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Growth and Toxin Production by Microcystis Aeruginosa PCC 7806 (Kutzing) Lemmerman at Elevated Salt Concentrations

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Author(s): Ken Black | Mete Yilmaz | Edward J. Phlips

Journal: Journal of Environmental Protection
ISSN 2152-2197

Volume: 02;
Issue: 06;
Start page: 669;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Microcystin | Cyanobacteria | Estuaries

ABSTRACT
One of the most common and widespread bloom-forming cyanobacteria associated with toxin production is Microcystis aeruginosa (Kutzing) Lemmerman. While normally associated with fresh water environments, this toxigenic species has been observed at bloom concentrations in a number of major estuaries worldwide. This study examined the effect of salinity on growth and toxin production by M. aeruginosa strain PCC 7806 under controlled laboratory conditions. Salt concentrations above 12.6 ppt resulted in total cessation of growth. Toxin production was similarly affected, with cultures grown in salt concentrations of 4.6 ppt and above yielding less toxin than the control after 20 days of culture. Toxin concentrations after 20 days of culture were 40% of the control at 4.6 ppt. The relative proportion of extracellular to intracellular toxin increased over time in cultures with salt concentrations greater than 4.6 ppt. Extracellular toxins persisted in the media long after the cessation of growth. The results suggest that the influence of M. aeruginosa and/or its toxins can extend well out into estuarine environments under the influence of significant freshwater inputs.
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