Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 23, Issue 6, pp 967–973 | Cite as

Extract of Microcystis water bloom affects cellular differentiation in filamentous cyanobacterium Trichormus variabilis (Nostocales, Cyanobacteria)

  • Kateřina BártováEmail author
  • Klára Hilscherová
  • Pavel Babica
  • Blahoslav Maršálek


Cyanobacteria produce a wide spectrum of biologically active compounds such as microcystins, whose effects on photoautotrophic organisms and role in the aquatic ecosystems have been most intensively discussed and studied. In our study, we examined effects of semipurified Microcystis extract containing microcystins (0.2–20 nM corresponding to 0.2–20 μg L−1) on age-induced cell differentiation of filamentous cyanobacterium Trichormus variabilis. The heterocyst and akinete formation was significantly decreased after exposure to extract containing 2 or 20 nM of microcystins within 10 days of exposure. To our knowledge, this is the first information about effects of metabolites produced by planktonic cyanobacteria on cell differentiation in filamentous cyanobacteria. Since the effects were induced by environmentally relevant concentrations of microcystins, our observations may indicate not only that microcystins or other bioactive peptides could affect conservation, overwintering, and nitrogen-fixation in filamentous cyanobacteria under environmental conditions but also contribute to the understanding of possible signaling function of cyanobacterial metabolites.


Akinete frequency Cell differentiation Heterocyst frequency Microcystis extract Microcystin Trichormus variabilis 



Research has been supported by project AVOZ60050516 granted to Institute of Botany (Academy of Science, Czech Republic), project INCHEMBIOL MSM0021622412 and CETOCOEN CZ.1.05/2.1.00/01.0001 (project granted by the European Union and administred by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kateřina Bártová
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Klára Hilscherová
    • 2
  • Pavel Babica
    • 1
  • Blahoslav Maršálek
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of BotanyThe Academy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicBrnoCzech Republic
  2. 2.Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment (RECETOX), Faculty of ScienceMasaryk UniversityBrnoCzech Republic

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