, Volume 727, Issue 1, pp 65–73 | Cite as

Allelopathic effect of Microcystis aeruginosa on Microcystis wesenbergii: microcystin-LR as a potential allelochemical

  • Jia Yang
  • Xiru Deng
  • Qiming Xian
  • Xin Qian
  • Aimin Li
Primary Research Paper


Microcystis aeruginosa and Microcystis wesenbergii are two cyanobacteria commonly found in eutrophic shallow lakes. Previous studies reported that microcystin-producing M. aeruginosa could have an increased competitive potential on other algae and aquatic plants, and microcystin-LR (MC-LR) was regarded as an allelochemical. Based on this hypothesis, the allelopathic interaction between these two cyanobacteria was studied for the first time under laboratory conditions, and potential allelochemicals were screened. Cyanobacteria biomass and microcystin-LR (MC-LR) concentration were monitored under different culture conditions. The potential allelochemicals from M. aeruginosa were investigated by extract fractionation and GC(LC)/MS analysis. The growth of M. wesenbergii was inhibited by the addition of cell-free filtrates of M. aeruginosa whereas M. aeruginosa was promoted by the addition of cell-free filtrates of M. wesenbergii. The higher polarity the extract of M. aeruginosa is, the stronger the inhibition effect of the extract on M. wesenbergii will be. According to our results, M. aeruginosa has a significant allelopathic inhibition effect on M. wesenbergii. Allelopathic compounds from M. aeruginosa have synergistic effects on inhibition of M. wesenbergii. Besides microcystin, there may be other allelopathic compounds in M. aeruginosa.


Allelopathic activity Cyanobacteria Mixed-culture Synergistic allelochemicals 



This study was supported by National Key basic Research Program (2008CB418003) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (50938004). The authors thank the two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments. Many thanks are given to Dr. Karri Ramu for English editing.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jia Yang
    • 1
  • Xiru Deng
    • 1
  • Qiming Xian
    • 1
  • Xin Qian
    • 1
  • Aimin Li
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, School of the EnvironmentNanjing UniversityNanjingChina

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