, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 22–31 | Cite as

Effects of Chrysosporum (Aphanizomenon) ovalisporum extracts containing cylindrospermopsin on growth, photosynthetic capacity, and mineral content of carrots (Daucus carota)

  • Remedios Guzmán-Guillén
  • Alexandre Campos
  • Joana Machado
  • Marisa Freitas
  • Joana Azevedo
  • Edgar Pinto
  • Agostinho Almeida
  • Ana M. Cameán
  • Vitor Vasconcelos


Natural toxins produced by freshwater cyanobacteria, such as cylindrospermopsin, have been regarded as an emergent environmental threat. Despite the risks for food safety, the impact of these water contaminants in agriculture is not yet fully understood. Carrots (Daucus carota) are root vegetables, extensively consumed worldwide with great importance for human nourishment and economy. It is, therefore, important to evaluate the possible effects of using water contaminated with cyanotoxins on carrot cultivation. The aim of this work was to investigate cylindrospermopsin effects on D. carota grown in soil and irrigated for 30 days, with a Chrysosporum ovalisporum extract containing environmentally relevant concentrations of cylindrospermopsin (10 and 50 μg/L). The parameters evaluated were plant growth, photosynthetic capacity, and nutritional value (mineral content) in roots of carrots, as these are the edible parts of this plant crop. The results show that, exposure to cylindrospermopsin did not have a clear negative effect on growth or photosynthesis of D. carota, even leading to an increase of both parameters. However, alterations in mineral contents were detected after exposure to crude extracts of C. ovalisporum containing cylindrospermopsin. A general decline was observed for most minerals (Ca, Mg, Na, Fe, Mn, Zn, Mo, and P), although an increase was shown in the case of K and Cu, pointing to a possible interference of the cyanobacterial extract in mineral uptake. This study is the first to evaluate the effects of C. ovalisporum extracts on a root vegetable, however, more research is necessary to understand the effects of this toxin in environmentally relevant scenarios.


Cylindrospermopsin Daucus carota Food safety Photosynthesis Minerals 



This work was partially funded by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT), under the framework of the project UID/Multi/04423/2013, by Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación of Spain under the project AGL2009-10026, and by Junta de Andalucía under the project P09-AGR-4672. Remedios Guzmán’s work is supported by the Spanish Ministerio de Educación fellowship. Alexandre Campos work is supported by a post-doctoral grant (SFRH/BPD/103683/2014) from FCT.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

10646_2016_1737_MOESM1_ESM.docx (16 kb)
Supplementary Information


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Remedios Guzmán-Guillén
    • 1
  • Alexandre Campos
    • 2
  • Joana Machado
    • 2
  • Marisa Freitas
    • 2
    • 4
  • Joana Azevedo
    • 2
  • Edgar Pinto
    • 3
    • 4
  • Agostinho Almeida
    • 3
  • Ana M. Cameán
    • 1
  • Vitor Vasconcelos
    • 2
    • 5
  1. 1.Area of Toxicology, Department of PharmacyUniversity of SevillaSevillaSpain
  2. 2.Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research (CIIMAR/CIMAR)PortoPortugal
  3. 3.LAQV/REQUIMTE, Department of Chemical Sciences, Laboratory of Applied Chemistry, Department of PharmacyUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  4. 4.Department of Environmental Health, Escola Superior de Tecnologia da Saúde do Porto, Polytechnic Institute of PortoCISA/Research Center in Environment and HealthGaiaPortugal
  5. 5.Department of BiologyDepartment of Sciences of the University of PortoPortoPortugal

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