Toxicological investigation of a bloom of the blue – green alga Lyngbya aestuarii in Basra Governorate Southern of Iraq

Paper Details

Research Paper 01/07/2019
Views (268) Download (12)

Toxicological investigation of a bloom of the blue – green alga Lyngbya aestuarii in Basra Governorate Southern of Iraq

Emad Yousif Awad Al-Sultan, Faris shaker kataa, Amal Mussa Eassa
Int. J. Biosci.15( 1), 66-79, July 2019.
Certificate: IJB 2019 [Generate Certificate]


Many species of cyanobacteria can produce several toxic metabolites known as cyanotoxins that constitute a serious threat on aquatic organisms, wild life, domestic animals and human. The cyanobacterium Lyngbya aestuarii were collected from a unialgal bloom occurred in Al-Dawoodi River which is a branch of Garmat Ali River located in Basra governorate/southern Iraq during the desiccation period in Winter 2018. The current study is aimed to investigate the algal toxic compounds by using LC-MS/MS and ELISA technique and investigated its toxicity on laboratory mice. The water of sampling site for L. aestuarii was classified as saline water because its electrical conductivity and salinity was 18.67 and 14.93 ‰ which is in the range of 10 – 25 mmhos / cm and 7000 -15 000 mg /l for highly saline waters. The identified compounds with LC-MS/MS are Neosaxitoxin, Cryptophycin C and Dudawalamide B while the concentration of microcystins determined with ELISA kit was 0.156 µg/l. The median lethal dose reach to 560 mg/kg which indicated moderate to low toxicity of this alga. The symptom appeared on poisoning mice was typical of neurotoxicosis and no symptoms of hepatotoxicosis was appeared on them due to trace concentration of microcystins in the algal extract as emphased by ELISA kit. In conclusion, the current study investigated the dangerous impact of both desiccation and salinization of Basra Rivers which lead to a bloom of saline toxic blue-green alga L. aestuarii .


Akmajian AM, Scordino JJ, Acevedo-Gutiérrez A. 2017. Year-round algal toxin exposure in free-ranging sea lions. Marine Ecology Progress Series 583, 243–258.

Almaliti J, Malloy KL, Glukhov E, Spadafora C, Gutiérrez M, Gerwick WH. 2017. Dudawalamides A–D, Antiparasitic Cyclic Depsipeptides from the Marine Cyanobacterium Moorea producens. Journal of Natural Products 80, 1827–1836.

AL-Sultan EYA, Aubaed AAK. 2017. Extraction and Purification of Neurotoxin (Anatoxin-a) From Blue-green Alga Pesudoanabaena limnetica and Indicating Its Histopathological Effects on The Brain of Male Laboratory Mice (Mus Musculus L.). Journal of Biology, Agriculture and Healthcare 7(18), 77-78.

AL-Sultan EYA, Hatem MT. 2019. Toxic Effects of Purified Microcystins from Soil Blue-Green Alga Oscillatoria pseudogeminata on Tomato Plant Lycopersicon esculentum. Baghdad Science Journal 16(1), 169-177.

AL-Sultan EYA. 2017. Isolation, Purification and Identification of Blue-green Alga Hapalosiphon aureus and Evaluation of its Histopathological Effects on Fresh Water Snail Lymnaea auricularia. Journal of Applied Sciences 17, 61-71.

APHA (American Public Health Association). 1998. Standard method for the examination of water and wastewater -20th edition.Washington, D.C. (American Public HealthAssociation).

Baker KK. 1987. Systematics and ecology of Lyngbya spp. And associated species (Cyanophyta) in a new England salt marsh. Journal of Phycology 23(1), 201-208.

Botana LM. 2000. Seafood Toxins and Freshwater Toxins. Pharmacology, Physiology and Detection. NewYork:Marcel Dekker, Inc., p 789.

Callejas L, Darce ACM, Amador JJ,  Conklin L, Gaffga N, Rogers HS, De Grasse S, Hall S, Earley M, Mei J, Rubin C, Aldighieri S, Backer Azziz-Baumgartner E. 2015. Paralytic shellfish poisonings resulting from an algal bloom in Nicaragua. BioMed Central Research Notes 8, 74-79.

Chang F-CT, Spriggs DL, Benton BJ, Keller SA, Capacio BR. 1997. 4-Aminopyridine Reverses Saxitoxin (STX) – and Tetrodotoxin (TTX) – lnduced Cardiorespiratory Depression in Chronically Instrumented Guinea Pigs.Fundamental and applied toxicology 38, 75 – 88.

Cirés S, Wӧrmer L, Ballot A, Agha R, Wiedner C, Velgzquez D, Casero MC, Quesada A.  2014. Phylogeography of Cylindrospermopsin and Paralytic Shellfish Toxin-Producing Nostocales   Cyanobacteria from Mediterranean Europe (Spain). Applied and Environmental Microbiology 80(4), 1359–1370.

Dawson EY, Aleem AA, Halsteed BW. 1955. Marine algae from Plmyra Island with special reference to the feeding habits and toxicity of reef fishes. Allan Hancock Foundation Publications University. Southern California. Occasional paper 17, p 39.

Delling J, Dorevitch S, Faustmn E, Foldy S, Takaro T, Miller TR, Beversdorf L, Weirich CA, Bartlett S. 2017. Human health effects of cyanobacterial toxins in the Great Lakes Region:  Science and monitoring assessment.  A report submitted to the International Joint Commission by the Health Professionals Advisory Board. February 27, p 1 – 6.

Desikachary TU.  1959. Cyanophyta .Indian council of agricultural research, New Delhi, 517 p.

Durán-Riveroll1 LM, Krock B, Cembella A, Peralta-Cruz J, Bustillos-Guzmán JJ, Band-Schmidt CJ. 2017. Characterization of Benzoyl Saxitoxin Analogs from the Toxigenic Marine Dinoflagellate Gymnodinium catenatum by Hydrophilic Interaction Liquid Ion-Chromatography-Tandem Mass. Natural Products Chemistry and Research 5(4), 1-14.

Eggen M, Georg GI. 2002. The cryptophycins:  Their synthesis and anticancer activity. Medicinal Research Reviews 22(2), 85-101.

Fischer WJ, Garthwaite I,  Miles CO,  Ross KM, Aggen JB,  Chamberlin AR, Towers NA,  Dietrich DR. 2001. Congener-Independent Immunoassay for Microcystins and Nodularins. Environmental Science and Technology 35, 4849-4858.

Foss AJ, Phlips EJ, Aubel MT, Szabo NJ. 2012. Investigation of extraction and analysis techniques for Lyngbya wollei derived Paralytic Shellfish Toxins. Toxicon 60, 1148–1158.

Halme M, Rapinoja ML, Karjalainen M, Vanninen P. 2012. Verification and Quantification of Saxitoxin from Algal Samples using Fast and Validated Hydrophilic Interaction Liquid Chromatography- Tandem Mass Spectrometry Method. Journal of Chromatography B 880, 50-57.

Harada K, Kondo F, Lawton L. 1999. Laboratory analysis of cyanotoxins. In: Chorus I, Bartram J, Eds. Toxic cyanobacteria in water: a guide to their public health consequences, monitoring and management. E and FN Spon, New York.

Hassouani M, Sabour B, Belattmania Z, El Atouani S, Reani A. Ribeiro T,  Castelo-Branco R, Ramos V,  Preto M, Costa PM, Urbatzka R, Leão P, Vasconcelos V. 2017. In vitro anticancer, antioxidant and antimicrobial potential of Lyngbya aestuarii (Cyanobacteria) from the Atlantic coast of Morocco. Journal of Materials and Environmental Sciences 8, 4923-4933.

Homepage AR, Magalhaes VF, Froscio SM. 2010. Comparison of analytical tools and biological assays for detection of paralytic shellfish poisoning toxins. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 397, 1655-1671.

Karber C. 1937. Karber ,smethod of determing LD50. In: Burn, J.H. (ed.), Biological Standardization. Oxford University Press, London: p 37-40.

Kateregga JN, Babu M, Abuine R, Ndukui JG. 2014. Hematological and Histopathological Effects of Cyanobacteria (Blue-Green Algae) from Lake Victoria Shores of Uganda in Swiss Mice. International Journal of Applied Science and Technology 4(4), 128-133.

Knaack JS,  Porter KA,  Jacob JT,  Sullivan K, Forester  M,  Wang RY, Trainer VL, Morton S,  Eckert G, McGahee E, Thomas J,  McLaughlin J, Johnson RC. 2016. Case diagnosis and characterization of suspected paralytic shellfish poisoning in Alaska.  Harmful Algae 57, 45–50.

Kopp R, Palíková M,  Navrátil S,  Kubíček Z, Ziková A, Mareš J. 2010.Modulation of Biochemical and Haematological Indices of Silver Carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix Val.) Exposed to Toxic Cyanobacterial Water Bloom.ACTA VETERINARIA BRNO 79, 135–146.

Kothari A, Vaughn M, Garcia-Pichel F. 2013. Comparative genomic analyses of the cyanobacterium, Lyngbya aestuarii BL J, a powerful hydrogen producer. Frontiers in microbiology 4, 1-14.

Kumar M,  Singh P,  Tripathi J,  Srivastava  A, Tripathi MK, Ravi AK, Asthana RK. 2014. Identification and structure elucidation of antimicrobial compounds from Lyngbya aestuarii and Aphanothece bullosa.Cellular and Molecular Biology 60(5), 76-83.

Lawton LA, Beattie KA, Hawser SP, Campbell DL, Codd GA. 1994. Evaluation of assay methods for the determination of cyanobacterial hepatotoxicity. In: Codd GA, Jefferies TM, Keevil CW, Potter E, Eds. Detection methods for cyanobacterial toxins, Special Publication No 149. The Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge.

Little JL, Cleven CD, Brown SD. 2011. Identification of “Known Unknowns”Utilizing Accurate Mass Data and Chemical Abstracts Service Databases American Society for Mass Spectrometry 22, 348-359.

Liu L, Rein KS. 2010. New Peptides Isolated from Lyngbya Species: A Review. Marine Drugs 8, 1817-1837.

Lopes VR, Vasconcelos VM. 2011. Planktonic and benthic cyanobacteria of European brackish waters: a perspective on estuaries and brackish seas, European Journal of Phycology 46(3), 292-304.

Masango MG. 2007. A Comparative Analysis of the Cytotoxicity of cyanotoxins using in vitro (cell culture) and in vivo (mouse) assays. A thesis Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree Magister Scientiae in the department of paraclinical sciences, faculty of veterinary science, University of Pretoria, South Africa, p 124.

Metcalf JS, Codd GA. 2014. Cyanobacterial Toxins (Cyanotoxins) in Water. A Review of Current Knowledge. Foundation for Water Research. U.K., p 45.

Sleno L, Volmer DA. 2004. Gas-Phase Dissociation Reactions of Protonated Saxitoxin and Neosaxitoxin. American Society for Mass Spectrometry 15, 462–477.

Munday R, Thomas K, Gibbs R, Murphy C, Quilliam MA. 2013. Acute toxicities of Saxitoxin, Neosaxitoxin, Decarbamoyl Saxitoxin and Gonyautoxins 1&4 and 2 & 3 to mice by various routes of administration. Toxicon 76, 77-83.

Palmer CM. 1980. Algae and water pollution. Castle House Publications LTD. p 123.

Perreault F, Matias MS, Melegari SP, Pinto SRS, Creppy EE, Popovic R, Matias WJ. 2011. Investigation of animal and algal bioassays for reliable saxitoxin ecotoxicity and cytotoxicity risk evaluation.Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 74, 1021–1026.

Prescott GW. 1975. Algae of the western great lake area. 6th ed., William C. Brown Co. Publishers. Dubugue , Towa , p 977.

Ramanan S, Tang J, Velayudhan A. 2000. Isolation and preparative purification of microcystin variants. Journal of Chromatography A 883, 103–112.

Rangel M, Brunetti RL, Garcia AN, Cambui CCN, Conserva GAA, Neves, AC, Sant’Anna CL, Carvalho LR. 2013. Acute effects of three Geitlerinema spp. (Cyanobacteria) extracts administrated in mice: symptoms and histopathological aspects. Phytochemistry Review 12, 543–553.

Rastogi RP, Madamwar D, Incharoensakdi A. 2015. Bloom Dynamics of Cyanobacteria and Their Toxins: Environmental Health Impacts and Mitigation Strategies.Front. Microbiol 6, 1254-1275.

Rhoades JD, Kandiah A, Mashali AM. 1992. The use of saline waters for crop production.Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Rome, p 133.

Richter D, Pietryka M, Matula J. 2015. Relationship of cyanobacterial and algal assemblages with vegetation in the high Arctic Tundra (West Spitsbergen, Svalbard Archi Pelago). Polish Polar Research 36(3), 239-260.

Rücker J, Stüken A, Nixdorf B, Fastner J, Chorus I, Wiedner C. 2007. Concentrations of particulate and dissolved cylindrospermopsin in 21 Aphanizomenon-dominated temperate lakes. Toxicon 50, 800-809.

Selwood AI, Waugh C, Harwood DT, Rhodes LL, Reeve J, Sim J, Munday R. 2017. Acute Toxicities of the Saxitoxin Congeners Gonyautoxin 5, Gonyautoxin 6, Decarbamoyl Gonyautoxin 2&3, Decarbamoyl Neosaxitoxin, C-1&2 and C-3&4 to Mice by Various Routes of Administration. Toxins 9(73), 1-8.

Shearn-Bochsler V, Lance EW, Corcoran R, Piatt J, Bodenstein B, Frame E, Lawonn J. 2014. Fatal Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning in Kittlitz’s Murrelet (Brachyramphus brevirostris) Nestlings, Alaska, USA. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 50(4), 933–937.

Shumway SE. Allen SM, and Dee Boersma P. 2003.Marine birds and harmful algal blooms: sporadic victims or under-reported events? Harmful Algae 2, 1–17.

Stancheva R, Fuller C, Sheath RG. 2014. Soft-bodied stream algae of California, viewed 9 January 2015.

Teneva I, Asparuhova D, Dzhambazov B, Mladenov R, Schirmer K. 2003. The Freshwater Cyanobacterium Lyngbya aerugineo-coerulea Produces Compounds Toxicto Mice and to Mammalian and Fish Cells. Environmental Toxicology 18, 9 –20.

Veerabadhran M, Manivel N, Mohanakrishnan D, Sahal D, Muthuraman S. 2014. Antiplasmodial activity of extracts of 25 cyanobacterial species from coastal regions of Tamil Nadu. Pharmaceutical Biology 1-11. Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.

Weiss C, Sammet B, Sewald N. 2013. Recent approaches for the synthesis of modified cryptophycins. Natural Product Reports 30(7), 924–940.

WHO. 2003. Cyanobacterial toxins: Microcystin-LR In drinking-water. Background document for preparation of WHO Guidelines for drinking-water quality. Geneva, World Health Organization (WHO/SDE/WSH/03.04/57).

Wiese M, Agostino PMD, Mihali TK, Moffitt MC, Neilan BA. 2010. Neurotoxic Alkaloids: Saxitoxin and its analogs. Marine Drugs 8, 2185-2211.

Yilmaz M, Foss A, Selwood AI, Ӧzen M. 2018. Paralytic Shellfish Toxin Producing Aphanizomenon gracile Strains Isolated from Lake Iznik, Turkey. Toxicon 148, 132-142.

Zagatto PA, Buratini SV, Aragão MA, Ferrão-Filho AS. 2012. Neurotoxicity of two Cylindrospermopsis raciborskiin (cyanobacteria) strains to mice, daphinia, and fish. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 31(4), 857-862.

Zanchett G, Oliveira-Filho EC. 2013. Cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins: from impacts on aquatic ecosystems and human health to anticarcinogenic effects. Toxins 5, 1896-1917.