Nodularin is a hepatotoxin produced by the bloom-forming cyanobacterial species Nodularia spumigena. Putative peptide synthetase and polyketide synthase genes were detected in toxic strains of Nodularia by degenerate PCR. Using specific primer sets, peptide synthetase and polyketide synthase gene homologues were detected in nodularin-producing strains indicating a possible role of peptide synthetase and polyketide synthase enzyme complexes in the biosynthesis of nodularin. Strains of Nodularia isolated from around the world were also analyzed for the production of nodularin by the protein phosphatase 2A inhibition assay. The protein phosphatase inhibition assay and the molecular detection of peptide synthetase and polyketide synthase genes in Nodularia may be useful techniques for the assessment of nodularin-producing cyanobacteria in the environment.