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Toxins 2015, 7(10), 4238-4252;

UV-B Exposure Affects the Biosynthesis of Microcystin in Toxic Microcystis aeruginosa Cells and Its Degradation in the Extracellular Space

State Key Laboratory of Lake Science and Environment, Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 73 East Beijing Road, Nanjing 210008, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Luis Botana
Received: 14 September 2015 / Revised: 13 October 2015 / Accepted: 14 October 2015 / Published: 20 October 2015
(This article belongs to the Collection Marine and Freshwater Toxins)
PDF [547 KB, uploaded 20 October 2015]


Microcystins (MCs) are cyclic hepatotoxic heptapeptides produced by cyanobacteria that can be toxic to aquatic and terrestrial organisms. MC synthesis and degradation are thought to be influenced by several different physical and environmental parameters. In this study, the effects of different intensities of UV-B radiation on MC biosynthesis in Microcystis cells and on its extracellular degradation were investigated by mRNA analysis and degradation experiments. Exposure to UV-B at intensities of 1.02 and 1.45 W/m2 not only remarkably inhibited the growth of Microcystis, but also led to a decrease in the MC concentration. In addition, mcyD transcription was decreased under the same UV-B intensities. These results demonstrated that the effects of UV-B exposure on the biosynthesis of MCs in Microcystis cells could be attributed to the regulation of mcy gene transcription. Moreover, the MC concentration was decreased significantly after exposure to different intensities of UV-B radiation. Of the three MC variants (MC-LR, -RR and -YR, L, R and Y are abbreviations of leucine, arginine and tyrosine), MC-LR and MC-YR were sensitive to UV-B radiation, whereas MC-RR was not. In summary, our results showed that UV-B radiation had a negative effect on MC production in Microcystis cells and MC persistence in the extracellular space. View Full-Text
Keywords: UV-B radiation; microcystin; gene transcription; degradation UV-B radiation; microcystin; gene transcription; degradation

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Yang, Z.; Kong, F. UV-B Exposure Affects the Biosynthesis of Microcystin in Toxic Microcystis aeruginosa Cells and Its Degradation in the Extracellular Space. Toxins 2015, 7, 4238-4252.

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