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Expansion of Cylindrospermopsin in the Azores: Evidence for New Producing Taxa  †

Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos (CIBIO), InBIO Laboratório Associado, Pólo dos Açores–Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade dos Açores, 9501-801 Ponta Delgada, Portugal
Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade dos Açores, 9500-321 Ponta Delgada, Portugal
Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research—CIIMAR/CIMAR, University of Porto, Terminal de Cruzeiros do Porto de Leixões, Av. General Norton de Matos s/n, 4450-208 Matosinhos, Portugal
Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto, 4069-007 Porto, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Presented at the 7th Iberian Congress on Cyanotoxins/3rd Iberoamerican Congress on Cyanotoxins, Ponta Delgada, Portugal, 18–20 July 2022.
Presenting author (oral communication).
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 14(1), 14;
Published: 19 July 2022


The worldwide expansion of cylindrospermopsin (CYN) has been a public concern due to its potential impacts on the environment, the economy, and mainly on human health. Due to global warming, this toxin has been reported in a wider range of countries, from tropical to temperate regions. The first report of cylindrospermopsin in the Azores came from an environmental sample collected in 2016 and was later found in two nostocalean cultured strains isolated from a eutrophic lake. This work gathers all the CYN data in the Azores and reports new identifications of toxic strains. Selected cultured strains (five) from BACA (Azorean Bank of Algae and Cyanobacteria) were analyzed for the presence of genes cyrA, cyrB, cyrC, and cyrJ by PCR and for toxin identification by ESI-LC-MS/MS. 16S rRNA phylogenetic analysis was assessed for all strains. The main results showed amplification of cyr genes in Nostoc sp. BACA0429, Kamptonema sp. BACA0455, and nostocalean strain BACA0109. However, ESI-LC-MS/MS did not identify CYN in any of the tested strains. The phylogeny also revealed that BACA0109 is close to previously identified CYN producers BACA0025 and BACA0031, described as potential new cyanobacteria taxa. The presence of CYN and CYN-producing cyanobacteria in the remote Azorean Islands is further evidence of the CYN global dispersion and an alert to the need for cyanotoxins monitoring and mitigation in the Azores’ inland waters.

Author Contributions

Conceptualization, R.C., V.V., V.G. and A.F.; methodology, R.C., R.L. and J.A.; formal analysis, R.C.; investigation, R.C.; resources, V.V., V.G. and A.F.; writing—original draft preparation, R.C.; writing—review and editing, R.C., R.L., J.A., V.V., V.G. and A.F.; visualization, R.C.; supervision, V.V., V.G. and A.F.; project administration, V.G.; funding acquisition, V.V., V.G. and A.F. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.


This work was funded by FEDER funds through the Interreg-MAC 2014-2020 Program under the projects REBECA—Red de Excelencia en Biotecnología Azul (algas) de la Región Macaronesia (MAC/1.1a/060) and REBECA-CCT-Red de Excelencia en Biotecnología Azul de la Región Macaronésica. Consolidación, Certificación y Transferencia (MAC2/1.1b/269), and by Portuguese National Funds, through FCT-Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, the European Union, QREN, FEDER, COMPETE, by funding the CIBIO/InBIO (project UID/BIA/50027/2013 and POCI-01-0145-FEDER-006821). CIIMAR acknowledges the project H2020 RISE project EMERTOX-Emergent Marine Toxins in the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean: New Approaches to Assess their Occurrence and Future Scenarios in the Framework of Global Environmental Changes (grant agreement no. 778069), and FCT Projects UIDB/04423/2020 and UIDP/04423/2020.

Institutional Review Board Statement

Not applicable.

Informed Consent Statement

Not applicable.

Data Availability Statement

Not applicable.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cordeiro, R.; Luz, R.; Azevedo, J.; Vasconcelos, V.; Gonçalves, V.; Fonseca, A. Expansion of Cylindrospermopsin in the Azores: Evidence for New Producing Taxa . Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 14, 14.

AMA Style

Cordeiro R, Luz R, Azevedo J, Vasconcelos V, Gonçalves V, Fonseca A. Expansion of Cylindrospermopsin in the Azores: Evidence for New Producing Taxa . Biology and Life Sciences Forum. 2022; 14(1):14.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cordeiro, Rita, Rúben Luz, Joana Azevedo, Vitor Vasconcelos, Vítor Gonçalves, and Amélia Fonseca. 2022. "Expansion of Cylindrospermopsin in the Azores: Evidence for New Producing Taxa " Biology and Life Sciences Forum 14, no. 1: 14.

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