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Special Issue "Harmful Algal Bloom Dynamics"

A special issue of Toxins (ISSN 2072-6651). This special issue belongs to the section "Marine and Freshwater Toxins".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 September 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Uwe John

1. Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany
2. Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity (HIFMB), Ammerländer Heerstraße 231, 23129 Oldenburg, Germany
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Guest Editor
Prof. Allan Cembella

1. Alfred-Wegner-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung (AWI), Am Handelshafen 12, 27570 Bremerhaven, Germany
2. Faculty of Biology and Chemistry (FB 02), Universität Bremen, Bibliothekstraße 1, 28359 Bremen, Germany
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Global change, mediated by sea temperature rise, enhanced ice melting, nutrient regime shifts, and other anthropogenic influences, is predicted to have a profound influence on marine ecosystems and, in particular, in coastal regions. This has led to speculation regarding differential effects on biogeography and diversity of planktonic communities, including harmful algal blooms (HABs) and associated toxins. In dynamic coastal environments, intraspecific diversity and plasticity might support the resilience of populations of toxigenic species. Hydrodynamics and other abiotic factors (e.g., light, temperature, nutrients, etc.) are known to support the growth and initiation of bloom formations, but biotic factors, such as grazing, infection, and competition, also influence bloom dynamics, including the magnitude, inherent diversity and successional processes at the population level. Methodological breakthroughs, such as the increasing ease and decreasing cost of high-throughput gene sequencing (NGS), linked to high capacity sampling technology, high resolution cell imaging and bioinformatic data processing, coupled with classical monitoring or experimental approaches, allows for a new depth of process understanding and the elucidation of mechanisms to increase our understanding of bloom formation and associated biological-geographical dynamics.

In this Special Issue, we welcome papers based on the analysis of field studies of toxigenic or otherwise harmful microalgal blooms at local and regional scale, implementing interdisciplinary methodologies and concepts in an eco-evolutionary context. These may be linked to laboratory examination and characterization of inter-/ intra-specific diversity of HAB taxa. In situ natural bloom and mesocosm studies on species interaction processes including ecophysiological responses and intraspecific diversity affecting bloom initiation, maintenance, senescence and toxicity are also encouraged. In a global context, this could comprise all studies addressing questions of relevance to understanding the ecological and evolutionary processes determining HAB dynamics.

Dr. Uwe John
Prof. Dr. Allan Cembella
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Toxins is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Harmful algal bloom
  • genomics
  • intraspecific diversity
  • functional diversity
  • population dynamics
  • metatranscriptomics
  • DNA barcoding
  • phycotoxins
  • species interaction
  • phenotypic plasticity

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle The Individual and Combined Effects of the Cyanotoxins, Anatoxin-a and Microcystin-LR, on the Growth, Toxin Production, and Nitrogen Fixation of Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Algae
Received: 11 November 2018 / Revised: 3 December 2018 / Accepted: 12 December 2018 / Published: 15 January 2019
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Abstract
Globally, eutrophication and warming of aquatic ecosystems has increased the frequency and intensity of cyanobacterial blooms and their associated toxins, with the simultaneous detection of multiple cyanotoxins often occurring. Despite the co-occurrence of cyanotoxins such as microcystins and anatoxin-a (ATX) in water bodies, [...] Read more.
Globally, eutrophication and warming of aquatic ecosystems has increased the frequency and intensity of cyanobacterial blooms and their associated toxins, with the simultaneous detection of multiple cyanotoxins often occurring. Despite the co-occurrence of cyanotoxins such as microcystins and anatoxin-a (ATX) in water bodies, their effects on phytoplankton communities are poorly understood. The individual and combined effects of microcystin-LR (MC-LR) and ATX on the cyanobacteria Microcystis spp., and Anabaena variabilis (a.k.a. Trichormus variabilis), and the chlorophyte, Selenastrum capricornutum were investigated in the present study. Cell density, chlorophyll-a content, and the maximum quantum efficiency of photosystem II (Fv/Fm) of Microcystis cells were generally lowered after exposure to ATX or MC-LR, while the combined treatment with MC-LR and ATX synergistically reduced the chlorophyll-a concentration of Microcystis strain LE-3. Intracellular levels of microcystin in Microcystis LE-3 significantly increased following exposure to MC-LR + ATX. The maximum quantum efficiency of photosystem II of Anabaena strain UTEX B377 declined during exposure to the cyanotoxins. Nitrogen fixation by Anabaena UTEX B377 was significantly inhibited by exposure to ATX, but was unaffected by MC-LR. In contrast, the combination of both cyanotoxins (MC-LR + ATX) caused a synergistic increase in the growth of S. capricornutum. While the toxins caused an increase in the activity of enzymes that scavenge reactive oxygen species in cyanobacteria, enzyme activity was unchanged or decreased in S. capricornutum. Collectively this study demonstrates that MC-LR and ATX can selectively promote and inhibit the growth and performance of green algae and cyanobacteria, respectively, and that the combined effect of these cyanotoxins was often more intense than their individual effects on some strains. This suggests that the release of multiple cyanotoxins in aquatic ecosystems, following the collapse of blooms, may influence the succession of plankton communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Harmful Algal Bloom Dynamics)
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Open AccessArticle Further Understanding of Degradation Pathways of Microcystin-LR by an Indigenous Sphingopyxis sp. in Environmentally Relevant Pollution Concentrations
Toxins 2018, 10(12), 536; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10120536
Received: 30 October 2018 / Revised: 3 December 2018 / Accepted: 12 December 2018 / Published: 14 December 2018
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Abstract
Microcystin-LR (MC-LR) is the most widely distributed microcystin (MC) that is hazardous to environmental safety and public health, due to high toxicity. Microbial degradation is regarded as an effective and environment-friendly method to remove it, however, the performance of MC-degrading bacteria in environmentally [...] Read more.
Microcystin-LR (MC-LR) is the most widely distributed microcystin (MC) that is hazardous to environmental safety and public health, due to high toxicity. Microbial degradation is regarded as an effective and environment-friendly method to remove it, however, the performance of MC-degrading bacteria in environmentally relevant pollution concentrations of MC-LR and the degradation pathways remain unclear. In this study, one autochthonous bacterium, Sphingopyxis sp. m6 which exhibited high MC-LR degradation ability, was isolated from Lake Taihu, and the degrading characteristics in environmentally relevant pollution concentrations were demonstrated. In addition, degradation products were identified by utilizing the full scan mode of UPLC-MS/MS. The data illustrated that strain m6 could decompose MC-LR (1–50 μg/L) completely within 4 h. The degradation rates were significantly affected by temperatures, pH and MC-LR concentrations. Moreover, except for the typical degradation products of MC-LR (linearized MC-LR, tetrapeptide, and Adda), there were 8 different products identified, namely, three tripeptides (Adda-Glu-Mdha, Glu-Mdha-Ala, and Leu-MeAsp-Arg), three dipeptides (Glu-Mdha, Mdha-Ala, and MeAsp-Arg) and two amino acids (Leu, and Arg). To our knowledge, this is the first report of Mdha-Ala, MeAsp-Arg, and Leu as MC-LR metabolites. This study expanded microbial degradation pathways of MC-LR, which lays a foundation for exploring degradation mechanisms and eliminating the pollution of microcystins (MCs). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Harmful Algal Bloom Dynamics)
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Open AccessArticle Determination of the Role of Microcystis aeruginosa in Toxin Generation Based on Phosphoproteomic Profiles
Received: 19 June 2018 / Revised: 12 July 2018 / Accepted: 17 July 2018 / Published: 23 July 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2624 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Microcystis aeruginosa is the most common species responsible for toxic cyanobacterial blooms and is considered a significant contributor to the production of cyanotoxins, particularly the potent liver toxins called microcystins. Numerous studies investigating Microcystis spp. blooms have revealed their deleterious effects in freshwater [...] Read more.
Microcystis aeruginosa is the most common species responsible for toxic cyanobacterial blooms and is considered a significant contributor to the production of cyanotoxins, particularly the potent liver toxins called microcystins. Numerous studies investigating Microcystis spp. blooms have revealed their deleterious effects in freshwater environments. However, the available knowledge regarding the global phosphoproteomics of M. aeruginosa and their regulatory roles in toxin generation is limited. In this study, we conducted comparative phosphoproteomic profiling of non-toxic and toxin-producing strains of M. aeruginosa. We identified 59 phosphorylation sites in 37 proteins in a non-toxic strain and 26 phosphorylation sites in 18 proteins in a toxin-producing strain. The analysis of protein phosphorylation abundances and functions in redox homeostasis, energy metabolism, light absorption and photosynthesis showed marked differences between the non-toxic and toxin-producing strains of M. aeruginosa, indicating that these processes are strongly related to toxin generation. Moreover, the protein-protein interaction results indicated that BJ0JVG8 can directly interact with the PemK-like toxin protein B0JQN8. Thus, the phosphorylation of B0JQN8 appears to be associated with the regulatory roles of toxins in physiological activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Harmful Algal Bloom Dynamics)
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Open AccessArticle Algal Blooms and Cyanotoxins in Jordan Lake, North Carolina
Received: 31 December 2017 / Revised: 17 February 2018 / Accepted: 19 February 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2976 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The eutrophication of waterways has led to a rise in cyanobacterial, harmful algal blooms (CyanoHABs) worldwide. The deterioration of water quality due to excess algal biomass in lakes has been well documented (e.g., water clarity, hypoxic conditions), but health risks associated with cyanotoxins [...] Read more.
The eutrophication of waterways has led to a rise in cyanobacterial, harmful algal blooms (CyanoHABs) worldwide. The deterioration of water quality due to excess algal biomass in lakes has been well documented (e.g., water clarity, hypoxic conditions), but health risks associated with cyanotoxins remain largely unexplored in the absence of toxin information. This study is the first to document the presence of dissolved microcystin, anatoxin-a, cylindrospermopsin, and β-N-methylamino-l-alanine in Jordan Lake, a major drinking water reservoir in North Carolina. Saxitoxin presence was not confirmed. Multiple toxins were detected at 86% of the tested sites and during 44% of the sampling events between 2014 and 2016. Although concentrations were low, continued exposure of organisms to multiple toxins raises some concerns. A combination of discrete sampling and in-situ tracking (Solid Phase Adsorption Toxin Tracking [SPATT]) revealed that microcystin and anatoxin were the most pervasive year-round. Between 2011 and 2016, summer and fall blooms were dominated by the same cyanobacterial genera, all of which are suggested producers of single or multiple cyanotoxins. The study’s findings provide further evidence of the ubiquitous nature of cyanotoxins, and the challenges involved in linking CyanoHAB dynamics to specific environmental forcing factors are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Harmful Algal Bloom Dynamics)
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