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Chapter 30 : Toxic Photosynthetic Microbes

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Abstract:

The biological process by which toxic photosynthetic microbes can be harmful is also nontoxic to humans. There are six significant types of marine poisonings which regularly occur in different parts of the world. The classes of algae responsible for producing the majority of toxin poisonings in the marine environment are dinoflagellates and diatoms. These types of poisoning events and the organisms that produce them are discussed. Saxitoxin (and its derivatives) is one of the most potent toxins known. This toxin is also produced by certain species of freshwater toxic photosynthetic algae. Marine generally produce toxins classified as lipopolysaccharides (LPS), contact irritants, and neurotoxins. is one of the most diverse genera of toxic photosynthetic microbes. For the sake of brevity, only the most potent of the toxins produced by in marine environments are discussed. In 1963, large blooms of spp. plagued the northeastern coast of Brazil, causing Tamandaré fever. Secondly, the facts concerning toxic photosynthetic microbes must be passed to the people of the world in a morally responsible manner. Lastly, continuing research studies must be performed to ensure that the safety of water is maintained. One of the most interesting findings discussed here is that some toxins have very different chemical structures but have the same toxic effects. Toxic photosynthetic microbes are a few significant species of algae that can cause major damage to our individual, societal, and economic health.

Citation: Jackson, Jr. W. 2007. Toxic Photosynthetic Microbes, p 378-390. In Hurst C, Crawford R, Garland J, Lipson D, Mills A, Stetzenbach L (ed), Manual of Environmental Microbiology, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815882.ch30

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Chemicals
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Algal Toxins
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Amino Acids
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Figures

Image of FIGURE 1
FIGURE 1

Structure of saxitoxin (STX), the causative agent of PSP. Derivatives of saxitoxin include neosaxitoxin (NEO), gonyautoxins 1 and 2 (GTX1 and GTX2), and carbamoyl toxin 2 (C2).

Citation: Jackson, Jr. W. 2007. Toxic Photosynthetic Microbes, p 378-390. In Hurst C, Crawford R, Garland J, Lipson D, Mills A, Stetzenbach L (ed), Manual of Environmental Microbiology, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815882.ch30
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Image of FIGURE 2
FIGURE 2

Structure of okadaic acid (OA). Okadaic acid is the primary toxin associated with DSP events. The derivatives of okadaic acid depicted in the table are dinophysistoxins 1 and 2.

Citation: Jackson, Jr. W. 2007. Toxic Photosynthetic Microbes, p 378-390. In Hurst C, Crawford R, Garland J, Lipson D, Mills A, Stetzenbach L (ed), Manual of Environmental Microbiology, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815882.ch30
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Image of FIGURE 3
FIGURE 3

Brevetoxin structure. Derivatives of this toxin are commonly associated with NSP occurrences.

Citation: Jackson, Jr. W. 2007. Toxic Photosynthetic Microbes, p 378-390. In Hurst C, Crawford R, Garland J, Lipson D, Mills A, Stetzenbach L (ed), Manual of Environmental Microbiology, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815882.ch30
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Image of FIGURE 4
FIGURE 4

Structure of Pacific ciguatera toxin. This toxin is 10 times more potent than its Atlantic counterpart.

Citation: Jackson, Jr. W. 2007. Toxic Photosynthetic Microbes, p 378-390. In Hurst C, Crawford R, Garland J, Lipson D, Mills A, Stetzenbach L (ed), Manual of Environmental Microbiology, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815882.ch30
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Image of FIGURE 5
FIGURE 5

Structure of domoic acid, the toxic agent responsible for ASP.

Citation: Jackson, Jr. W. 2007. Toxic Photosynthetic Microbes, p 378-390. In Hurst C, Crawford R, Garland J, Lipson D, Mills A, Stetzenbach L (ed), Manual of Environmental Microbiology, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815882.ch30
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Image of FIGURE 6
FIGURE 6

Structure of azaspiracid. The table depicts commonly found azaspiracid derivatives.

Citation: Jackson, Jr. W. 2007. Toxic Photosynthetic Microbes, p 378-390. In Hurst C, Crawford R, Garland J, Lipson D, Mills A, Stetzenbach L (ed), Manual of Environmental Microbiology, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815882.ch30
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Image of FIGURE 7
FIGURE 7

Seven-amino-acid structure of microcystin-LR. Of the 65 known microcystin derivatives, the leucine-arginine (or LR) variant is the most toxic. The toxicity of this compound originates from the Adda amino acid.

Citation: Jackson, Jr. W. 2007. Toxic Photosynthetic Microbes, p 378-390. In Hurst C, Crawford R, Garland J, Lipson D, Mills A, Stetzenbach L (ed), Manual of Environmental Microbiology, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815882.ch30
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Image of FIGURE 8
FIGURE 8

Nodularin structure. This structure is very similar to that of microcystin, except that this hepatotoxin is only made up of five amino acids. The Z represents the variable amino acid normally occupied by an arginine.

Citation: Jackson, Jr. W. 2007. Toxic Photosynthetic Microbes, p 378-390. In Hurst C, Crawford R, Garland J, Lipson D, Mills A, Stetzenbach L (ed), Manual of Environmental Microbiology, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815882.ch30
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Image of FIGURE 9
FIGURE 9

Cylindrospermopsin structure. This hepatotoxin is a potent inhibitor of protein synthesis.

Citation: Jackson, Jr. W. 2007. Toxic Photosynthetic Microbes, p 378-390. In Hurst C, Crawford R, Garland J, Lipson D, Mills A, Stetzenbach L (ed), Manual of Environmental Microbiology, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815882.ch30
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Tables

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TABLE 1

Three general methods algae use to produce toxicity

Citation: Jackson, Jr. W. 2007. Toxic Photosynthetic Microbes, p 378-390. In Hurst C, Crawford R, Garland J, Lipson D, Mills A, Stetzenbach L (ed), Manual of Environmental Microbiology, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815882.ch30
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TABLE 2

Eukaryotic marine microalgal toxins and species that produce them

Citation: Jackson, Jr. W. 2007. Toxic Photosynthetic Microbes, p 378-390. In Hurst C, Crawford R, Garland J, Lipson D, Mills A, Stetzenbach L (ed), Manual of Environmental Microbiology, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815882.ch30
Generic image for table
TABLE 3

Freshwater and marine prokaryotic algal toxins and cyanobacterial species known to produce them

Citation: Jackson, Jr. W. 2007. Toxic Photosynthetic Microbes, p 378-390. In Hurst C, Crawford R, Garland J, Lipson D, Mills A, Stetzenbach L (ed), Manual of Environmental Microbiology, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815882.ch30

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