Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 185, Issue 3, pp 2157–2166 | Cite as

Assessment of cylindrospermopsin toxin in an arid Saudi lake containing dense cyanobacterial bloom

  • Zakaria A. MohamedEmail author
  • Abdulrahman M. Al-Shehri


This study reports the presence of the cyanobacterial toxin cylindrospermopisn (CYN) and its producer Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii for the first time in Saudi freshwater sources. C. raciborskii was found in Gazan Dam Lake water with two morphotypes (coiled and straight). The appearance and cell density of this species was significantly positively related to high temperature and high ammonium concentrations, and negatively with nitrate and phosphate concentrations in the lake. Intracellular concentrations of CYN (4–173 μg L−1) were associated with C. raciborskii rather than other cyanobacteria with a maximal value obtained in June 2011, coinciding with the highest bloom of this species (19 × 107 trichome L−1). CYN cell quotas (0.6–14.6 pg cell−1) varied significantly along the study period and correlated with most environmental factors. The results of ELISA and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry proved that the CYN production by strains of this species was isolated from this lake during the present study, with an amount reaching 568 μg g−1. Extracellular CYN was also detected in cell-free lake water at concentrations 0.03–23.3 μg L−1, exceeding the drinking water guideline value of 1 μg L−1 during the Apr–Jul period. As this lake is an important source for drinking and irrigation waters, CYN monitoring should be included in the environmental and health risk assessment plans of these water bodies.


Cylindrospermopsin Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii Drinking water Irrigation water Saudi Arabia 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zakaria A. Mohamed
    • 1
    Email author
  • Abdulrahman M. Al-Shehri
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Botany, Faculty of ScienceSohag UniversitySohagEgypt
  2. 2.Department of Biology, College of ScienceKing Khalid UniversityAbhaSaudi Arabia

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