AbstractsBiology & Animal Science

Implications of Microcystin Production in Microcystis aeruginosa PCC 7806

by Sven Meissner

Institution: Universität Potsdam
Degree: PhD
Year: 2015
Record ID: 1101007
Full text PDF: https://publishup.uni-potsdam.de/opus4-ubp/frontdoor/index/index/docId/7519


Cyanobacteria produce about 40 percent of the world’s primary biomass, but also a variety of often toxic peptides such as microcystin. Mass developments, so called blooms, can pose a real threat to the drinking water supply in many parts of the world. This study aimed at characterizing the biological function of microcystin production in one of the most common bloom-forming cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa. In a first attempt, the effect of elevated light intensity on microcystin production and its binding to cellular proteins was studied. Therefore, conventional microcystin quantification techniques were combined with protein-biochemical methods. RubisCO, the key enzyme for primary carbon fixation was a major microcystin interaction partner. High light exposition strongly stimulated microcystin-protein interactions. Up to 60 percent of the total cellular microcystin was detected bound to proteins, i.e. inaccessible for standard quantification procedures. Underestimation of total microcystin contents when neglecting the protein fraction was also demonstrated in field samples. Finally, an immuno-fluorescence based method was developed to identify microcystin producing cyanobacteria in mixed populations. The high light induced microcystin interaction with proteins suggested an impact of the secondary metabolite on the primary metabolism of Microcystis by e.g. modulating the activity of enzymes. For addressing that question, a comprehensive GC/MS-based approach was conducted to compare the accumulation of metabolites in the wild-type of Microcystis aeruginosa PCC 7806 and the microcystin deficient ΔmcyB mutant. From all 501 detected non-redundant metabolites 85 (17 percent) accumulated significantly different in either of both genotypes upon high light exposition. Accumulation of compatible solutes in the ΔmcyB mutant suggests a role of microcystin in fine-tuning the metabolic flow to prevent stress related to excess light, high oxygen concentration and carbon limitation. Co-analysis of the widely used model cyanobacterium Synechocystis PCC 6803 revealed profound metabolic differences between species of cyanobacteria. Whereas Microcystis channeled more resources towards carbohydrate synthesis, Synechocystis invested more in amino acids. These findings were supported by electron microscopy of high light treated cells and the quantification of storage compounds. While Microcystis accumulated mainly glycogen to about 8.5 percent of its fresh weight within three hours, Synechocystis produced higher amounts of cyanophycin. The results showed that the characterization of species-specific metabolic features should gain more attention with regard to the biotechnological use of cyanobacteria. Cyanobakterien produzieren etwa 40 Prozent der primären Biomasse auf der Welt aber auch giftige Peptide wie das leberschädigende Microcystin. Massenvorkommen, so genannte Blaualgenblüten, gefährden vielerorts regelmäßig die Trinkwasserversorgung. Diese Arbeit hatte zum Ziel, den Einfluss der Microcystinproduktion auf…