Molecular Verification of Bloom-forming Aphanizomenon flos-aquae and Their Secondary Metabolites in the Nakdong River
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Aphanizomenon spp. have formed harmful cyanobacterial blooms in the Nakdong River during spring, autumn, and now in winter, and the expansion of blooming period and area, associated with the global warming is predicted. The genus Aphanizomenon has been described to produce harmful secondary metabolites such as off-flavors and cyanotoxins. Therefore, the production of harmful secondary metabolites from the Aphanizomenon blooms in the Nakdong River needs to be monitored to minimize the risk to
... mize the risk to both water quality and public health. Here, we sampled the cyanobacterial blooms in the Nakdong River and isolated ten Aphanizomenon strains, morphologically classified as Aphanizomenon flos-aquae Ralfs ex Bornet et Flahault 1888. Phylogenetic analysis using 16S rRNA and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region nucleotide sequences confirmed this classification. We further verified the harmful secondary metabolites-producing potential of A. flos-aquae isolates and water samples containing cyanobacterial blooms using PCR with specific primer sets for genes involved in biosynthesis of off-flavor metabolites (geosmin) and toxins (microcystins, saxitoxins and cylindrospermopsins). It was confirmed that these metabolite biosynthesis genes were not identified in all isolates and water samples containing only Aphanizomenon spp. Thus, it is likely that there is a low potential for the production of off-flavor metabolites and cyanotoxins in Aphanizomenon blooms in the Nakdong River.