeruginosa; toxic cyanobacteria; microcystin; photosynthesis hydrogen peroxide; Microcystis aeruginosa; toxic cyanobacteria; microcystin; photosynthesis
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Piel, T.; Sandrini, G.; White, E.; Xu, T.; Schuurmans, J.M.; Huisman, J.; Visser, P.M. Suppressing Cyanobacteria with Hydrogen Peroxide Is More Effective at High Light Intensities. Toxins 2020, 12, 18.

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