Special Issue "Ecology and Toxicology of Cyanobacteria and Cyanotoxins"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2022 | Viewed by 6296

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Jun Chen
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Science, Wuhan 430072, China
Interests: microcystins; ecotoxicology; reproductive toxicology; hepatotoxicity; nonalcoholic steatohepatitis; glutathione detoxification; metabolites; human health
Prof. Dr. Liang Chen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Institute for Ecological Research and Pollution Control of Plateau Lakes, School of Ecology and Environmental Science, Yunnan University, Kunming 650091, China
2. State Key Laboratory of Eco-hydraulics in Northwest Arid Region, Faculty of Water Resources and Hydroelectric Engineering, Xi’an University of Technology, Xi’an 710048, China
Interests: microcystin; cyanotoxin; Microcystis; cyanobacteria; toxic mechanisms; reproductive toxicity; developmental toxicity; hepatotoxicity; carcinogenicity; endocrine-disrupting effects

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, are a primitive group of oxygenic photosynthetic bacterial microorganisms and can be found in all terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. However, eutrophication and global warming are likely to increase the frequency, magnitude, intensity and duration of cyanobacterial blooms in many aquatic ecosystems globally. Cyanobacterial blooms can adversely affect water quality, including increased turbidity, hypoxia, anoxia and production of unpleasant odors and tastes. Cyanobacterial blooms are also a potential health hazard due to the ability of some species to produce toxins (e.g., microcystins) that are toxic to other living organisms, including humans.

This Special Issue of Toxins calls for manuscripts that deal with all areas of the ecology and toxicology of cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins. Subject areas of this Special Issue may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Understanding cyanobacterial blooms across multiple scales ranging from molecular to satellite imagery;
  • Cellular physiology, biochemistry and molecular biology of cyanobacteria;
  • Interactions of cyanobacteria and other organisms including algae/phytoplankton, zooplankton, microorganisms, zoobenthos and fish;
  • Chemistry and diversity of cyanotoxins and secondary metabolites;
  • Genetics and biosynthesis of cyanotoxins of cyanobacteria;
  • Methods of identification/detection of cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins;
  • Impact of environmental factors on cyanobacteria and cyanotoxin production;
  • Monitoring cyanobacteria/cyanotoxins in the environment and risk evaluation;
  • Accumulation of cyanotoxins by living organisms including aquatic and terrestrial plants and animals including humans;
  • Methods of removal of cyanotoxins from the environment and food;
  • Toxicity of cyanobacteria/cyanotoxins and toxic mechanisms;
  • Biotransformation and detoxification of cyanotoxins;
  • Therapy/treatment of cyanobacteria-associated toxicity;
  • Co-occurrence of cyanobacteria/cyanotoxins with other environmental health hazards;
  • Management of cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins.

Prof. Dr. Jun Chen
Prof. Dr. Liang Chen
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 2400 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

  • global climate change and eutrophication
  • cyanobacteria
  • harmful cyanobacterial blooms
  • cyanotoxin diversity and production
  • monitoring and detection
  • occurrence and accumulation
  • human and ecosystem health
  • toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics
  • toxic mechanisms
  • risk assessment and management

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Article
Transcriptome Analysis Reveals the Algicidal Mechanism of Brevibacillus laterosporus against Microcystis aeruginosa through Multiple Metabolic Pathways
Toxins 2022, 14(7), 492; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14070492 - 15 Jul 2022
Viewed by 346
Abstract
It is widely accepted that eutrophication has played an important role in the formation of harmful cyanobacterial blooms in recent decades, which impacts water quality and ecological environment and causes huge economic losses. Algicidal bacteria have a promising application prospect in controlling cyanobacterial [...] Read more.
It is widely accepted that eutrophication has played an important role in the formation of harmful cyanobacterial blooms in recent decades, which impacts water quality and ecological environment and causes huge economic losses. Algicidal bacteria have a promising application prospect in controlling cyanobacterial blooms in aquaculture water. Here, the process of the algicidal bacterium Brevibacillus laterosporus strain Bl-zj acting on Microcystis aeruginosa was explored using transcriptome analysis to elucidate the algicidal mechanism. The results of the co-culture of bacterium and alga showed a strong alga-lysing effect of B. laterosporus against M. aeruginosa with an extreme morphology deformation of the algal cells. A total of 2744 differentially expressed genes of B. laterosporus were identified, which were mainly involved in the metabolism of amino acid, carbohydrate, and lipid. In the co-cultured group, the expression of genes mainly enriched in valine, leucine and isoleucine degradation, and fatty acid degradation were significantly increased. However, the expression of the genes related to ribosome were mainly inhibited. Transcriptome analysis showed that B. laterosporus obtained ATP and energy by the degradation of valine, leucine, isoleucine, and fatty acids, and destroyed algal cells by efflux pump transporters, secretion of hydrolytic enzymes, antibiotics, proteases, and other secondary metabolites, resulting in algal death and achieving the algicidal effect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology and Toxicology of Cyanobacteria and Cyanotoxins)
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Article
Gill Junction Injury and Microbial Disorders Induced by Microcystin-Leucine Arginine in Lithobates catesbeianus Tadpoles
Toxins 2022, 14(7), 479; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14070479 - 13 Jul 2022
Viewed by 354
Abstract
Microcystin-LR (MC-LR) is widely present in waters around the world, but its potential toxic effects and mechanisms on amphibian gills remain unknown. In the present study, tadpoles (Lithobates catesbeianus) were exposed to environmentally realistic concentrations of 0.5, 2 μg/L MC-LR, and [...] Read more.
Microcystin-LR (MC-LR) is widely present in waters around the world, but its potential toxic effects and mechanisms on amphibian gills remain unknown. In the present study, tadpoles (Lithobates catesbeianus) were exposed to environmentally realistic concentrations of 0.5, 2 μg/L MC-LR, and 0 μg/L MC-LR (Control) for 30 days with the objective to unveil the impairment of gill health. The lysozyme was downregulated, while pattern recognition receptors and complement and adaptive immune processes were upregulated and the ability of gill supernatant to inhibit pathogenic bacteria decreased in the 0.5 and 2 μg/L MC-LR groups. The transcriptions of epithelial barrier components (e.g., CLDN1) were significantly decreased in MC-LR-exposed gills, while the gill content of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) endotoxins and the transcriptions of downstream responsive genes (e.g., TLR4 and NF-κB) were concurrently increased. In addition, the number of eosinophils and the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines (e.g., IL-1β and TNF-α) were increased. These results imply that exposure of tadpoles to low environmentally concentrations of MC-LR leads to inflammation, increased permeability, and a reduced ability to inhibit pathogenic bacteria. The epithelial cells of inner gill filaments increased and transcriptions of hypoxic stress genes (e.g., HIF-1α, FLT1, and SERPINE1) were upregulated within the exposed group. As a consequence, exposure to MC-LR may lead to hypoxic stress. MC-LR exposure also drove gill microbiota to a dysbiosis. The relative abundance of Elizabethkingia was positively correlated with content of LPS and transcriptions of NF-κB and TNF-α. Overall, this study presents the first evidence about the pronounced impacts of MC-LR exposure on gills of amphibians, highlighting the susceptibility of early developing tadpoles to the environmental risks of MC-LR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology and Toxicology of Cyanobacteria and Cyanotoxins)
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Article
Genotoxicity of Natural Water during the Mass Development of Cyanobacteria Evaluated by the Allium Test Method: A Model Experiment with Microcosms
Toxins 2022, 14(5), 359; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14050359 - 21 May 2022
Viewed by 775
Abstract
Cyanobacteria, which develop abundantly in aquatic ecosystems, can be harmful to humans and animals not only by releasing toxins that cause poisoning but also by provoking cytogenetic effects. The influence of the mass development of cyanobacteria on the genotoxic properties of natural water [...] Read more.
Cyanobacteria, which develop abundantly in aquatic ecosystems, can be harmful to humans and animals not only by releasing toxins that cause poisoning but also by provoking cytogenetic effects. The influence of the mass development of cyanobacteria on the genotoxic properties of natural water has been studied in model ecosystems (microcosms) with different compositions of biotic components (zooplankton, amphipods and fish). The validated plant test system “Allium test” was used in this study. Genotoxic effects were detected at microcystin concentrations below those established by the World Health Organization (WHO) for drinking water. In all experimental treatments, cells with disorders such as polyploidy and mitotic abnormalities associated with damage to the mitotic spindle, including c-mitosis, as well as lagging chromosomes were found. Genotoxic effects were associated with the abundance of cyanobacteria, which, in turn, depended on the composition of aquatic organisms in the experimental ecosystem. Fish, to a greater extent than other aquatic animals, maintain an abundance of cyanobacteria. After one month, in microcosms with fish, mitotic abnormalities and polyploidy continued to be detected, whereas in other treatments, there were no statistically significant genotoxic effects. In microcosms with amphipods, the number and biomass of cyanobacteria decreased to the greatest extent, and only one parameter of genotoxic activity (frequency of polyploidy) significantly differed from the control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology and Toxicology of Cyanobacteria and Cyanotoxins)
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Article
Lipopolysaccharide from the Cyanobacterium Geitlerinema sp. Induces Neutrophil Infiltration and Lung Inflammation
Toxins 2022, 14(4), 267; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14040267 - 09 Apr 2022
Viewed by 882
Abstract
Glucocorticoid-resistant asthma, which predominates with neutrophils instead of eosinophils, is an increasing health concern. One potential source for the induction of neutrophil-predominant asthma is aerosolized lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Cyanobacteria have recently caused significant tidal blooms, and aerosolized cyanobacterial LPS has been detected near the [...] Read more.
Glucocorticoid-resistant asthma, which predominates with neutrophils instead of eosinophils, is an increasing health concern. One potential source for the induction of neutrophil-predominant asthma is aerosolized lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Cyanobacteria have recently caused significant tidal blooms, and aerosolized cyanobacterial LPS has been detected near the cyanobacterial overgrowth. We hypothesized that cyanobacterial LPS contributes to lung inflammation by increasing factors that promote lung inflammation and neutrophil recruitment. To test this hypothesis, c57Bl/6 mice were exposed intranasally to LPS from the cyanobacterium member, Geitlerinema sp., in vivo to assess neutrophil infiltration and the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines from the bronchoalveolar fluid by ELISA. Additionally, we exposed the airway epithelial cell line, A549, to Geitlerinema sp. LPS in vitro to confirm that airway epithelial cells were stimulated by this LPS to increase cytokine production and the expression of the adhesion molecule, ICAM-1. Our data demonstrate that Geitlerinema sp. LPS induces lung neutrophil infiltration, the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as Interleukin (IL)-6, Tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and Interferongamma as well as the chemokines IL-8 and RANTES. Additionally, we demonstrate that Geitlerinema sp. LPS directly activates airway epithelial cells to produce pro-inflammatory cytokines and the adhesion molecule, Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 (ICAM-1), in vitro using the airway epithelial cell line, A549. Based on our findings that use Geitlerinema sp. LPS as a model system, the data indicate that cyanobacteria LPS may contribute to the development of glucocorticoid-resistant asthma seen near water sources that contain high levels of cyanobacteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology and Toxicology of Cyanobacteria and Cyanotoxins)
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Article
Assessment of Common Cyanotoxins in Cyanobacteria of Biological Loess Crusts
Toxins 2022, 14(3), 215; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14030215 - 16 Mar 2022
Viewed by 867
Abstract
Cyanotoxins are a diverse group of bioactive compounds produced by cyanobacteria that have adverse effects on human and animal health. While the phenomenon of cyanotoxin production in aquatic environments is well studied, research on cyanotoxins in terrestrial environments, where cyanobacteria abundantly occur in [...] Read more.
Cyanotoxins are a diverse group of bioactive compounds produced by cyanobacteria that have adverse effects on human and animal health. While the phenomenon of cyanotoxin production in aquatic environments is well studied, research on cyanotoxins in terrestrial environments, where cyanobacteria abundantly occur in biocrusts, is still in its infancy. Here, we investigated the potential cyanotoxin production in cyanobacteria-dominated biological loess crusts (BLCs) from three different regions (China, Iran, and Serbia) and in cyanobacterial cultures isolated from the BLCs. The presence of cyanotoxins microcystins, cylindrospermopsin, saxitoxins, and β-N-methylamino-L-alanine was analyzed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method, while the presence of cyanotoxin-encoding genes (mcyE, cyrJ, sxtA, sxtG, sxtS, and anaC) was investigated by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method. We could not detect any of the targeted cyanotoxins in the biocrusts or the cyanobacterial cultures, nor could we amplify any cyanotoxin-encoding genes in the cyanobacterial strains. The results are discussed in terms of the biological role of cyanotoxins, the application of cyanobacteria in land restoration programs, and the use of cyanotoxins as biosignatures of cyanobacterial populations in loess research. The article highlights the need to extend the field of research on cyanobacteria and cyanotoxin production to terrestrial environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology and Toxicology of Cyanobacteria and Cyanotoxins)
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Article
Temporal Patterns of Bacterial and Viral Communities during Algae Blooms of a Reservoir in Macau
Toxins 2021, 13(12), 894; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins13120894 - 13 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 961
Abstract
Compositions of microbial communities associated with blooms of algae in a storage reservoir in Macau, China were investigated between 2013 and 2016. Algae were enumerated by visible light microscopy. Profiles of organisms in water were examined by 16S rRNA sequences and viral metagenomics, [...] Read more.
Compositions of microbial communities associated with blooms of algae in a storage reservoir in Macau, China were investigated between 2013 and 2016. Algae were enumerated by visible light microscopy. Profiles of organisms in water were examined by 16S rRNA sequences and viral metagenomics, based on next generation sequencing. Results of 16S rRNA sequencing indicated that majority of the identified organisms were bacteria closely related to Proteobacteria, Cyanobacteria, Verrucomicrobia, Bacteroidetes, and Actinobacteria. Metagenomics sequences demonstrated that the dominant virus was Phycodnavirus, accounting for 70% of the total population. Patterns of relative numbers of bacteria in the microbial community and their temporal changes were determined through alpha diversity indices, principal coordinates analysis (PCoA), relative abundance, and visualized by Venn diagrams. Ways in which the bacterial and viral communities are influenced by various water-related variables were elucidated based on redundancy analysis (RDA). Relationships of the relative numbers of bacteria with trophic status in a reservoir used for drinking water in Macau, provided insight into associations of Phycodnavirus and Proteobacteria with changes in blooms of algae. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology and Toxicology of Cyanobacteria and Cyanotoxins)
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Review

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Review
Microcystin-Induced Immunotoxicity in Fishes: A Scoping Review
Toxins 2021, 13(11), 765; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins13110765 - 29 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1150
Abstract
Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) have been present on Earth for over 2 billion years, and can produce a variety of bioactive molecules, such as cyanotoxins. Microcystins (MCs), the most frequently detected cyanotoxins, pose a threat to the aquatic environment and to human health. The [...] Read more.
Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) have been present on Earth for over 2 billion years, and can produce a variety of bioactive molecules, such as cyanotoxins. Microcystins (MCs), the most frequently detected cyanotoxins, pose a threat to the aquatic environment and to human health. The classic toxic mechanism of MCs is the inhibition of the protein phosphatases 1 and 2A (PP1 and PP2A). Immunity is known as one of the most important physiological functions in the neuroendocrine-immune network to prevent infections and maintain internal homoeostasis in fish. The present review aimed to summarize existing papers, elaborate on the MC-induced immunotoxicity in fish, and put forward some suggestions for future research. The immunomodulatory effects of MCs in fish depend on the exposure concentrations, doses, time, and routes of exposure. Previous field and laboratory studies provided strong evidence of the associations between MC-induced immunotoxicity and fish death. In our review, we summarized that the immunotoxicity of MCs is primarily characterized by the inhibition of PP1 and PP2A, oxidative stress, immune cell damage, and inflammation, as well as apoptosis. The advances in fish immunoreaction upon encountering MCs will benefit the monitoring and prediction of fish health, helping to achieve an ecotoxicological goal and to ensure the sustainability of species. Future studies concerning MC-induced immunotoxicity should focus on adaptive immunity, the hormesis phenomenon and the synergistic effects of aquatic microbial pathogens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology and Toxicology of Cyanobacteria and Cyanotoxins)
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