, 144:97 | Cite as

Investigation of a toxic water-bloom of Microcystis aeruginosa (Cyanophyceae) in Lake Akersvatn, Norway

  • Kjetil Berg
  • Wayne W. Carmichael
  • Olav M. Skulberg
  • Christel Benestad
  • Bjarne Underdall


During the summer and fall of 1984 and 1985, the eutrophic Lake Akersvatn in south-eastern Norway, used as reserve drinking water reservoir, was found to produce heavy water-blooms of the colonial blue-green alga Microcystis aeruginosa. Samples of the water-bloom were found to be toxic using the mouse bioassay. No toxin was found free in the water as detected by HPLC and mouse bioassay. The toxic cells (minimum lethal dose 8–15 mg/kg body weight in mice) and purified toxin (minimum lethal dose 50 µg/kg body weight in mice) showed signs of poisoning in laboratory rats and mice identical to that of other hepatotoxin-producing M. aeruginosa blooms and strains reported from other parts of the world. The toxin has chemical properties similar to the cyclic heptapeptide reported for a South African M. aeruginosa toxin. The toxin from Lake Akersvatn bloom material has a molecular weight of 994. The toxic bloom of M. aeruginosa persisted from August to November in 1984 and reappeared in July of 1985. While water from Lake Akersvatn was not used for municipal water supply during this period, the presence of toxic blue-green algae in a drinking water reservoir indicates the need to develop monitoring and detection methods for toxic cells and toxin(s).


eutrophic lake blue-green algae Microcystis aeruginosa toxic water-bloom peptide toxin HPLC analysis 


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Copyright information

© Dr W. Junk Publishers, Dordrecht 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kjetil Berg
    • 1
  • Wayne W. Carmichael
    • 2
  • Olav M. Skulberg
    • 3
  • Christel Benestad
    • 4
  • Bjarne Underdall
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Food HygieneThe Norwegian College of Veterinary MedicineOsloNorway
  2. 2.Wright State UniversityDaytonUSA
  3. 3.Norwegian Institute for Water ResearchOsloNorway
  4. 4.Central Institute for Industrial ResearchOsloNorway

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