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Toxins 2013, 5(6), 1089-1104; doi:10.3390/toxins5061089

Limited Stability of Microcystins in Oligopeptide Compositions of Microcystis aeruginosa (Cyanobacteria): Implications in the Definition of Chemotypes

Departamento de Biología, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, C/Darwin, 2, Madrid 28049, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 January 2013 / Revised: 15 May 2013 / Accepted: 28 May 2013 / Published: 6 June 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyanotoxins)
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The occurrence of diverse oligopeptides in cyanobacteria, including the cyanotoxins microcystins, has been recently used to classify individual clones into sub-specific oligopeptide chemotypes, whose composition and dynamics modulate microcystin concentrations in cyanobacterial blooms. Cyanobacterial chemotyping allows the study of the ecology of chemotypical subpopulations, which have been shown to possess dissimilar ecological traits. However, the stability of chemotypes under changing abiotic conditions is usually assumed and has not been assessed in detail. We monitored oligopeptide patterns of three strains of Microcystis aeruginosa under different nutrient and light conditions. MALDI-TOF MS revealed alterations in the microcystins signatures under N and P poor conditions and high light intensities (150 and 400 μmol photons m−2s−1). Variations in the general oligopeptide composition were caused by a gradual disappearance of microcystins with low relative intensity signals from the fingerprint. The extent of such variations seems to be closely related to physiological stress caused by treatments. Under identical clonal compositions, alterations in the oligopeptide fingerprint may be misinterpreted as apparent shifts in chemotype succession. We discuss the nature of such variations, as well as the consequent implications in the use of cyanobacterial chemotyping in studies at the subpopulation level and propose new guidance for the definition of chemotypes as a consistent subpopulation marker. View Full-Text
Keywords: MALDI-TOF MS; chemotype; stability; nutrient deficiency; light; oligopeptide MALDI-TOF MS; chemotype; stability; nutrient deficiency; light; oligopeptide

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Agha, R.; Cirés, S.; Wörmer, L.; Quesada, A. Limited Stability of Microcystins in Oligopeptide Compositions of Microcystis aeruginosa (Cyanobacteria): Implications in the Definition of Chemotypes. Toxins 2013, 5, 1089-1104.

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