Delayed Release of Intracellular Microcystin Following Partial Oxidation of Cultured and Naturally Occurring Cyanobacteria.
ABSTRACT: Oxidation processes can provide an effective barrier to eliminate cyanotoxins by damaging cyanobacteria cell membranes, releasing intracellular cyanotoxins, and subsequently oxidizing these toxins (now in extracellular form) based on published reaction kinetics. In this work, cyanobacteria cells from two natural blooms (from the United States and Canada) and a laboratory-cultured Microcystis aeruginosa strain were treated with chlorine, monochloramine, chlorine dioxide, ozone, and potassium permanganate. The release of microcystin was measured immediately after oxidation (t ? 20 min), and following oxidant residual quenching (stagnation times = 96 or 168 h). Oxidant exposures (CT) were determined resulting in complete release of intracellular microcystin following chlorine (21 mg-min/L), chloramine (72 mg-min/L), chlorine dioxide (58 mg-min/L), ozone (4.1 mg-min/L), and permanganate (391 mg-min/L). Required oxidant exposures using indigenous cells were greater than lab-cultured Microcystis. Following partial oxidation of cells (oxidant exposures ? CT values cited above), additional intracellular microcystin and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) were released while the samples remained stagnant in the absence of an oxidant (>96 h after quenching). The delayed release of microcystin from partially oxidized cells has implications for drinking water treatment as these cells may be retained on a filter surface or in solids and continue to slowly release cyanotoxins and other metabolites into the finished water.
Project description: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 <i>Microcystis</i> spp., and <i>Anabaena variabilis</i> (a.k.a. <i>Trichormus variabilis</i>), and the chlorophyte, <i>Selenastrum capricornutum</i> were investigated in the present study. Cell density, chlorophyll-a content, and the maximum quantum efficiency of photosystem II (Fv/Fm) of <i>Microcystis</i> 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 <i>Microcystis</i> strain LE-3. Intracellular levels of microcystin in <i>Microcystis</i> LE-3 significantly increased following exposure to MC-LR + ATX. The maximum quantum efficiency of photosystem II of <i>Anabaena</i> strain UTEX B377 declined during exposure to the cyanotoxins. Nitrogen fixation by <i>Anabaena</i> 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 <i>S. capricornutum</i>. 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 <i>S. capricornutum</i>. 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.
Project description:Cyanotoxins obtained from a freshwater cyanobacterial collection at Green Lake, Seattle during a cyanobacterial harmful algal bloom in the summer of 2014 were studied using a new approach based on molecular networking analysis of liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) data. This MS networking approach is particularly well-suited for the detection of new cyanotoxin variants and resulted in the discovery of three new cyclic peptides, namely microcystin-MhtyR (6), which comprised about half of the total microcystin content in the bloom, and ferintoic acids C (12) and D (13). Structure elucidation of 6 was aided by a new microscale methylation procedure. Metagenomic analysis of the bloom using the 16S-ITS rRNA region identified Microcystis aeruginosa as the predominant cyanobacterium in the sample. Fragments of the putative biosynthetic genes for the new cyanotoxins were also identified, and their sequences correlated to the structure of the isolated cyanotoxins.
Project description:Harmful cyanobacteria and their cyanotoxins may contaminate drinking water resources and their effective control remains challenging. The present study reports on cyanobacterial blooms and associated cyanotoxins in the Obrzyca River, a source of drinking water in Poland. The river was examined from July to October 2019 and concentrations of microcystins, anatoxin-a, and cylindrospermopsin were monitored. The toxicity of water samples was also tested using an ecotoxicological assay. All studied cyanotoxins were detected with microcystins revealing the highest levels. Maximal microcystin concentrations (3.97 ?g/L) were determined in September at U?cie point, exceeding the provisional guideline. Extracts from U?cie point, where the dominant species were Dolichospermum flos-aquae (August), Microcystis aeruginosa (September), and Planktothrix agardhii (October), were toxic for Dugesia tigrina Girard. Microcystin concentrations (MC-LR and MC-RR) were positively correlated with cyanobacteria biovolume. Analysis of the chemical indicators of water quality has shown relationships between them and microcystins as well as cyanobacteria abundance.
Project description:Drinking water treatment plants throughout the world are increasingly facing the presence of toxic cyanobacteria in their source waters. During treatment, the oxidation of cyanobacteria changes cell morphology and can potentially lyse cells, releasing intracellular metabolites. In this study, a combination of techniques was applied to better understand the effect of oxidation with chlorine, ozone, potassium permanganate, and hydrogen peroxide on two cell cultures (Microcystis, Dolichospermum) in Lake Champlain water. The discrepancy observed between flow cytometry cell viability and cell count numbers was more pronounced for hydrogen peroxide and potassium permanganate than ozone and chlorine. Liquid chromatography with organic carbon and nitrogen detection was applied to monitor the changes in dissolved organic matter fractions following oxidation. Increases in the biopolymer fraction after oxidation with chlorine and ozone were attributed to the release of intracellular algal organic matter and/or fragmentation of the cell membrane. A novel technique, Enhanced Darkfield Microscopy with Hyperspectral Imaging, was applied to chlorinated and ozonated samples. Significant changes in the peak maxima and number of peaks were observed for the cell walls post-oxidation, but this effect was muted for the cell-bound material, which remained relatively unaltered.
Project description:Microcystin-LR (MC-LR), an algal toxin (cyanotoxin) common in sources of drinking water, poses a major human health hazard due to its high toxicity. In this study, UV/chlorine was evaluated as a potentially practical and effective process for the degradation of MC-LR. Via mass spectrometry analysis, fewer chlorinated-MC-LR products were detected with UV/chlorine treatment than with chlorination, and a transformation pathway for MC-LR by UV/chlorine was proposed. Different degrees of rapid degradation of MC-LR were observed with varying pH (6-10.4), oxidant dosage (0.5-3 mg L-1), natural organic matter (0-7 mg L-1), and natural water sources. In contrast to the formation of primarily chloroform and dichloroacetic acid in deionized water where MC-LR serves as the only carbon source, additional chlorinated disinfection byproducts were produced when sand filtered natural water was used as a background matrix. The UV/chlorine treated samples also showed quantitatively less cytotoxicity in vitro in HepaRG human liver cell line tests than chlorination treated samples. Following 16 min (96 mJ cm-2) of UV irradiation combined with 1.5 mg L-1 chlorine treatment, the cell viability of the samples increased from 80% after exposure to 1 mg L-1 MC-LR to 90%, while chlorination treatment evidenced no reduction in cytotoxicity with the same reaction time.
Project description:Cyanobacteria harmful algal blooms (CHABs) are primarily caused by man-made eutrophication and increasing climate-change conditions. The presence of heavy metal runoff in affected water systems may result in CHABs alteration to their ecological interactions. Certain CHABs produce by-products, such as microcystin (MC) cyanotoxins, that have detrimentally affected humans through contact via recreation activities within implicated water bodies, directly drinking contaminated water, ingesting biomagnified cyanotoxins in seafood, and/or contact through miscellaneous water treatment. Metallothionein (MT) is a small, metal-sequestration cysteine rich protein often upregulated within the stress response mechanism. This study focused on zinc metal resistance and stress response in a toxigenic cyanobacterium, Microcystis aeruginosa UTEX LB 2385, by monitoring cells with (0, 0.1, 0.25, and 0.5 mg/L) ZnCl2 treatment. Flow cytometry and phase contrast microscopy were used to evaluate physiological responses in cultures. Molecular assays and an immunosorbent assay were used to characterize the expression of MT and MC under zinc stress. The results showed that the half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) was 0.25 mg/L ZnCl2. Flow cytometry and phase contrast microscopy showed morphological changes occurred in cultures exposed to 0.25 and 0.5 mg/L ZnCl2. Quantitative PCR (qPCR) analysis of selected cDNA samples showed significant upregulation of Mmt through all time points, significant upregulation of mcyC at a later time point. ELISA MC-LR analysis showed extracellular MC-LR (µg/L) and intracellular MC-LR (µg/cell) quota measurements persisted through 15 days, although 0.25 mg/L ZnCl2 treatment produced half the normal cell biomass and 0.5 mg/L treatment largely inhibited growth. The 0.25 and 0.5 mg/L ZnCl2 treated cells demonstrated a ~40% and 33% increase of extracellular MC-LR(µg/L) equivalents, respectively, as early as Day 5 compared to control cells. The 0.5 mg/L ZnCl2 treated cells showed higher total MC-LR (µg/cell) quota yield by Day 8 than both 0 mg/L ZnCl2 control cells and 0.1 mg/L ZnCl2 treated cells, indicating release of MCs upon cell lysis. This study showed this Microcystis aeruginosa strain is able to survive in 0.25 mg/L ZnCl2 concentration. Certain morphological zinc stress responses and the upregulation of mt and mcy genes, as well as periodical increased extracellular MC-LR concentration with ZnCl2 treatment were observed.
Project description:Zebrafish (Danio rerio) were obtained from the Zebrafish Research Facility maintained in the Center for Environmental Biotechnology at the University of Tennessee. Fish husbandry, spawning, and experimental procedures were conducted with approval from the University of Tennessee Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (Protocol #1690-1007). Water for holding fish and conducting experiments (hereafter referred to as fish water) consisted of MilliQ water (Millipore, Bedford, MA) with ions added: 19 mg/L NaHCO3, 1 mg/L sea salt (Instant Ocean Synthetic Sea Salt, Mentor, OH), 10 mg/L CaSO4, 10 mg/L MgSO4, 2 mg/L KCl. Embryos were obtained by spawning adult fish with no history of contaminant exposure. Fertilization of embryos took place at the same time (± 15 min.), such that larvae used in experiments were of similar age at the time of exposure. All activities (maintenance of adult fish, spawning, and experiments) were conducted in an environmental chamber with a temperature of 27± 1 ºC and 14:10h light:dark photoperiod. Overall design: At 72 h post-fertilization, zebrafish larvae were exposed to lyophilized Microcystis and purified MC-LR at concentrations of 100 and 1,000 µg/L. Controls consisted of zebrafish system water (negative control) and zebrafish system water containing 0.05% ethanol (vehicle control). Larvae from both control groups as well as 100 µg/L MC-LR, 1,000 µg/L MC-LR, and lyophilized Microcystis were exposed in groups of 50 with three replicates and were sacrificed after 96 hours for total RNA extraction and subsequent microarray analysis. All larvae were exposed in beakers containing 100 ml of solution. Water samples for microcystin analysis and water quality measurements were taken during the experiment, and mortality and behavioral observations were recorded at 24-hour intervals. Microcystin analysis was conducted by protein phosphatase inhibition assay. Measured concentrations of microcystin-LR were 140 ± 12 SD (low concentration) and 1,703 ± 71 SD (high concentration). The concentration of microcystin-LR in the lyophilized Microcystis treatment was 4.5 µg/L. Water quality parameters measured included dissolved oxygen (6.7 mg/L), pH (6.9), total alkalinity (36 mg/L as CaCO3), total hardness (18 mg/L as CaCO3), and ammonia (<0.2 mg/L). No significant mortality or behavioral changes in larvae were observed during the exposure.
Project description:The evolution of the microcystin toxin gene cluster in phylogenetically distant cyanobacteria has been attributed to recombination, inactivation, and deletion events, although gene transfer may also be involved. Since the microcystin-producing Microcystis aeruginosa PCC 7806 is naturally transformable, we have initiated the characterization of its type IV pilus system, involved in DNA uptake in many bacteria, to provide a physiological focus for the influence of gene transfer in microcystin evolution. The type IV pilus genes pilA, pilB, pilC, and pilT were shown to be expressed in M. aeruginosa PCC 7806. The purified PilT protein yielded a maximal ATPase activity of 37.5 +/- 1.8 nmol P(i) min(-1) mg protein(-1), with a requirement for Mg(2+). Heterologous expression indicated that it could complement the pilT mutant of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, but not that of the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803, which was unexpected. Differences in two critical residues between the M. aeruginosa PCC 7806 PilT (7806 PilT) and the Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803 PilT proteins affected their theoretical structural models, which may explain the nonfunctionality of 7806 PilT in its cyanobacterial counterpart. Screening of the pilT gene in toxic and nontoxic strains of Microcystis was also performed.
Project description:We investigated the accumulation and adverse effects of toxic and non-toxic Microcystis in the edible clam Corbicula leana. Treated clams were exposed to toxic Microcystis at 100 ?g of MC (microcystin)-LReq L-1 for 10 days. The experimental organism was then placed in toxin-free water and fed on non-toxic Microcystis for the following 10 days for depuration. Filtering rates (FRs) by C. leana of toxic and non-toxic Microcystis and of the green alga Chlorella vulgaris as a control were estimated. Adverse effects were evaluated though the activity of catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione S-transferase (GST). Clam accumulated MCs (up to 12.7 ± 2.5 ?g g-1 dry weight (DW) of free MC and 4.2 ± 0.6 ?g g-1 DW of covalently bound MC). Our results suggest that although both toxic and non-toxic cyanobacteria caused adverse effects by inducing the detoxification and antioxidant defense system, the clam was quite resistant to cyanotoxins. The estimated MC concentration in C. leana was far beyond the World Health Organization's (WHO) provisional tolerable daily intake (0.04 ?g kg-1 day-1), suggesting that consuming clams harvested during cyanobacterial blooms carries a high health risk.
Project description:Existing models for predicting microcystin concentration in water body generally use chlorophyll or cyanobacteria concentration as input variables, although microcystins only originate from toxigenic strains of a few species. Moreover, the nonconcurrency between harmful algal growth and toxin release has yet to be quantified. Therefore, this study explored a new prediction method that considers these toxin production mechanisms for the eutrophic Yangcheng Lake, a large-scale drinking water source in China. The Lake was monitored weekly at six sampling sites from July to October in 2012, including the detection of toxigenic Microcystis (expressed as mcyA copy number) by qPCR. Compared with chlorophyll a, cyanobacteria, and total Microcystis abundance, toxigenic Microcystis concentration was more significant in predicting extracellular microcystin. Site-specific nonlinear regression models that link mcyA to microcystins were established. Parameters for toxin release delay (i.e., one or two weeks) were embedded in these models. Further analysis ascribed the different release timescale to NH3-N:TN and TN:TP ratios of approximately 0.015 and 9.2, respectively, which may decrease the delay in microcystin release. Model applications in determining mcyA monitoring frequency and its warning thresholds were discussed.