Cyanobacteria produce arsenosugars
Environmental context. Although arsenic is known to accumulate in both marine and freshwater ecosystems, the pathways by which arsenic is accumulated and transferred in freshwater systems are reasonably unknown. This study revealed that freshwater cyanobacteria have the ability to produce arsenosugars from inorganic arsenic compounds. The findings suggest that not only algae, but cyanobacteria, play an important role in the arsenic cycle of aquatic ecosystems. Abstract. Metabolic processes of
... olic processes of incorporated arsenate in axenic cultures of the freshwater cyanobacteria Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 and Nostoc (Anabaena) sp. PCC 7120 were examined. Analyses of arsenic compounds in cyanobacterial extracts using a high-performance liquid chromatography-inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry system showed that both strains have an ability to biotransform arsenate into oxo-arsenosugar-glycerol within 20 min through (1) reduction of incorporated arsenate to arsenite and (2) methylation of produced arsenite to dimethylarsinic acid by methylarsonic acid as a possible intermediate product. In addition, Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 cells are able to biosynthesise oxoarsenosugar-phosphate from incorporated arsenate. These findings suggest that arsenosugar formation as well as arsenic methylation in cyanobacteria possibly play a significant role in the global arsenic cycle.