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Cyanotoxins Dynamics on Portuguese Freshwater Ecosystems on Current Global Changes †

CIIMAR—Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research, University of Porto, Terminal de Cruzeiros Porto de Leixões, Avenida General Norton de Matos S/N, 4450-208 Matosinhos, Portugal
Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto, Rua do Campo Alegre S/N, 4169-007 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 (poster).
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 14(1), 30;
Published: 22 July 2022


Cyanotoxins are chemical pollutants produced and released by Cyanobacteria, the oldest living prokaryotes, and have well-established implications for human and aquatic biota health. Due to current global conditions, it has become essential to offer an overview of the dynamics of cyanotoxins occurrence in order to improve the prediction and control of our water resources. In Portugal, in recent years, the impacts on global warming have contributed to hot abnormal events and a rise in temperature. Between May and October in two consecutive years (2017–2018), seven freshwater ecosystems located in the north and central regions of Portugal were assessed for the occurrence of microcystins (mcyA), cylindrospermopsins (cyrC), anatoxin-a (anaC), and saxitoxins (sxtI) by applying genetics methods. Our findings illustrate that, in a year with two heat waves (2017), the occurrence of blooms increased, as did the number on cyanotoxins detected compared with the less warm year (2018). Despite this trend, two ecosystems escaped and maintained an elevated risk with regard to cyanotoxin detection. DNA sequencing revealed the presence of potentially toxic cyanobacteria in all sampled ecosystems. The data retrieved highlighted genotypes for all main cyanotoxins. Continuous monitoring efforts are demanded in Portugal for improving knowledge of the occurrence of cyanotoxins and for future national regulations. Preliminary data also revealed that the impact of global change on Portugal has improved cyanotoxin detection.

Author Contributions

Conceptualization, C.M.; methodology, C.M.; software, C.M.; validation, C.M.; formal analysis, C.M.; investigation, C.M.; resources, C.M.; data curation, C.M.; writing—original draft preparation, C.M.; writing—review and editing, V.V. and A.A.; visualization, C.M.; supervision, V.V. and A.A.; project administration, C.M.; funding acquisition, C.M. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.


This research was supported by national funds through FCT—Foundation for Science and Technology within the scope of UIDB/04423/2020 and UIDP/04423/2020 and by the Postdoctoral fellowship to Cristiana Moreira (Ref. SFRH/BPD/122909/2016) from FCT.

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.
Publisher’s Note: MDPI stays neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Moreira, C.; Vasconcelos, V.; Antunes, A. Cyanotoxins Dynamics on Portuguese Freshwater Ecosystems on Current Global Changes. Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 14, 30.

AMA Style

Moreira C, Vasconcelos V, Antunes A. Cyanotoxins Dynamics on Portuguese Freshwater Ecosystems on Current Global Changes. Biology and Life Sciences Forum. 2022; 14(1):30.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Moreira, Cristiana, Vitor Vasconcelos, and Agostinho Antunes. 2022. "Cyanotoxins Dynamics on Portuguese Freshwater Ecosystems on Current Global Changes" Biology and Life Sciences Forum 14, no. 1: 30.

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