Isolation and Characterization of Microcystin-Degrading Bacteria from Lake Erie

  • Anjali Krishnan
  • Yu-Qin Zhang
  • Xiaozhen MouEmail author


Heterotrophic bacteria are suggested as the major agents that degrade microcystins (MCs), a major cyanotoxins, in natural environments. However, little is known of the taxonomic and functional diversity of MC-degrading bacteria in Lake Erie of the Laurentian Great Lakes, the largest freshwater system on earth. This study obtained six bacterial pure isolates from Lake Erie with an ability to use MCs as the sole carbon and energy sources. MC degradation rates of the isolates were impacted by temperature and pH. The key gene for MC degradation (mlrA) were failed to be PCR amplified from for all 6 MC degraders, indicating they may possess a novel MC degradation pathway. In addition for potentials used in MC bioremediation, two isolates maybe can offer extra benefits as biofertilizers.


Microcystins HAB CyanoHAB Bacterial degradation Lake Erie 



We would like to thank Dr J. Ortiz for assistance in collecting samples, Serghei Lordachescu for helping with culturing work, and for helping measurements of pH and temperature. This work was supported by Ohio Department of Higher Education Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative (R/HHT-4), Lake Erie Protection Fund (SG450-13, SG514-2017) and Kent State University Research Council.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biological Science DepartmentKent State UniversityKentUSA
  2. 2.Institute of Medicinal BiotechnologyChinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical CollegeBeijingChina

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