Uzunov B., Stefanova K., Radkova M., Descy J.-P., Gärtner G., Stoyneva-Gärtner M.

Microcystis species and their toxigenic strains in phytoplankton of ten Bulgarian waterbodies

Abstract The summer phytoplankton structure of ten Bulgarian waterbodies was studied by HPLC analysis of marker pigments, light microscopy (LM) and PCR amplification of mcyB and mcyE gene sequences. The aim was to detect biodiversity and spread of toxigenic strains of potential microcystin producers and the important bloom-forming genus Microcystis in particular. The screening was done in three waterbodies, where Microcystis had already been found (Lakes Ezerets and Durankulak and Reservoir Koprinka), three waterbodies from which it had not been reported (Reservoirs Shilkovtsi, Zhrebchevo, Suedinenie) and four reservoirs that were sampled for the first time (Malka Smolnitsa, Plachidol 2, Preselka, Duvanli). LM and HPLC data similarly showed that cyanoprokaryotes contributed significantly to the total phytoplankton composition (29%) and biomass (15–87%) in nine sampled waterbodies. Microcystis aeruginosa, M. natans, M. smithii, M. wesenbergii, Microcystis spp., M. cf. comperei and M. pseudofilamentosa, were identified using LM (the last two tropical species were found for the first time in the country). Despite the low contribution of Microcystis to the phytoplankton diversity (1–4 taxa per sample) and to the total phytoplankton biomass (< 0.01–0.5%), 57 toxigenic strains of this genus were revealed by PCR, most of which demonstrated high similarity with NCBI M. aeruginosa and M. wesenbergii strains.


Keywords algal blooms, alien species, cyanobacteria, cyanotoxins, lakes, microcystins, reservoirs

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