Toxic cyanobacteria and microcystin dynamics in a tropical reservoir: assessing the influence of environmental variables

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2021 Dec;28(45):63544-63557. doi: 10.1007/s11356-020-10826-9. Epub 2020 Sep 18.

Abstract

Toxic cyanobacterial blooms (TCBs) have become a growing concern worldwide. The present study investigated the dynamic of toxic cyanobacteria and microcystin (MC) concentrations in the Tri An Reservoir (TAR), a tropical system in Vietnam, with quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), respectively. The results of the qPCR quantification revealed that Microcystis was the dominant group and the primary MC producer in the TAR. Potentially toxigenic cyanobacteria varied from 1.2 × 104 to 1.58 × 107 cells/mL, and the mean proportion of toxic Microcystis to that of the total toxic cyanobacteria varied from 21 to 88%. Microcystin concentrations in raw water and sediment samples often peaked during June to October as blooms occurred and varied from 0.27 to 6.59 μg/L and from 1.79 to 544.9 ng/g in wet weight, respectively. The results of this study indicated that conditions favoring Microcystis proliferation lead to the selection of more toxic genotypes. Water temperature and light availability were not driving factor in the formation of TCBs in the TAR. However, the high loads of total nitrogen (TN), phosphate, and total phosphorus (TP) into the water via rainfall runoff in combination with a high total suspended solid (TSS) and decreased water level during the early months of the rainy seasons did lead to a shift in Microcystis blooms and higher proportions of toxic genotypes of Microcystis in the TAR. This research may provide more insight into the occurrence mechanism of TCBs in tropical waters. The strategy to control TCB problems in tropical regions should be focused on these limnological and hydrological parameters, in addition to a reduction in nitrogen and phosphorus loading.

Keywords: Cyanotoxins; Harmful algae bloom; Real-time PCR; Sediment.

MeSH terms

  • Cyanobacteria*
  • Microcystins
  • Microcystis*
  • Nitrogen
  • Phosphorus

Substances

  • Microcystins
  • Phosphorus
  • Nitrogen