Salt-alkalization may potentially promote Microcystis aeruginosa blooms and the production of microcystin-LR

Yu, Jing, Zhu, Hui, Shutes, R. Brian E. and Wang, Xinyi (2022) Salt-alkalization may potentially promote Microcystis aeruginosa blooms and the production of microcystin-LR. Environmental Pollution, 301 , 118971. pp. 1-9. ISSN 0269-7491 [Article] (doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2022.118971)


The development of saline-alkali lands has contributed to the increasing discharge of alkaline salt-laden wastewater, which poses a threat to aquatic organisms. However, the comprehensive effect of alkaline salt on Microcystis aeruginosa, a harmful cyanobacterium, remains unclear. In this study, the growth, physiology, cell ultrastructure and production of microcystin-LR (MC-LR) in Microcystis aeruginosa exposed to four levels of alkaline salt stress were evaluated. The growth of Microcystis aeruginosa was stimulated at an electrical conductivity (EC) of 2.5 mS/cm compared to the control, as supported by the increased cell density, photosynthetic pigment and protein contents. Microcystis aeruginosa could tolerate a certain level of alkaline salt (i.e., EC of 5 mS/cm) via increasing photosynthetic pigment contents to protect cells from alkaline salt stress, but the antioxidant defence system and cell ultrastructure were not affected. When EC increased to 7.5 mS/cm, alkaline salt caused oxidative stress and toxicity in Microcystis aeruginosa, as evidenced by analysis of the integrated biomarker response (IBR). Furthermore, the photosynthetic pigment and protein contents decreased, and cell apoptosis associated with ultrastructural changes was observed. Therefore, we propose that EC of 7.5 mS/cm is a threshold for growth of Microcystis aeruginosa. Additionally, the intracellular MC-LR content was stimulated by alkaline salt, and the highest value was observed at EC of 2.5 mS/cm. The extracellular MC-LR content increased with the increasing alkaline salt concentration. When EC was 7.5 mS/cm, the extracellular MC-LR content was significantly higher than in the control and was associated with the upregulated mcyH gene. This study recommends that more attention should be paid to the risk of Microcystis aeruginosa bloom and microcystin-LR pollution in lakes located in salinization regions. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2022 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.]

Item Type: Article
Keywords (uncontrolled): Microcystis aeruginosa, Alkaline salt, Microcystin-LR, Aquatic pollution
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Natural Sciences
Item ID: 34817
Depositing User: Jisc Publications Router
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2022 17:06
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2022 21:44

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