Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Eutrophication makes toxic cyanobacteria more toxic

06.12.2010
Continued eutrophication of the Baltic Sea, combined with an ever thinner ozone layer, is favouring the toxic cyanobacterium Nodularia spumigena, reveals research from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

“There are several species of cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, that can form surface blooms in the Baltic Sea,” explains Malin Mohlin from the University of Gothenburg’s Department of Marine Ecology.

“Which species ends up dominating a bloom depends partly on how they deal with an increased amount of UV light and a shortage of nutrients. Nodularia spumigena is most toxic when there is little nitrogen in the water but sufficient amounts of phosphorus.”

As a result, wastewater treatment processes that concentrate on removing nitrogen can make cyanobacterial blooms more toxic. Wastewater therefore needs to be cleared of both nitrogen and phosphorus.

Mohlin’s research shows that Nodularia spumigena can be expected to be most toxic at the beginning of a bloom in July. At that time there is generally more phosphorus than nitrogen in the water, and the cyanobacteria have not yet to float to the surface but are found deeper in the water where they have not yet been exposed to UV light.

Surface blooms of cyanobacteria, which are a type of phytoplankton, have increased in both frequency and magnitude in the Baltic Sea in recent decades, and researchers are divided on the cause. Some put it down to eutrophication – an excess of nutrients in the water – caused by human emissions of nitrogen and phosphorus over the past 150 years. Others have studied the Baltic Sea’s bottom sediment and argue that this is a natural phenomenon that has been ongoing for more than 7,000 years and is due instead to climate variations.

Different species of nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria bloom at different times. Aphanizomenon species tend to bloom from May to June, but from July to August the toxic species Nodularia spumigena normally dominates for as long as the surface water is warm and still.

The toxin it produces is called nodularin and is a hepatotoxin – a toxin that attacks the liver. Livestock and dogs around the Baltic Sea have died after consuming large quantities of toxic water during blooms.

The thesis has been successfully defended.

For more information, please contact: Malin Mohlin, Department of Marine Ecology, University of Gothenburg
Tel.: +46 (0)31 786 29 54
E-mail: malin.mohlin@marecol.gu.se
Publication data:
Jorunal: Harmful AlgaeVolume 10, Issue 1, November 2010, Pages 30-38
Title: Production of the cyanotoxin nodularin-A multifactorial approach.
Authors: Pattanaik, B., Wulff, A., Roleda, M.Y., Garde, K., Mohlin, M., (2010)

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://hdl.handle.net/2077/23413

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Seeing on the Quick: New Insights into Active Vision in the Brain
15.08.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

nachricht New Approach to Treating Chronic Itch
15.08.2018 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Diving robots find Antarctic winter seas exhale surprising amounts of carbon dioxide

15.08.2018 | Earth Sciences

Early opaque universe linked to galaxy scarcity

15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>