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Detection of potential microcystin-producing cyanobacteria in Brazilian reservoirs with a mcyB molecular marker


Detection of potential microcystin-producing cyanobacteria in Brazilian reservoirs with a mcyB molecular marker



Harmful Algae 2(1): 51-60



ISSN/ISBN: 1568-9883

DOI: 10.1016/s1568-9883(03)00004-0

One of the most serious problems related to water eutrophication is the occurrence of increasingly frequent blooms of toxic cyanobacteria in freshwater ecosystems. Microcystin (MCYST) molecular markers may be used for the detection of toxic cyanobacteria, both cultivated strains and environmental samples, independently of their taxonomic category and production of the toxin at the moment of analysis. Sixty Microcystis spp. strains from 15 water reservoirs of south, southeastern and northeastern Brazil were analyzed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with oligonucleotide primers for mcyB gene of the operon that encodes a microcystin synthetase. It was found out that the presence of a unique amplified product of approximately 780 bp in 18 strains, indicated the presence of the microcystin-producing genotype. There was correspondence between the presence of the mcyB gene and microcystin determined by ELISA. Eight reservoirs contained toxic strains, two of these reservoirs being used mainly for public water supply. The coexistence of a mixture of toxic and non-toxic genotypes in populations of several reservoirs was found. Thus, it is evident that Microcystis populations present in blooms compose a mosaic, with genetically different individuals within the same population, each one, possibly, with its own tolerance to environmental factors and with distinct toxicity potential.

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Accession: 003705189

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