Microcystis Chemotype Diversity in the Alimentary Tract of Bigheaded Carp

Toxins (Basel). 2019 May 22;11(5):288. doi: 10.3390/toxins11050288.


Most cyanobacterial organisms included in the genus Microcystis can produce a wide repertoire of secondary metabolites. In the mid-2010s, summer cyanobacterial blooms of Microcystis sp. occurred regularly in Lake Balaton. During this period, we investigated how the alimentary tract of filter-feeding bigheaded carps could deliver different chemotypes of viable cyanobacteria with specific peptide patterns. Twenty-five Microcystis strains were isolated from pelagic plankton samples (14 samples) and the hindguts of bigheaded carp (11 samples), and three bloom samples were collected from the scums of cyanobacterial blooms. An LC-MS/MS-based untargeted approach was used to analyze peptide patterns, which identified 36 anabaenopeptin, 17 microginin, and 13 microcystin variants. Heat map clustering visualization was used to compare the identified chemotypes. A lack of separation was observed in peptide patterns of Microcystis that originated from hindguts, water samples, and bloom-samples. Except for 13 peptides, all other congeners were detected from the viable and cultivated chemotypes of bigheaded carp. This finding suggests that the alimentary tract of bigheaded carps is not simply an extreme habitat, but may also supply the cyanobacterial strains that represent the pelagic chemotypes.

Keywords: Microcystis; anabaenopeptin; bigheaded carp; chemotype; microcystin; microginin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carps / microbiology*
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / microbiology*
  • Hungary
  • Male
  • Microcystis / genetics
  • Microcystis / isolation & purification*
  • Microcystis / metabolism
  • Peptides / analysis
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry


  • Peptides