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Toxins 2014, 6(10), 2932-2947;

Nitrogen Limitation Promotes Accumulation and Suppresses Release of Cylindrospermopsins in Cells of Aphanizomenon Sp.

Federal Environment Agency, Schichauweg 58, 12307 Berlin, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 June 2014 / Revised: 29 August 2014 / Accepted: 12 September 2014 / Published: 30 September 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Marine and Freshwater Toxins)
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As the biosynthesis of cylindrospermopsin (CYN) is assumed to depend on nitrogen availability, this study investigated the impact of nitrogen availability on intra- and extracellular CYN and deoxy-CYN (D-CYN) contents in three Aphanizomenon strains from temperate waters. Nitrogen deficient (−N) cultures showed a prolonged growth phase and intracellular toxin accumulation by a factor of 2–6. In contrast, cultures with additional nitrate supply (+N) did not accumulate CYN within the cells. Instead, the maximum conceivable CYN release estimated for dead cells (identified by SYTOX® Green staining) was much lower than the concentrations of dissolved CYN actually observed, suggesting these cultures actively release CYN from intact cells. Furthermore, we found remarkably altered proportions of CYN to D-CYN: as batch cultures grew, the proportion of D-CYN increased by up to 40% in +N medium, whereas D-CYN remained constant or decreased slightly in −N medium. Since +N cultures showed similar toxin patterns as −P cultures with increased extracellular CYNs and higher proportion of D-CYN we conclude that nitrogen limitation may affect the way the cells economize resources, especially the yield from phosphorus pools, and that this has an impact on CYN production and release. For water management, these result imply that nutrient availability not only determines the abundance of potentially CYN-producing cyanobacteria, but also the amount of extracellular CYNs (challenging drinking-water treatment) as well as the ratio of D-CYN to CYN (affecting toxicity). View Full-Text
Keywords: Aphanizomenon; cylindrospermopsin; cyanobacteria; deoxy-cylindrospermopsin; release; production Aphanizomenon; cylindrospermopsin; cyanobacteria; deoxy-cylindrospermopsin; release; production

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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. (CC BY 4.0).

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Preußel, K.; Chorus, I.; Fastner, J. Nitrogen Limitation Promotes Accumulation and Suppresses Release of Cylindrospermopsins in Cells of Aphanizomenon Sp.. Toxins 2014, 6, 2932-2947.

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