Microbial Ecology

, Volume 46, Issue 2, pp 279–288 | Cite as

Dynamics of microcystin-degrading bacteria in mucilage of Microcystis

  • T. Maruyama
  • K. Kato
  • A. Yokoyama
  • T. Tanaka
  • A. Hiraishi
  • H. -D. Park


To reveal the process of degradation of hepatotoxic microcystin produced in Microcystis cells during the Microcystis bloom period, we used fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) to analyze the population dynamics of microcystin-degrading bacteria in Microcystis mucilage. We designed and applied an oligonucleotide probe targeted to the 16S rRNA sequence of strain Y2 of a microcystin-degrading bacterium (MCD-bacterium), which was isolated from Lake Suwa, Japan. In both the 1998 and 1999 tests, FISH clearly showed that MCD-bacteria existed in the mucilage and that, when a high concentration of cell-bound microcystin was detected, MCD-bacteria exceeded 10% of the sum of bacteria hybridized with group-specific probes. The concentration of MCD-bacteria was highest in summer 1998, when a toxic species, M. viridis, was dominant. There was a high correlation between the number of MCD-bacteria in the mucilage and the concentration of cell-bound microcystin in the lake. Our results suggest that MCD-bacteria responded to changes in the concentration of microcystin and degraded the microcystin when it was released from Microcystis cells. We also analyzed changes in the bacterial community structure associated with the Microcystis colonies by using domain- and group-specific oligonucleotide probes. Changes in the concentrations of the Cytophaga/Flavobacterium group and 8-Proteobacteria, which can degrade macromolecules derived from Microcystis cells, were synchronized with changes in the concentration of Microcystis. The results not only suggest the significant role of MCD-bacteria in detoxification, but also demonstrate a possible sequence of degradation from Microcystis cells to microcystin maintained in the cell, which is then carried out by bacterial consortia in the mucilage.


Proteobacteria Dissolve Organic Matter Microcystin Concentration Microcystis Cell Microcystis Coloni 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Maruyama
    • 1
  • K. Kato
    • 1
  • A. Yokoyama
    • 2
  • T. Tanaka
    • 2
  • A. Hiraishi
    • 3
  • H. -D. Park
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biology and Geosciences, Faculty of ScienceShizuoka UniversityShizuokaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of ScienceShinshu UniversityMatsumotoJapan
  3. 3.Department of Ecological EngineeringToyohashi University of TechnologyToyohashiJapan

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