Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 219-225

Oxidative stress response of Synechocystis sp. (PCC 6803) due to exposure to microcystin-LR and cell-free cyanobacterial crude extract containing microcystin-LR

  • Maria VassilakakiAffiliated withBiochemical Regulation, Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries
  • , Stephan PflugmacherAffiliated withBiochemical Regulation, Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries Email author 

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Cyanobacteria are able to produce a variety of secondary metabolites such as the microcystins. The ecological role of microcystins for the cyanobacteria themselves and in the aquatic ecosystem is not well understood. The aim of this study is to evaluate if microcystins might be used as a communication tool for interspecies cyanobacterial communication via the promotion of oxidative stress. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are known to be used as plant signals. The main questions relate to the promotion of oxidative stress in Synechocystis sp. via exposure to the cyanobacterial toxins and the physiological effects. This study shows a few markers for oxidative stress, such as the antioxidative enzymes superoxide dismutase, peroxidases and catalases, and cell damage due to extensive generation of ROS leading to lipid peroxidation. End products of lipid peroxidation (malonaldehyde and 4-hydroxynonenal) are conjugated by glutathione S-transferase.


Cyanobacteria Microsystins Oxidative stress Reactive oxygen species Quorum sensing