A bloom of the cyanobacteria, Microcystis aeruginosa occurred in the St. Lucie Estuary during the summer of 2016, stimulated by the release of waters from Lake Okeechobee. This cyanobacterium produces the microcystins, a suite of heptapeptide hepatotoxins. The toxin composition of the bloom was analyzed and was compared to an archived bloom sample from 2005. Microcystin-LR was the most abundant toxin with lesser amounts of microcystin variants. Nodularin, cylindrospermopsin and anatoxin-a were not detected.
Keywords: Algal bloom; Cyanobacteria; Microcystins; Microcystis.
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