The toxic cosmopolitan cyanobacteria Moorena producens: Insights into distribution, ecophysiology and toxicity

Curren, Emily and Leaw, Chui Pin and Lim, Po Teen and Leong, Sandric Chee Yew (2022) The toxic cosmopolitan cyanobacteria Moorena producens: Insights into distribution, ecophysiology and toxicity. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 29 (52). pp. 78178-78206. ISSN 0944-1344, DOI

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Moorena producens is a benthic filamentous cyanobacteria that has been widely documented for its toxicity. This cyanobacterium colonizes both temperate (37%) and tropical (63%) regions, making it a cosmopolitan cyanobacterium with a global distribution. M. producens grows across coral reefs in multiple locations but recurringly blooms in Queensland, Australia. Today, nuisance blooms of M. producens have resulted in major disruptions to recreational activities along coastal areas and are known to cause adverse effects on organism and human health upon contact or ingestion. Specifically, marine organisms such as the green turtle Chelonia mydas and hawksbill turtle Eretmochelys imbricata were fatally poisoned by M. producens after consumption of this cyanobacterium. Reports record a range of effects on human health, from pain and blistering or even death upon ingestion of contaminated seafood. Blooms of M. producens are triggered by influxes of nitrogen, phosphate and iron, from surrounding coastal runoffs or sewage effluents. Additions of these nutrients can result in an increase in growth rate by 4-16 times. Iron bioavailability also plays a crucial role in bloom formation. A total of 231 natural products from 66 groups were identified from M. producens, with the three dominant groups: malyngamides, microcolins and dolastatins. These bioactive secondary metabolites have displayed toxicities against a range of carcinoma cell lines and organisms such as brine shrimp Artemia salina and goldfish Carassius auratus. This review provides a thorough insight to the distribution, ecophysiology and toxicity of M. producens, with reports on bloom events and implications on organism and human health.

Item Type: Article
Funders: National University of Singapore
Uncontrolled Keywords: Marine; Cyanobacteria; Distribution; Ecology; Toxicity
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Divisions: Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research & Innovation) Office > Institute of Ocean and Earth Sciences
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2023 02:20
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2023 02:20

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