Salt tolerance of the harmful cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa

Tonk, L., Bosch, K., Visser, P. M. and Huisman, J. (2007) Salt tolerance of the harmful cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa. Aquatic Microbial Ecology, 46 2: 117-123. doi:10.3354/ame046117

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Author Tonk, L.
Bosch, K.
Visser, P. M.
Huisman, J.
Title Salt tolerance of the harmful cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa
Formatted title
Salt tolerance of the harmful cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa
Journal name Aquatic Microbial Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0948-3055
Publication date 2007-02-02
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3354/ame046117
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 46
Issue 2
Start page 117
End page 123
Total pages 7
Editor Edna Granéli
Place of publication Oldendorf/Luhe, Germany
Publisher Inter-Research
Language eng
Subject 0602 Ecology
Abstract Increasing salinities in freshwater ecosystems caused by agricultural practices, droughts, or rise in sea level are likely to affect the species composition of phototrophic microorganisms. Cosmopolitan freshwater cyanobacteria of the Microcystis genus can produce the toxin microcystin, and present a potential health risk in many eutrophic lakes. In this study, M. aeruginosa Strain PCC 7806 was grown in semi-continuous turbidostats to investigate the effect of increasing salinity on growth rate, microcystin cell quota, microcystin production and extracellular microcystin concentration. Specific growth rate, microcystin cell quota and microcystin production remained more or less unaffected by salinity levels up to 10 g l–1. Specific growth rate collapsed when salinity was increased beyond 10 g l–1 for several weeks. Cell size and microcystin cell quota decreased while extracellular microcystin concentrations increased at salinities above 10 g l–1, indicating leakage and/or cell lysis. Salt-shock experiments revealed that M. aeruginosa can temporarily endure salinities as high as 17.5 g l–1. These results indicate that, for a freshwater species, M. aeruginosa has a high salt tolerance. Rising salinities in freshwater ecosystems are therefore unlikely to suppress M. aeruginosa blooms, and may in fact enhance the exposure of aquatic organisms to elevated concentrations of extracellular microcystins.
Keyword Harmful algal blooms
Harmful cyanobacteria
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
Centre for Marine Studies Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 45 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 06 Jan 2010, 13:05:48 EST by Ms Susana Macanawai on behalf of Faculty of Science