Accumulation of free microcystins (MCs) in freshwater gastropods has been demonstrated but accumulation of MCs covalently bound to tissues has never been considered so far. Here, we follow the accumulation of total (free and bound) MCs in Lymnaea stagnalis exposed to i) dissolved MC-LR (33 and 100 μg L-1) and ii) Planktothrix agardhii suspensions producing 5 and 33 μg MC-LR equivalents L-1 over a 5-week period, and after a 3-week depuration period. Snails exposed to dissolved MC-LR accumulated up to 0.26 μg total MCs g-1 dry weight (DW), with no detection of bound MCs. Snails exposed to MCs producing P. agardhii accumulated up to 69.9 μg total MCs g-1 DW, of which from 17.7 to 66.7% were bound. After depuration, up to 15.3 μg g-1 DW of bound MCs were detected in snails previously exposed to toxic cyanobacteria, representing a potential source of MCs transfer through the food web.
- Covalently bound microcystins