Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 15

Cyanobacteria Related Abstracts

15 Total Lipid of Mutant Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002

Authors: Sarina Sulaiman, Zaki Zainudin, Azlin S Azmi, Mus’ab Zainal, Azura Amid


Microalgae lipid is a promising feedstock for biodiesel production. The objective of this work was to study growth factors affecting marine mutant Synechococcus sp. (PCC 7002) for high lipid production. Four growth factors were investigated; nitrogen-phosporus-potassium (NPK) concentration, light intensity, temperature and NaNO3 concentration on mutant strain growth and lipid production were studied. Design Expert v8.0 was used to design the experimental and analyze the data. The experimental design selected was Min-Run Res IV which consists of 12 runs and the response surfaces measured were specific growth rate and lipid concentration. The extraction of lipid was conducted by chloroform/methanol solvents system. Based on the study, mutant Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 gave the highest specific growth rate of 0.0014 h-1 at 0% NPK, 2500 lux, 40oC and 0% NaNO3. On the other hand, the highest lipid concentration was obtained at 0% NPK, 3500 lux, 30°C and 1% NaNO3.

Keywords: Cyanobacteria, lipid, mutant, marine Synechococcus sp. (PCC 7002), specific growth rate

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14 The Influence of Crude Oil on Growth of Freshwater Algae

Authors: Al-Saboonchi Azhar


The effects of Iraqi crude oil on growth of three freshwater algae (Chlorella vulgaris Beij., Scenedesmus acuminatus (Lag.) Chodat. and Oscillatoria princeps Vauch.) were investigated, basing on it's biomass expressed as Chl.a. Growth rate and doubling time of the cell were calculated. Results showed that growth rate and species survival varied with concentrations of crude oil and species type. Chlorella vulgaris and Scenedesmus acuminatus were more sensitive in culture containing crude oil as compared with Oscillatoria princeps cultures. The growth of green algae were significantly inhibited in culture containing (5 mg/l) crude oil, while the growth of Oscillatoria princeps reduced in culture containing (10 mg/l) crude oil.

Keywords: Cyanobacteria, Algae, green algae, crude oil

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13 Green Synthesis of Silver and Silver-Gold Alloy Nanoparticle Using Cyanobacteria as Bioreagent

Authors: Piya Roychoudhury, Ruma Pal


Cyanobacteria, commonly known as blue green algae were found to be an effective bioreagent for nanoparticle synthesis. Nowadays silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are very popular due to their antimicrobial and anti-proliferative activity. To exploit these characters in different biotechnological fields, it is very essential to synthesize more stable, non-toxic nano-silver. For this reason silver-gold alloy (Ag-AuNPs) nanoparticles are of great interest as they are more stable, harder and more effective than single metal nanoparticles. In the present communication we described a simple technique for rapid synthesis of biocompatible AgNP and Ag-AuNP employing cyanobacteria, Leptolyngbya and Lyngbya respectively. For synthesis of AgNP the biomass of Leptolyngbya valderiana (200 mg Fresh weight) was exposed to 9 mM AgNO3 solution (pH 4). For synthesis of Ag-AuNP Lyngbya majuscula (200 mg Fresh weight) was exposed to equimolar solution of hydrogen tetra-auro chlorate and silver nitrate (1mM, pH 4). After 72 hrs of exposure thallus of Leptolyngyba turned brown in color and filaments of Lyngbya turned pink in color that indicated synthesis of nanoparticles. The produced particles were extracted from the cyanobacterial biomass using nano-capping agent, sodium citrate. Firstly, extracted brown and pink suspensions were taken for Energy Dispersive X-ray (EDAX) analysis to confirm the presence of silver in brown suspension and presence of both gold and silver in pink suspension. Extracted nanoparticles showed a distinct single plasmon band (AgNP at 411 nm; Ag-Au NP at 481 nm) in Uv-vis spectroscopy. It was revealed from Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) that all the synthesized particles were spherical in nature with a size range of ~2-25 nm. In X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) analysis four intense peaks appeared at 38.2°, 44.5°, 64.8°and 77.8° which confirmed the crystallographic nature of synthesized particles. Presence of different functional groups viz. N-H, C=C, C–O, C=O on the surface of nanoparticles were recorded by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Scanning Electron microscopy (SEM) images showed the surface topography of metal treated filaments of cyanobacteria. The stability of the particles was observed by Zeta potential study. Antibiotic property of synthesized particles was tested by Agar well diffusion method against gram negative bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Overall, this green-technique requires low energy, less manufacturing cost and produces rapidly eco-friendly metal nanoparticles.

Keywords: Spectroscopy, Cyanobacteria, Silver Nanoparticles, silver-gold alloy nanoparticles

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12 Determination of Cyanotoxins from Leeukraal and Klipvoor Dams

Authors: Moletsane Makgotso, Mogakabe Elijah, Marrengane Zinhle


South Africa’s water resources quality is becoming more and more weakened by eutrophication, which deteriorates its usability. Thirty five percent of fresh water resources are eutrophic to hypertrophic, including grossly-enriched reservoirs that go beyond the globally-accepted definition of hypertrophy. Failing infrastructure adds to the problem of contaminated urban runoff which encompasses an important fraction of flows to inland reservoirs, particularly in the non-coastal, economic heartland of the country. Eutrophication threatens the provision of potable and irrigation water in the country because of the dependence on fresh water resources. Eutrophicated water reservoirs increase water treatment costs, leads to unsuitability for recreational purposes and health risks to human and animal livelihood due to algal proliferation. Eutrophication is caused by high concentrations of phosphorus and nitrogen in water bodies. In South Africa, Microsystis and Anabaena are widely distributed cyanobacteria, with Microcystis being the most dominant bloom-forming cyanobacterial species associated with toxin production. Two impoundments were selected, namely the Klipvoor and Leeukraal dams as they are mainly used for fishing, recreational, agricultural and to some extent, potable water purposes. The total oxidized nitrogen and total phosphorus concentration were determined as causative nutrients for eutrophication. Chlorophyll a and total microcystins, as well as the identification of cyanobacteria was conducted as indicators of cyanobacterial infestation. The orthophosphate concentration was determined by subjecting the samples to digestion and filtration followed by spectrophotometric analysis of total phosphates and dissolved phosphates using Aquakem kits. The total oxidized nitrates analysis was conducted by initially conducting filtration followed by spectrophotometric analysis. Chlorophyll a was quantified spectrophotometrically by measuring the absorbance of before and after acidification. Microcystins were detected using the Quantiplate Microcystin Kit, as well as microscopic identification of cyanobacterial species. The Klipvoor dam was found to be hypertrophic throughout the study period as the mean Chlorophyll a concentration was 269.4µg/l which exceeds the mean value for the hypertrophic state. The mean Total Phosphorus concentration was >0.130mg/l, and the total microcystin concentration was > 2.5µg/l throughout the study. The most predominant algal species were found to be the Microcystis. The Leeukraal dam was found to be mesotrophic with the potential of it becoming eutrophic as the mean concentration for chlorophyll a was 18.49 µg/l with the mean Total Phosphorus > 0.130mg/l and the Total Microcystin concentration < 0.16µg/l. The cyanobacterial species identified in Leeukraal have been classified as those that do not pose a potential risk to any impoundment. Microcystis was present throughout the sampling period and dominant during the warmer seasons. The high nutrient concentrations led to the dominance of Microcystis that resulted in high levels of microcystins rendering the impoundments, particularly Klipvoor undesirable for utilisation.

Keywords: Nitrogen, Cyanobacteria, Phosphorus, microcystins

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11 Invasion of Pectinatella magnifica in Freshwater Resources of the Czech Republic

Authors: J. Pazourek, K. Šmejkal, P. Kollár, J. Rajchard, J. Šinko, Z. Balounová, E. Vlková, H. Salmonová


Pectinatella magnifica (Leidy, 1851) is an invasive freshwater animal that lives in colonies. A colony of Pectinatella magnifica (a gelatinous blob) can be up to several feet in diameter large and under favorable conditions it exhibits an extreme growth rate. Recently European countries around rivers of Elbe, Oder, Danube, Rhine and Vltava have confirmed invasion of Pectinatella magnifica, including freshwater reservoirs in South Bohemia (Czech Republic). Our project (Czech Science Foundation, GAČR P503/12/0337) is focused onto biology and chemistry of Pectinatella magnifica. We monitor the organism occurrence in selected South Bohemia ponds and sandpits during the last years, collecting information about physical properties of surrounding water, and sampling the colonies for various analyses (classification, maps of secondary metabolites, toxicity tests). Because the gelatinous matrix is during the colony lifetime also a host for algae, bacteria and cyanobacteria (co-habitants), in this contribution, we also applied a high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method for determination of potentially present cyanobacterial toxins (microcystin-LR, microcystin-RR, nodularin). Results from the last 3-year monitoring show that these toxins are under limit of detection (LOD), so that they do not represent a danger yet. The final goal of our study is to assess toxicity risks related to fresh water resources invaded by Pectinatella magnifica, and to understand the process of invasion, which can enable to control it.

Keywords: Cyanobacteria, fresh water resources, Pectinatella magnifica invasion, toxicity monitoring

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10 Monitoring Spatial Distribution of Blue-Green Algae Blooms with Underwater Drones

Authors: R. L. P. de Lima, F. C. B. Boogaard, R. E. de Graaf-Van Dinther


Blue-green algae blooms (cyanobacteria) is currently a relevant ecological problem that is being addressed by most water authorities in the Netherlands. These can affect recreation areas by originating unpleasant smells and toxins that can poison humans and animals (e.g. fish, ducks, dogs). Contamination events usually take place during summer months, and their frequency is increasing with climate change. Traditional monitoring of this bacteria is expensive, labor-intensive and provides only limited (point sampling) information about the spatial distribution of algae concentrations. Recently, a novel handheld sensor allowed water authorities to quicken their algae surveying and alarm systems. This study converted the mentioned algae sensor into a mobile platform, by combining it with an underwater remotely operated vehicle (also equipped with other sensors and cameras). This provides a spatial visualization (mapping) of algae concentrations variations within the area covered with the drone, and also in depth. Measurements took place in different locations in the Netherlands: i) lake with thick silt layers at the bottom, very eutrophic former bottom of the sea and frequent / intense mowing regime; ii) outlet of waste water into large reservoir; iii) urban canal system. Results allowed to identify probable dominant causes of blooms (i), provide recommendations for the placement of an outlet, day-night differences in algae behavior (ii), or the highlight / pinpoint higher algae concentration areas (iii). Although further research is still needed to fully characterize these processes and to optimize the measuring tool (underwater drone developments / improvements), the method here presented can already provide valuable information about algae behavior and spatial / temporal variability and shows potential as an efficient monitoring system.

Keywords: Water Quality Monitoring, Cyanobacteria, blue-green algae, underwater drones / ROV / AUV

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9 The Effects of Above-Average Precipitation after Extended Drought on Phytoplankton in Southern California Surface Water Reservoirs

Authors: Margaret K. Spoo-Chupka


The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWDSC) manages surface water reservoirs that are a source of drinking water for more than 19 million people in Southern California. These reservoirs experience periodic planktonic cyanobacteria blooms that can impact water quality. MWDSC imports water from two sources – the Colorado River (CR) and the State Water Project (SWP). The SWP brings supplies from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta that are characterized as having higher nutrients than CR water. Above average precipitation in 2017 after five years of drought allowed the majority of the reservoirs to fill. Phytoplankton was analyzed during the drought and after the drought at three reservoirs: Diamond Valley Lake (DVL), which receives SWP water exclusively, Lake Skinner, which can receive a blend of SWP and CR water, and Lake Mathews, which generally receives only CR water. DVL experienced a significant increase in water elevation in 2017 due to large SWP inflows, and there were no significant changes to total phytoplankton biomass, Shannon-Wiener diversity of the phytoplankton, or cyanobacteria biomass in 2017 compared to previous drought years despite the higher nutrient loads. The biomass of cyanobacteria that could potentially impact DVL water quality (Microcystis spp., Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, Dolichospermum spp., and Limnoraphis birgei) did not differ significantly between the heavy precipitation year and drought years. Compared to the other reservoirs, DVL generally has the highest concentration of cyanobacteria due to the water supply having greater nutrients. Lake Mathews’ water levels were similar in drought and wet years due to a reliable supply of CR water and there were no significant changes in the total phytoplankton biomass, phytoplankton diversity, or cyanobacteria biomass in 2017 compared to previous drought years. The biomass of cyanobacteria that could potentially impact water quality at Lake Mathews (L. birgei and Microcystis spp.) did not differ significantly between 2017 and previous drought years. Lake Mathews generally had the lowest cyanobacteria biomass due to the water supply having lower nutrients. The CR supplied most of the water to Lake Skinner during drought years, while the SWP was the primary source during 2017. This change in water source resulted in a significant increase in phytoplankton biomass in 2017, no significant change in diversity, and a significant increase in cyanobacteria biomass. Cyanobacteria that could potentially impact water quality at Skinner included: Microcystis spp., Dolichospermum spp., and A.flos-aquae. There was no significant difference in Microcystis spp. biomass in 2017 compared to previous drought years, but biomass of Dolichospermum spp. and A.flos-aquae were significantly greater in 2017 compared to previous drought years. Dolichospermum sp. and A. flos-aquae are two cyanobacteria that are more sensitive to nutrients than Microcystis spp., which are more sensitive to temperature. Patterns in problem cyanobacteria abundance among Southern California reservoirs as a result of above-average precipitation after more than five years of drought were most closely related to nutrient loading.

Keywords: Reservoirs, Cyanobacteria, Drought, and phytoplankton ecology

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8 Engineering C₃ Plants with SbtA, a Cyanobacterial Transporter, for Enhancing CO₂ Fixation

Authors: Vandana Deopanée Tomar, Gurpreet Kaur Sidhu, Panchsheela Nogia, Rajesh Mehrotra, Sandhya Mehrotra


The cyanobacterial CO₂ concentrating mechanism (CCM) operates to raise the levels of CO₂ in the vicinity of the main carboxylation enzyme Rubisco which is encapsulated in protein micro compartments called carboxysomes. Thus, due to the presence of CCM, cyanobacterial cells are able to work with high photosynthetic efficiency even at low Ci conditions and can accumulate 1000 folds high internal concentrations of Ci than external environment. Engineering of some useful CCM components into higher plants is one of the plausible approaches to improve their photosynthetic performance. The first step and the simplest approach for attaining this objective would be the transfer of cyanobacterial bicarbonate transporter such as SbtA to inner chloroplast envelope of C₃ plants. For this, SbtA transporter gene from Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942 was fused to a transit peptide element to generate chimeric constructs in order to direct it to chloroplast inner envelope. Two transit peptides namely, TnaXTP (transit peptide from AT3G56160) and TMDTP (transit peptide from AT2G02590) were shortlisted from Arabidopsis thaliana genome and cloned in plant expression vector pCAMBIA1302 having mgfp5 as a reporter gene. Plant transformation was done by agro infiltration and Agrobacterium mediated co-culture. DNA, RNA, and protein were isolated from the leaves four days post infiltration, and the presence of transgene was confirmed by gene specific PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) analysis and by RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction). The expression was confirmed at the protein level by western blotting using anti-GFP primary antibody and horseradish peroxidase (HRP) conjugated secondary antibody. The localization of the protein was detected by confocal microscopy of isolated protoplasts. We observed chloroplastic expression for both the fusion constructs which suggest that the transit peptide sequences are capable of taking the cargo protein to the chloroplasts. These constructs are now being used to generate stable transgenic plants by Agrobacterium mediated transformation. The stability of transgene expression will be analyzed from T₀ to T₂ generation.

Keywords: Cyanobacteria, agro infiltration, bicarbonate transporter, carbon concentrating mechanisms, SbtA

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7 Risks for Cyanobacteria Harmful Algal Blooms in Georgia Piedmont Waterbodies Due to Land Management and Climate Interactions

Authors: Deepak Mishra, Sam Weber, Susan Wilde, Elizabeth Kramer


The frequency and severity of cyanobacteria harmful blooms (CyanoHABs) have been increasing over time, with point and non-point source eutrophication and shifting climate paradigms being blamed as the primary culprits. Excessive nutrients, warm temperatures, quiescent water, and heavy and less regular rainfall create more conducive environments for CyanoHABs. CyanoHABs have the potential to produce a spectrum of toxins that cause gastrointestinal stress, organ failure, and even death in humans and animals. To promote enhanced, proactive CyanoHAB management, risk modeling using geospatial tools can act as predictive mechanisms to supplement current CyanoHAB monitoring, management and mitigation efforts. The risk maps would empower water managers to focus their efforts on high risk water bodies in an attempt to prevent CyanoHABs before they occur, and/or more diligently observe those waterbodies. For this research, exploratory spatial data analysis techniques were used to identify the strongest predicators for CyanoHAB blooms based on remote sensing-derived cyanobacteria cell density values for 771 waterbodies in the Georgia Piedmont and landscape characteristics of their watersheds. In-situ datasets for cyanobacteria cell density, nutrients, temperature, and rainfall patterns are not widely available, so free gridded geospatial datasets were used as proxy variables for assessing CyanoHAB risk. For example, the percent of a watershed that is agriculture was used as a proxy for nutrient loading, and the summer precipitation within a watershed was used as a proxy for water quiescence. Cyanobacteria cell density values were calculated using atmospherically corrected images from the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-2A satellite and multispectral instrument sensor at a 10-meter ground resolution. Seventeen explanatory variables were calculated for each watershed utilizing the multi-petabyte geospatial catalogs available within the Google Earth Engine cloud computing interface. The seventeen variables were then used in a multiple linear regression model, and the strongest predictors of cyanobacteria cell density were selected for the final regression model. The seventeen explanatory variables included land cover composition, winter and summer temperature and precipitation data, topographic derivatives, vegetation index anomalies, and soil characteristics. Watershed maximum summer temperature, percent agriculture, percent forest, percent impervious, and waterbody area emerged as the strongest predictors of cyanobacteria cell density with an adjusted R-squared value of 0.31 and a p-value ~ 0. The final regression equation was used to make a normalized cyanobacteria cell density index, and a Jenks Natural Break classification was used to assign waterbodies designations of low, medium, or high risk. Of the 771 waterbodies, 24.38% were low risk, 37.35% were medium risk, and 38.26% were high risk. This study showed that there are significant relationships between free geospatial datasets representing summer maximum temperatures, nutrient loading associated with land use and land cover, and the area of a waterbody with cyanobacteria cell density. This data analytics approach to CyanoHAB risk assessment corroborated the literature-established environmental triggers for CyanoHABs, and presents a novel approach for CyanoHAB risk mapping in waterbodies across the greater southeastern United States.

Keywords: Remote Sensing, Cyanobacteria, Risk Mapping, land use/land cover

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6 Application of Response Surface Methodology to Assess the Impact of Aqueous and Particulate Phosphorous on Diazotrophic and Non-Diazotrophic Cyanobacteria Associated with Harmful Algal Blooms

Authors: Elizabeth Crafton, Donald Ott, Teresa Cutright


Harmful algal blooms (HABs), more notably cyanobacteria-dominated HABs, compromise water quality, jeopardize access to drinking water and are a risk to public health and safety. HABs are representative of ecosystem imbalance largely caused by environmental changes, such as eutrophication, that are associated with the globally expanding human population. Cyanobacteria-dominated HABs are anticipated to increase in frequency, magnitude, and are predicted to plague a larger geographical area as a result of climate change. The weather pattern is important as storm-driven, pulse-input of nutrients have been correlated to cyanobacteria-dominated HABs. The mobilization of aqueous and particulate nutrients and the response of the phytoplankton community is an important relationship in this complex phenomenon. This relationship is most apparent in high-impact areas of adequate sunlight, > 20ᵒC, excessive nutrients and quiescent water that corresponds to ideal growth of HABs. Typically the impact of particulate phosphorus is dismissed as an insignificant contribution; which is true for areas that are not considered high-impact. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of a simulated storm-driven, pulse-input of reactive phosphorus and the response of three different cyanobacteria assemblages (~5,000 cells/mL). The aqueous and particulate sources of phosphorus and changes in HAB were tracked weekly for 4 weeks. The first cyanobacteria composition consisted of Planktothrix sp., Microcystis sp., Aphanizomenon sp., and Anabaena sp., with 70% of the total population being non-diazotrophic and 30% being diazotrophic. The second was comprised of Anabaena sp., Planktothrix sp., and Microcystis sp., with 87% diazotrophic and 13% non-diazotrophic. The third composition has yet to be determined as these experiments are ongoing. Preliminary results suggest that both aqueous and particulate sources are contributors of total reactive phosphorus in high-impact areas. The results further highlight shifts in the cyanobacteria assemblage after the simulated pulse-input. In the controls, the reactors dosed with aqueous reactive phosphorus maintained a constant concentration for the duration of the experiment; whereas, the reactors that were dosed with aqueous reactive phosphorus and contained soil decreased from 1.73 mg/L to 0.25 mg/L of reactive phosphorus from time zero to 7 days; this was higher than the blank (0.11 mg/L). Suggesting a binding of aqueous reactive phosphorus to sediment, which is further supported by the positive correlation observed between total reactive phosphorus concentration and turbidity. The experiments are nearly completed and a full statistical analysis will be completed of the results prior to the conference.

Keywords: Cyanobacteria, Harmful Algal Blooms, response surface methodology, phosphorous, Anabaena, Microcystis

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5 Antimicrobial Activity of the Cyanobacteria spp. against Fish Pathogens in Aquaculture

Authors: I. Tulay Cagatay


Blue-green microalgae cyanobacteria, which are important photosynthetic organisms of aquatic ecosystems, are the primary sources of many bioactive compounds such as proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, vitamins and enzymes that can be used as antimicrobial and antiviral agents. Some of these organisms are nowadays used directly in the food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry, or in aquaculture and biotechnological approaches like biofuel or drug therapy. Finding the effective, environmental friendly chemotropic and antimicrobial agents to control fish pathogens are crucial in a country like Turkey which has a production capacity of about 240 thousand tons of cultured fish and has 2377 production farms and which is the second biggest producer in Europe. In our study, we tested the antimicrobial activity of cyanobacterium spp. against some fish pathogens Aeromonas hydrophila and Yersinia ruckeri that are important pathogens for rainbow trout farms. Agar disk diffusion test method was used for studying antimicrobial activity on pathogens. Both tested microorganisms have shown antimicrobial activity positively as the inhibition zones were 0.45 mm and 0.40 mm respectively.

Keywords: Antimicrobial activity, Cyanobacteria, trout, fish pathogen

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4 Comparative Analysis of Photosynthetic and Antioxidative Responses of Two Species of Anabaena under Ni and As(III) Stress

Authors: Shivam Yadav, Neelam Atri


Cyanobacteria, the photosynthetic prokaryotes are indispensable components of paddy soil contribute substantially to the nitrogen economy however often appended with metal load. They are well known to play crucial roles in maintenance of soil fertility and rice productivity. Nickel is one such metal that plays a vital role in the cellular physiology, however at higher concentrations it exerts adverse effects. Arsenic is another toxic metalloid that negatively affects the cyanobacterial proliferation. However species-specific comparative responses under As and Ni is largely unknown. The present study focuses on the comparative effects of nickel (Ni2+) and arsenite (As(III)) on two diazotrophic cyanobacterial species (Anabaena doliolum and Anabaena sp. PCC7120) in terms of antioxidative aspects. Oxidative damage measured in terms of lipid peroxidation and peroxide content was significantly higher after As(III) than Ni treatment as compared to control. Similarly, all the studied enzymatic and non-enzymatic parameters of antioxidative defense system except glutathione reductase (GR) showed greater induction against As(III) than Ni. Moreover, integrating comparative analysis of all studied parameters also demonstrated interspecies variation in terms of stress adaptive strategies reflected through higher sensitivity of Anabaena doliolum over Anabaena PCC7120.

Keywords: Arsenic, Cyanobacteria, Nickel, antioxidative system

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3 Genome-Wide Assessment of Putative Superoxide Dismutases in Unicellular and Filamentous Cyanobacteria

Authors: Shivam Yadav, Neelam Atri


Cyanobacteria are photoautotrophic prokaryotes able to grow in diverse ecological habitats, originated 2.5 - 3.5 billion years ago and brought oxygenic photosynthesis. Since then superoxide dismutases (SODs) acquired great significance due to their ability to catalyze detoxification of byproducts of oxygenic photosynthesis, i.e. superoxide radicals. Sequence information from several cyanobacterial genomes offers a unique opportunity to conduct a comprehensive comparative analysis of the superoxide dismutases family. In the present study, we extracted information regarding SODs from species of sequenced cyanobacteria and investigated their diversity, conservation, domain structure, and evolution. 144 putative SOD homologues were identified. SODs are present in all cyanobacterial species reflecting their significant role in survival. However, their distribution varies, fewer in unicellular marine strains whereas abundant in filamentous nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria. Motifs and invariant amino acids typical in eukaryotic SODs were conserved well in these proteins. These SODs were classified into three major families according to their domain structures. Interestingly, they lack additional domains as found in proteins of other family. Phylogenetic relationships correspond well with phylogenies based on 16S rRNA and clustering occurs on the basis of structural characteristics such as domain organization. Similar conserved motifs and amino acids indicate that cyanobacterial SODs make use of a similar catalytic mechanism as eukaryotic SODs. Gene gain-and-loss is insignificant during SOD evolution as evidenced by absence of additional domain. This study has not only examined an overall background of sequence-structure-function interactions for the SOD gene family but also revealed variation among SOD distribution based on ecophysiological and morphological characters.

Keywords: Comparative Genomics, phylogeny, Cyanobacteria, superoxide dismutases

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2 Evaluating the Potential of a Fast Growing Indian Marine Cyanobacterium by Reconstructing and Analysis of a Genome Scale Metabolic Model

Authors: Ahmad Ahmad, Ruchi Pathania, Shireesh Srivastava


Cyanobacteria is a promising microbe that can capture and convert atmospheric CO₂ and light into valuable industrial bio-products like biofuels, biodegradable plastics, etc. Among their most attractive traits are faster autotrophic growth, whole year cultivation using non-arable land, high photosynthetic activity, much greater biomass and productivity and easy for genetic manipulations. Cyanobacteria store carbon in the form of glycogen which can be hydrolyzed to release glucose and fermented to form bioethanol or other valuable products. Marine cyanobacterial species are especially attractive for countries with scarcity of freshwater. We recently identified a marine native cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. BDU 130192 which has good growth rate and high level of polyglucans accumulation compared to Synechococcus PCC 7002. In this study, firstly we sequenced the whole genome and the sequences were annotated using the RAST server. Genome scale metabolic model (GSMM) was reconstructed through COBRA toolbox. GSMM is a computational representation of the metabolic reactions and metabolites of the target strain. GSMMs construction through the application of Flux Balance Analysis (FBA), which uses external nutrient uptake rates and estimate steady state intracellular and extracellular reaction fluxes, including maximization of cell growth. The model, which we have named isyn942, includes 942 reactions and 913 metabolites having 831 metabolic, 78 transport and 33 exchange reactions. The phylogenetic tree obtained by BLAST search revealed that the strain was a close relative of Synechococcus PCC 7002. The flux balance analysis (FBA) was applied on the model iSyn942 to predict the theoretical yields (mol product produced/mol CO₂ consumed) for native and non-native products like acetone, butanol, etc. under phototrophic condition by applying metabolic engineering strategies. The reported strain can be a viable strain for biotechnological applications, and the model will be helpful to researchers interested in understanding the metabolism as well as to design metabolic engineering strategies for enhanced production of various bioproducts.

Keywords: Metabolic Engineering, Cyanobacteria, Flux Balance Analysis, genome scale metabolic model

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1 A Review of Toxic and Non-Toxic Cyanobacteria Species Occurrence in Water Supplies Destined for Maize Meal Production Process: A Case Study of Vhembe District

Authors: M. Mutoti, J. Gumbo, A. Jideani


Cyanobacteria or blue green algae have been part of the human diet for thousands of years. Cyanobacteria can multiply quickly in surface waters and form blooms when favorable conditions prevail, such as high temperature, intense light, high pH, and increased availability of nutrients, especially phosphorous and nitrogen, artificially released by anthropogenic activities. Consumption of edible cyanotoxins such as Spirulina may reduce risks of cataracts and age related macular degeneration. Sulfate polysaccharides exhibit antitumor, anticoagulant, anti-mutagenic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and even antiviral activity against HIV, herpes, and hepatitis. In humans, exposure to cyanotoxins can occur in various ways; however, the oral route is the most important. This is mainly through drinking water, or by eating contaminated foods; it may even involve ingesting water during recreational activities. This paper seeks to present a review on cyanobacteria/cyanotoxin contamination of water and food and implications for human health. In particular, examining the water quality used during maize seed that passes through mill grinding processes. In order to fulfil the objective, this paper starts with the theoretical framework on cyanobacteria contamination of food that will guide review of the present paper. A number of methods for decontaminating cyanotoxins in food is currently available. Therefore, physical, chemical, and biological methods for treating cyanotoxins are reviewed and compared. Furthermore, methods that are utilized for detecting and identifying cyanobacteria present in water and food were also informed in this review. This review has indicated various routes through which humans can be exposed to cyanotoxins. Accumulation of cyanotoxins, mainly microcystins, in food has raised an awareness of the importance of food as microcystins exposure route to human body. Therefore, this review demonstrates the importance of expanding research on cyanobacteria/cyanotoxin contamination of water and food for water treatment and water supply management, with focus on examining water for domestic use. This will help providing information regarding the prevention or minimization of contamination of water and food, and also reduction or removal of contamination through treatment processes and prevention of recontamination in the distribution system.

Keywords: Biofilm, Food contamination, Cyanobacteria, cyanotoxin

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