Influence of temperature, mixing, and addition of microcystin-LR on microcystin gene expression in Microcystis aeruginosa

Pia I. Scherer, Uta Raeder, Juergen Geist, Katrin Zwirglmaier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cyanobacteria, such as the toxin producer Microcystis aeruginosa, are predicted to be favored by global warming both directly, through elevated water temperatures, and indirectly, through factors such as prolonged stratification of waterbodies. M. aeruginosa is able to produce the hepatotoxin microcystin, which causes great concern in freshwater management worldwide. However, little is known about the expression of microcystin synthesis genes in response to climate change-related factors. In this study, a new RT-qPCR assay employing four reference genes (GAPDH, gltA, rpoC1, and rpoD) was developed to assess the expression of two target genes (the microcystin synthesis genes mcyB and mcyD). This assay was used to investigate changes in mcyB and mcyD expression in response to selected environmental factors associated with global warming. A 10°C rise in temperature significantly increased mcyB expression, but not mcyD expression. Neither mixing nor the addition of microcystin-LR (10 μg L−1 or 60 μg L−1) significantly altered mcyB and mcyD expression. The expression levels of mcyB and mcyD were correlated but not identical.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00393
JournalMicrobiologyOpen
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2017

Keywords

  • Microcystis aeruginosa
  • gene expression
  • mcyB
  • mcyD
  • qPCR
  • toxic cyanobacteria

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