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Microcystin, a hepatotoxin known to be the cause of animal and human deaths, is produced by the bloom-forming cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa in freshwater bodies worldwide. The toxin is produced nonribosomally via a multifunctional enzyme complex, consisting of both peptide synthetase and polyketide synthase modules coded for by the mcy gene cluster.(More)
BACKGROUND Blooms of toxic cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) have become increasingly common in the surface waters of the world. Of the known toxins produced by cyanobacteria, the microcystins are the most significant threat to human and animal health. These cyclic peptides are potent inhibitors of eukaryotic protein phosphatases type 1 and 2A. Synthesized(More)
Over the past 15 years, the genetic basis for production of many cyanobacterial bioactive compounds has been described. This knowledge has enabled investigations into the environmental factors that regulate the production of these toxins at the molecular level. Such molecular or systems level studies are also likely to reveal the physiological role of the(More)
The impact of environmental stimuli on the production of the widespread cyanobacterial hepatotoxin microcystin (MC) is under debate. Whereas transcriptional studies of the biosynthetic genes suggest a clear influence of light conditions on toxin production the data for the metabolite itself are inconsistent and highly strain-specific. Here, we have(More)
Polyketide synthases (PKS) perform a stepwise biosynthesis of diverse carbon skeletons from simple activated carboxylic acid units. The products of the complex pathways possess a wide range of pharmaceutical properties, including antibiotic, antitumor, antifungal, and immunosuppressive activities. We have performed a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of(More)
Microcystins are cyanobacterial toxins that represent a serious threat to drinking water and recreational lakes worldwide. Here, we show that microcystin fulfils an important function within cells of its natural producer Microcystis. The microcystin deficient mutant ΔmcyB showed significant changes in the accumulation of proteins, including several enzymes(More)
The influence of cell-bound microcystins on the survival time and feeding rates of six Daphnia clones belonging to five common species was studied. To do this, the effects of the microcystin-producing Microcystis strain PCC7806 and its mutant, which has been genetically engineered to knock out microcystin synthesis, were compared. Additionally, the(More)
The effects of microcystins on Daphnia galeata, a typical filter-feeding grazer in eutrophic lakes, were investigated. To do this, the microcystin-producing wild-type strain Microcystis aeruginosa PCC7806 was compared with a mcy- PCC7806 mutant, which could not synthesize any variant of microcystin due to mutation of a microcystin synthetase gene. The(More)
We investigated the intestinal uptake and adverse effects of microcystins ingested with Microcystis on Daphnia galeata. The gut structure, blood microcystin concentration, appearance, and movements of Daphnia fed Microcystis PCC 7806 or a microcystin-deficient PCC 7806 mutant were monitored over time. Microcystins were rapidly taken up from the digestive(More)
The cyanobacterium Planktothrix agardhii, which is dominant in many shallow eutrophic lakes, can produce hepatotoxic microcystins. Currently, more than 70 different microcystin variants have been described, which differ in toxicity. In this study, the effect of photon irradiance on the production of different microcystin variants by P. agardhii was(More)