Genetic diversity of the toxic cyanobacterium Microcystis in Lake Mikata

Environ Toxicol. 2005 Jun;20(3):229-34. doi: 10.1002/tox.20102.


The aim of the present study was to clarify the bloom dynamics and community composition of hepatotoxin microcystin-producing and non-microcystin-producing Microcystis genotypes in the environment. In Lake Mikata (Fukui, Japan) from April 2003 to January 2004, seasonal variation in the number of cells with microcystin (mcy) genotypes and the genetic diversity of the total population were investigated using quantitative competitive PCR and a 16S rDNA clone library, respectively. Using competitive PCR, cells with mcyA genotypes were quantified in August and October, and the ratio of the number of these mcyA genotypes to colony-forming Microcystis cells was 0.37 and 2.37, respectively. The 16S rDNA clones obtained could be divided into 12 ribotypes: a-l. Sixty-one Microcystis strains isolated from Lake Mikata during the sampling period were subjected to toxicity tests using HPLC and ELISA, PCR-based detection of the mcyA gene, and sequence analysis of the 16S rDNA. All isolates could be differentiated into 11 ribotypes (a, b, d, f, h, i, and m-q). Ribotypes b, f, i, m, n, and p had at least one strain that was a microcystin producer. In natural communities ribotypes b and f accounted for 85% of the 16S rDNA clones in August, and ribotypes b and i accounted for 24% of the clones in October. Thus, in some bloom stages the presence of microcystin genotypes identified using the 16S rDNA clone library correlated with that of mcy genotypes determined using competitive PCR.

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Genotype
  • Japan
  • Microcystins
  • Microcystis / genetics*
  • Peptides, Cyclic / genetics*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Population Dynamics
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / analysis*
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics*
  • Ribotyping
  • Seasons


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Microcystins
  • Peptides, Cyclic
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
  • microcystin