Special Issue "Phycotoxins: Chemistry and Biochemistry"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Schonna R. Manning
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Molecular Biosciences, UTEX Culture Collection of Algae, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, 78712, USA
Interests: phycology; biochemistry; chemical ecology; cyanotoxins; harmful algal blooms; metabolomics, microalgae; natural products; phycotoxins; secondary metabolism; toxicology
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Special Issue Information

Microalgae, including blue-green algae, i.e., cyanobacteria, synthesize a diverse array of secondary metabolites known to have neurotoxic, hepatotoxic, ichthyotoxic, hemolytic, and cytotoxic effects. The impacts of toxic algae are well documented with harmful algal blooms (HAB), and it is predicted that these events will increase in frequency and duration with climate change, threatening freshwater and marine ecosystems as well as human health. The number of congeners within various phycotoxin classes have continued to increase over the decades, and many bioactive phycochemicals have yet to be characterized, leaving tremendous room for discovery and broadening our knowledge of microalgal biochemistry. Furthermore, it is expected there will be a rapid expansion in the number and types of microalgal toxins with the advance of high-throughput purification and screening. This Special Issue of Toxins, ‘’Phycotoxins: Chemistry and Biochemistry’’, will focus on cutting-edge research in the areas of chemistry, biochemistry, and analytical methodologies for the detection and characterization of phycotoxins, e.g., polyketides, nonribosomal peptides, alkaloids, etc. Other topics will include the molecular biology and synthesis of phycotoxins, mechanism of action, and toxicology.

Dr. Schonna R. Manning
Guest Editor

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 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.


  • biochemistry
  • chemistry
  • cyanotoxins
  • harmful algal blooms
  • mechanism of action
  • nonribosomal peptides
  • phycotoxins
  • polyketides
  • synthesis
  • toxicology

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Molecular Identification and Toxin Analysis of Alexandrium spp. in the Beibu Gulf: First Report of Toxic A. tamiyavanichii in Chinese Coastal Waters
Toxins 2021, 13(2), 161; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins13020161 - 18 Feb 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 889
The frequency of harmful algal blooms (HABs) has increased in China in recent years. Information about harmful dinoflagellates and paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) is still limited in China, especially in the Beibu Gulf, where PSTs in shellfish have exceeded food safety guidelines on [...] Read more.
The frequency of harmful algal blooms (HABs) has increased in China in recent years. Information about harmful dinoflagellates and paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) is still limited in China, especially in the Beibu Gulf, where PSTs in shellfish have exceeded food safety guidelines on multiple occasions. To explore the nature of the threat from PSTs in the region, eight Alexandrium strains were isolated from waters of the Beibu Gulf and examined using phylogenetic analyses of large subunit (LSU) rDNA, small subunit (SSU) rDNA, and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences. Their toxin composition profiles were also determined using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). All eight strains clustered in the phylogenetic tree with A. pseudogonyaulax, A. affine, and A. tamiyavanichii from other locations, forming three well-resolved groups. The intraspecific genetic distances of the three Alexandrium species were significantly smaller than interspecific genetic distances for Alexandrium species. Beibu Gulf isolates were therefore classified as A. pseudogonyaulax, A. affine, and A. tamiyavanichii. No PSTs were identified in A. pseudogonyaulax, but low levels of gonyautoxins (GTXs) 1 to 5, and saxitoxin (STX) were detected in A. tamiyavanichii (a total of 4.60 fmol/cell). The extremely low level of toxicity is inconsistent with PST detection above regulatory levels on multiple occasions within the Beibu Gulf, suggesting that higher toxicity strains may occur in those waters, but were unsampled. Other explanations including biotransformation of PSTs in shellfish and the presence of other PST-producing algae are also suggested. Understanding the toxicity and phylogeny of Alexandrium species provides foundational data for the protection of public health in the Beibu Gulf region and the mitigation of HAB events. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phycotoxins: Chemistry and Biochemistry)
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