, Volume 35, Issue 11, pp 1295-1301
Date: 20 Nov 2009

Blue Color Formation of Cyanobacteria with β-Cyclocitral

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Abstract

Volatile compounds, such as β-cyclocitral, geosmin, and 2-methylisoborneol, from cyanobacteria showed a lytic activity against cyanobacteria. Particularly, β-cyclocitral caused an interesting color change in the culture broth from green to blue during the lysis process. In the present study, the lytic behavior of various cyanobacteria with β-cyclocitral was investigated, and a mechanism for the blue color formation was developed. β-Cyclocitral lysed both the laboratory strains of any genera and bloom samples including many species of cyanobacteria, and caused the characteristic color change from green to blue. β-Cyclocitral provided a characteristic behavior, such that the absorption maxima of chlorophyll-a and β-carotene disappeared, but that of phycocyanin still remained after 12 h, which indicated that β-cyclocitral decomposed chlorophyll-a and β-carotene rapidly, so that the inherent colors from the tolerant water-soluble pigments became observable in the cultured broth. This phenomenon was confirmed by another experiment using Phormidium (NIES-611), which showed a pink color derived from phycoerythrin. β-Cyclocitral was more easily oxidized when compared with similar aldehyde compounds, so that the pH of the solution quickly decreased to 4.5. An oxidation product of β-cyclocitral in water solution was isolated and identified as 2,6,6-trimethylcyclohexene-1-carboxylic acid. This study provides support that β-cyclocitral derived from cyanobacteria plays an important role in the lysis of cyanobacteria and participates in the blue color formation under natural conditions.