Aphanizomenon gracile (Nostocales), a cylindrospermopsin-producing cyanobacterium in Polish lakes

Mikołaj Kokociński*, Joanna Mankiewicz-Boczek, Tomasz Jurczak, Lisa Spoof, Jussi Meriluoto, Edyta Rejmonczyk, Henna Hautala, Markus Vehniäinen, Jakub Pawełczyk, Janne Soininen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)


The cyanobacterial cytotoxin cylindrospermopsin (CYN) has become increasingly common in fresh waters worldwide. It was originally isolated from Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii in Australia; however, in European waters, its occurrence is associated with other cyanobacterial species belonging to the genera Aphanizomenon and Anabaena. Moreover, cylindrospermopsin-producing strains of widely distributed C. raciborskii have not yet been observed in European waters. The aims of this work were to assess the occurrence of CYN in lakes of western Poland and to identify the CYN producers. The ELISA tests, high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)-DAD, and HPLC-mass spectrometry (MS)/MS were conducted to assess the occurrence of CYN in 36 lakes. The cyrJ, cyrA, and pks genes were amplified to identify toxigenic genotypes of cyanobacteria that are capable of producing CYN. The toxicity and toxigenicity of the C. raciborskii and Aphanizomenon gracile strains isolated from the studied lakes were examined. Overall, CYN was detected in 13 lakes using HPLC-MS/MS, and its concentrations varied from trace levels to 3.0 μg L-1. CYN was widely observed in lakes of western Poland during the whole summer under different environmental conditions. Mineral forms of nutrients and temperature were related to CYN production. The molecular studies confirmed the presence of toxigenic cyanobacterial populations in all of the samples where CYN was detected. The toxicity and toxigenicity analyses of isolated cyanobacteria strains revealed that A. gracile was the major producer of CYN.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5243-5264
Number of pages22
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Aphanizomenon gracile
  • Cyanotoxins
  • Cylindrospermopsin
  • Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii
  • cyrA
  • cyrJ
  • Lakes
  • pks
  • Toxicity


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