Special Issue "Toxic Cyanobacteria and Toxic Dinoflagellates"

A special issue of Microorganisms (ISSN 2076-2607). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Microbiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Jussi Meriluoto

Biochemistry, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Åbo Akademi University, Tykistökatu 6°, 20520 Turku, Finland
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Guest Editor
Dr. Anke Kremp

Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Marine Research Centre, Erik Palmenin aukio 1, 00560 Helsinki, Finland
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The occurrence of toxic phytoplankton in freshwater and marine environments is a worldwide phenomenon that causes a number of hygienic and ecological problems. Two major phytoplankton groups of concern are toxic cyanobacteria and toxic dinoflagellates, which are the topic of this Special Issue.

The Special Issue wants to emphasize interdisciplinary contributions that combine chemical, biological, and toxicological knowledge, and bring professionals from various disciplines together. While all publishable papers must fulfill strict scientific criteria the editors encourage open-minded and innovative discussion. Some relevant topics are the following: Classical and modern taxonomical work on toxic cyanobacteria and toxic dinoflagellates, research on the genetic basis of toxicity and toxin synthesis pathways, elucidation of factors influencing toxin composition and production, toxinology, work on toxic effects on individual organisms and ecosystems, descriptions of biological and ecological functions of the toxins, work on invasive toxic species, and research on methods to combat and manage toxic phytoplankton.

Eligible research on toxic cyanobacteria is not limited to the aquatic environment but papers describing terrestrial toxic cyanobacteria are also welcome. The focus of the Special Issue is not on purely analytical papers dealing with techniques of toxin detection. However, analytical work with a clear coupling to biological phenomena is eligible.

Both original and review papers can be considered but potential review paper authors are encouraged to contact the Guest Editors in advance.

Dr. Jussi Meriluoto
Dr. Anke Kremp
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • cyanobacteria
  • dinoflagellates
  • toxins
  • taxonomy
  • genetic basis
  • biosynthesis
  • toxic effects
  • toxin functions
  • invasive species
  • management

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Paralytic Shellfish Toxins and Cyanotoxins in the Mediterranean: New Data from Sardinia and Sicily (Italy)
Microorganisms 2017, 5(4), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms5040072
Received: 8 August 2017 / Revised: 12 November 2017 / Accepted: 13 November 2017 / Published: 16 November 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2255 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Harmful algal blooms represent a severe issue worldwide. They affect ecosystem functions and related services and goods, with consequences on human health and socio-economic activities. This study reports new data on paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) from Sardinia and Sicily (Italy), the largest Mediterranean [...] Read more.
Harmful algal blooms represent a severe issue worldwide. They affect ecosystem functions and related services and goods, with consequences on human health and socio-economic activities. This study reports new data on paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) from Sardinia and Sicily (Italy), the largest Mediterranean islands where toxic events, mainly caused by Alexandrium species (Dinophyceae), have been ascertained in mussel farms since the 2000s. The toxicity of the A. minutum, A. tamarense and A. pacificum strains, established from the isolation of vegetative cells and resting cysts, was determined by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The analyses indicated the highest toxicity for A. pacificum strains (total PSTs up to 17.811 fmol cell−1). The PSTs were also assessed in a strain of A. tamarense. The results encourage further investigation to increase the knowledge of toxic species still debated in the Mediterranean. This study also reports new data on microcystins (MCs) and β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) from a Sardinian artificial lake (Lake Bidighinzu). The presence of MCs and BMAA was assessed in natural samples and in cell cultures by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). BMAA positives were found in all the analysed samples with a maximum of 17.84 µg L−1. The obtained results added further information on cyanotoxins in Mediterranean reservoirs, particularly BMAA, which have not yet been thoroughly investigated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxic Cyanobacteria and Toxic Dinoflagellates)
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Open AccessArticle Rapid and Highly Sensitive Non-Competitive Immunoassay for Specific Detection of Nodularin
Microorganisms 2017, 5(3), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms5030058
Received: 12 June 2017 / Revised: 27 August 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 12 September 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1633 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Nodularin (NOD) is a cyclic penta-peptide hepatotoxin mainly produced by Nodularia spumigena, reported from the brackish water bodies of various parts of the world. It can accumulate in the food chain and, for safety reasons, levels of NOD not only in water [...] Read more.
Nodularin (NOD) is a cyclic penta-peptide hepatotoxin mainly produced by Nodularia spumigena, reported from the brackish water bodies of various parts of the world. It can accumulate in the food chain and, for safety reasons, levels of NOD not only in water bodies but also in food matrices are of interest. Here, we report on a non-competitive immunoassay for the specific detection of NOD. A phage display technique was utilized to interrogate a synthetic antibody phage library for binders recognizing NOD bound to an anti-ADDA (3-Amino-9-methoxy-2,6,8-trimethyl-10-phenyldeca-4(E),6(E)-dienoic acid) monoclonal antibody (Mab). One of the obtained immunocomplex binders, designated SA32C11, showed very high specificity towards nodularin-R (NOD-R) over to the tested 10 different microcystins (microcystin-LR, -dmLR, -RR, -dmRR, -YR, -LY, -LF, -LW, -LA, -WR). It was expressed in Escherichia coli as a single chain antibody fragment (scFv) fusion protein and used to establish a time-resolved fluorometry-based assay in combination with the anti-ADDA Mab. The detection limit (blank + 3SD) of the immunoassay, with a total assay time of 1 h 10 min, is 0.03 µg/L of NOD-R. This represents the most sensitive immunoassay method for the specific detection of NOD reported so far. The assay was tested for its performance to detect NOD using spiked (0.1 to 3 µg/L of NOD-R) water samples including brackish sea and coastal water and the recovery ranged from 79 to 127%. Furthermore, a panel of environmental samples, including water from different sources, fish and other marine tissue specimens, were analyzed for NOD using the assay. The assay has potential as a rapid screening tool for the analysis of a large number of water samples for the presence of NOD. It can also find applications in the analysis of the bioaccumulation of NOD in marine organisms and in the food chain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxic Cyanobacteria and Toxic Dinoflagellates)
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Open AccessArticle Culturing Toxic Benthic Blooms: The Fate of Natural Biofilms in a Microcosm System
Microorganisms 2017, 5(3), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms5030046
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 31 July 2017 / Accepted: 2 August 2017 / Published: 6 August 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3793 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A microcosm designed for culturing aquatic phototrophic biofilms on artificial substrata was used to perform experiments with microphytobenthos sampled during summer toxic outbreaks of Ostreopsis cf. ovata along the Middle Tyrrhenian coast. This dynamic approach aimed at exploring the unique and complex nature [...] Read more.
A microcosm designed for culturing aquatic phototrophic biofilms on artificial substrata was used to perform experiments with microphytobenthos sampled during summer toxic outbreaks of Ostreopsis cf. ovata along the Middle Tyrrhenian coast. This dynamic approach aimed at exploring the unique and complex nature of O. cf. ovata bloom development in the benthic system. Epibenthic assemblages were used as inocula for co-cultures of bloom organisms on polycarbonate slides at controlled environmental conditions. Biofilm surface adhesion, growth, and spatial structure were evaluated along with shifts in composition and matrix production in a low disturbance regime, simulating source habitat. Initial adhesion and substratum colonisation appeared as stochastic processes, then community structure and physiognomy markedly changed with time. Dominance of filamentous cyanobacteria and diatoms, and dense clusters of Amphidinium cf. carterae at the mature biofilm phases, were recorded by light and confocal microscopy, whilst O. cf. ovata growth was visibly limited in the late culture phases. Life-form strategies, competitiveness for resources, and possibly allelopathic interactions shaped biofilm structure during culture growth. HPLC (High Performance Liquid Chromatography) analysis of exopolysaccharidic matrix revealed variations in sugar total amounts and composition. No toxic compounds were detected in the final communities tested by LC-MS (Liquid Chromatography- Mass Spectrometry) and MALDI-TOF MS (Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time OF Flight Mass Spectroscopy) techniques. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxic Cyanobacteria and Toxic Dinoflagellates)
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Open AccessArticle Growth and Photosynthetic Characteristics of Toxic and Non-Toxic Strains of the Cyanobacteria Microcystis aeruginosa and Anabaena circinalis in Relation to Light
Microorganisms 2017, 5(3), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms5030045
Received: 23 June 2017 / Revised: 26 July 2017 / Accepted: 2 August 2017 / Published: 4 August 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2040 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cyanobacteria are major bloom-forming organisms in freshwater ecosystems and many strains are known to produce toxins. Toxin production requires an investment in energy and resources. As light is one of the most important factors for cyanobacterial growth, any changes in light climate might [...] Read more.
Cyanobacteria are major bloom-forming organisms in freshwater ecosystems and many strains are known to produce toxins. Toxin production requires an investment in energy and resources. As light is one of the most important factors for cyanobacterial growth, any changes in light climate might affect cyanobacterial toxin production as well as their growth and physiology. To evaluate the effects of light on the growth and physiological parameters of both toxic and non-toxic strains of Microcystis aeruginosa and Anabaena circinalis, cultures were grown at a range of light intensities (10, 25, 50, 100, 150 and 200 µmol m−2 s−1). The study revealed that the toxic strains of both species (CS558 for M. aeruginosa and CS537 and CS541 for A. circinalis) showed growth (µ) saturation at a higher light intensity compared to the non-toxic strains (CS338 for M. aeruginosa and CS534 for A. circinalis). Both species showed differences in chlorophyll a, carotenoid, allophycocyanin (APC) and phycoerythrin (PE) content between strains. There were also differences in dark respiration (Rd), light saturated oxygen evolution rates (Pmax) and efficiency of light harvesting (α) between strains. All other physiological parameters showed no statistically significant differences between strains. This study suggest that the different strains respond differently to different light habitats. Thus, changes in light availability may affect bloom intensity of toxic and nontoxic strains of cyanobacteria by changing the dominance and succession patterns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxic Cyanobacteria and Toxic Dinoflagellates)
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Open AccessArticle Toxin Variability Estimations of 68 Alexandrium ostenfeldii (Dinophyceae) Strains from The Netherlands Reveal a Novel Abundant Gymnodimine
Microorganisms 2017, 5(2), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms5020029
Received: 28 April 2017 / Revised: 17 May 2017 / Accepted: 21 May 2017 / Published: 26 May 2017
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (2519 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Alexandrium ostenfeldii is a toxic dinoflagellate that has recently bloomed in Ouwerkerkse Kreek, The Netherlands, and which is able to cause a serious threat to shellfish consumers and aquacultures. We used a large set of 68 strains to the aim of fully characterizing [...] Read more.
Alexandrium ostenfeldii is a toxic dinoflagellate that has recently bloomed in Ouwerkerkse Kreek, The Netherlands, and which is able to cause a serious threat to shellfish consumers and aquacultures. We used a large set of 68 strains to the aim of fully characterizing the toxin profiles of the Dutch A. ostenfeldii in consideration of recent reports of novel toxins. Alexandrium ostenfeldii is known as a causative species of paralytic shellfish poisoning, and consistently in the Dutch population we determined the presence of several paralytic shellfish toxins (PST) including saxitoxin (STX), GTX2/3 (gonyautoxins), B1 and C1/C2. We also examined the production of spiroimine toxins by the Dutch A. ostenfeldii strains. An extensive liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis revealed a high intraspecific variability of spirolides (SPX) and gymnodimines (GYM). Spirolides included 13-desMethyl-spirolide C generally as the major compound and several other mostly unknown SPX-like compounds that were detected and characterized. Besides spirolides, the presence of gymnodimine A and 12-Methyl-gymnodimine A was confirmed, together with two new gymnodimines. One of these was tentatively identified as an analogue of gymnodimine D and was the most abundant gymnodimine (calculated cell quota up to 274 pg cell−1, expressed as GYM A equivalents). Our multi-clonal approach adds new analogues to the increasing number of compounds in these toxin classes and revealed a high strain variability in cell quota and in toxin profile of toxic compounds within a single population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxic Cyanobacteria and Toxic Dinoflagellates)
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