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Salt Shock Responses of Microcystis Revealed through Physiological, Transcript, and Metabolomic Analyses
Open AccessArticle

Using Microcystin Gene Copies to Determine Potentially-Toxic Blooms, Example from a Shallow Eutrophic Lake Peipsi

Chair of Hydrobiology and Fishery, Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Estonian University of Life Sciences, 51006 Tartu, Estonia
Department F.-A. Forel for Environmental and Aquatic Sciences, University of Geneva, 1205 Geneva, Switzerland
Institute of Biotechnology, University of Helsinki, 00790 Helsinki, Finland
Department of Microbiology, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
Ecosystems and Environmental Research Programme, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
Institute of Technology, University of Tartu, 50411 Tartu, Estonia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Toxins 2020, 12(4), 211; (registering DOI)
Received: 31 January 2020 / Revised: 20 March 2020 / Accepted: 24 March 2020 / Published: 26 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Drivers of Algal and Cyanobacterial Toxin Dynamics)
Global warming, paired with eutrophication processes, is shifting phytoplankton communities towards the dominance of bloom-forming and potentially toxic cyanobacteria. The ecosystems of shallow lakes are especially vulnerable to these changes. Traditional monitoring via microscopy is not able to quantify the dynamics of toxin-producing cyanobacteria on a proper spatio-temporal scale. Molecular tools are highly sensitive and can be useful as an early warning tool for lake managers. We quantified the potential microcystin (MC) producers in Lake Peipsi using microscopy and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and analysed the relationship between the abundance of the mcyE genes, MC concentration, MC variants and toxin quota per mcyE gene. We also linked environmental factors to the cyanobacteria community composition. In Lake Peipsi, we found rather moderate MC concentrations, but microcystins and microcystin-producing cyanobacteria were widespread across the lake. Nitrate (NO3) was a main driver behind the cyanobacterial community at the beginning of the growing season, while in late summer it was primarily associated with the soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) concentration. A positive relationship was found between the MC quota per mcyE gene and water temperature. The most abundant variant—MC-RR—was associated with MC quota per mcyE gene, while other MC variants did not show any significant impact. View Full-Text
Keywords: cyanobacteria; qPCR; mcyE; microcystins; MC quota; Lake Peipsi cyanobacteria; qPCR; mcyE; microcystins; MC quota; Lake Peipsi
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Panksep, K.; Tamm, M.; Mantzouki, E.; Rantala-Ylinen, A.; Laugaste, R.; Sivonen, K.; Tammeorg, O.; Kisand, V. Using Microcystin Gene Copies to Determine Potentially-Toxic Blooms, Example from a Shallow Eutrophic Lake Peipsi. Toxins 2020, 12, 211.

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