Rapid typing and elucidation of new secondary metabolites of intact cyanobacteria using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry

Nat Biotechnol. 1997 Sep;15(9):906-9. doi: 10.1038/nbt0997-906.


Toxic cyanobacterial blooms are a threat because of secondary metabolite production. We used matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry to identify intact microorganisms. Microgram quantities of prepared cells, including solvent (acetonitrile and ethanol) and alpha-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamic acid matrix, display spectra showing predominantly the secondary metabolites including known microcystins, micropeptin, and anabaenopeptolin. A new cyclic anabaenopeptolin has been identified using the Post-Source-Decay mode. Strains of various origins can easily be typed according to their cyclic peptide production, and toxic and nontoxic algal blooms can be differentiated within minutes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anabaena / metabolism
  • Bacterial Proteins / analysis*
  • Cyanobacteria / metabolism*
  • Microcystins
  • Peptides, Cyclic / analysis*
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Microcystins
  • Peptides, Cyclic
  • microcystin