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Toxins 2013, 5(12), 2504-2521; doi:10.3390/toxins5122504

Phormidium autumnale Growth and Anatoxin-a Production under Iron and Copper Stress

Received: 23 October 2013 / Revised: 5 December 2013 / Accepted: 9 December 2013 / Published: 16 December 2013
(This article belongs to the collection Marine and Freshwater Toxins)
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Studies on planktonic cyanobacteria have shown variability in cyanotoxin production, in response to changes in growth phase and environmental factors. Few studies have investigated cyanotoxin regulation in benthic mat-forming species, despite increasing reports on poisoning events caused by ingestion of these organisms. In this study, a method was developed to investigate changes in cyanotoxin quota in liquid cultures of benthic mat-forming cyanobacteria. Iron and copper are important in cellular processes and are well known to affect growth and selected metabolite production in cyanobacteria and algae. The effect of iron (40–4000 μg L1) and copper (2.5–250 μg L1) on growth and anatoxin-a quota in Phormidium autumnale was investigated in batch culture. These concentrations were chosen to span those found in freshwater, as well as those previously reported to be toxic to cyanobacteria. Anatoxin-a concentrations varied throughout the growth curve, with a maximum quota of between 0.49 and 0.55 pg cell1 measured within the first two weeks of growth. Growth rates were significantly affected by copper and iron concentrations (P < 0.0001); however, no statistically significant difference between anatoxin-a quota maxima was observed. When the iron concentrations were 800 and 4000 μg L1, the P. autumnale cultures did not firmly attach to the substratum. At 250 μg L1 copper or either 40 or 4000 μg L1 iron, growth was suppressed.
Keywords: anatoxin-a; benthic cyanobacteria; cyanotoxin production; metal stressors; Phormidium autumnale anatoxin-a; benthic cyanobacteria; cyanotoxin production; metal stressors; Phormidium autumnale
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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Harland, F.M.J.; Wood, S.A.; Moltchanova, E.; Williamson, W.M.; Gaw, S. Phormidium autumnale Growth and Anatoxin-a Production under Iron and Copper Stress. Toxins 2013, 5, 2504-2521.

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