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Investigation of the production and isolation of bioactive compounds from cyanobacteria.

Hameed, Shaista


Shaista Hameed



Due to heavy nutrient load and adverse climate change the occurrence of toxic cyanobacterial blooms have significantly increased during the last decades. Nodularia spumigena is one of the dominant toxic cyanobacteria which produces massive and inherent blooms in brackish water body, the Baltic Sea, particularly in late summer. Nodularia spp. are known to produce nodularins (NOD) and a range of other bioactive peptides such as spumigins and nodulopeptins, all of which have unclear function. In a recent study, three new nodulopeptins with molecular weight of 899, 901 and 917 were characterised from N. spumigena KAC 66. In the present study, N. spumigena KAC 66 was fractionated by reversed phase flash chromatography and their toxicity was determined by their lethality to Daphnia pulex and D. magna along with inhibition of protein phosphatase 1 assay (PP1). All fractions showed lethality to Daphnids and inhibitory activity against PP1, the toxicity was due to additional compounds as NOD and nodulopeptin 901 were only detected in 7 fractions. Pure NOD was lethal to D. pulex and D. magna LC50= 8.4 μg/mL and 5.0 μg/mL, respectively. The newly characterised nodulopeptin 901 was also tested against D. magna (LC50=>100 μg/mL). NOD and nodulopeptin 901 inhibited PP1 with IC50 0.038 μg/mL and 25 μg/mL, respectively. In common with many studies, the maximum amount of NOD was retained within the cells during the seven week growth experiment. In contrast, as much as ~50% of nodulopeptin 901 was detected in the growth media throughout the duration of experiments. To gain further insight on the effects of environmental stress on growth and production of bioactive metabolites in N. spumigena KAC 66, a range of parameters were investigated which included; temperature, salinity, nitrate and phosphorus. In the present study it was investigated that extreme growth conditions have a considerable effect on biomass and toxin levels by N. spumigena KAC 66. The light intensity ranged from 17.35-17.47 μmol/s/m2, 22°C and 11-20 ° of salinity were the optimal growth conditions to obtain maximum biomasses, intra and extracellular peptide contents. At 6.5 mg/L nitrate the maximum growth, as indicated by Chl-a and maximum concentrations of intracellular NOD and nodulopeptin 901 were detected found in week 5 and 4, respectively. Temperature had the greatest effect on peptide production. Whilst growth was similar at 22°C, 25°C and 30°C, increase in temperature had a profound effect on NOD production in that an increase from 22°C to 25°C resulted in a 50% decrease in intracellular NOD levels. At 30°C little or no NOD was detected. In contrast, whilst concentrations of nodulopeptin 901 decreased with increasing temperature, they were still detected at consistent levels suggesting they play an important role. The results from phosphate experiment showed Chl-a, cell biomass and peptide production did not show clear dependency on availability of PO-3 4. This is the first study to evaluate the effects of selected environmental parameters on NOD/nodulopeptin 901 production which ultimately may be helpful to explain the distribution, control of natural blooms and toxin levels of N. spumigena in the Baltic Sea and as well as laboratory based experiments. In an attempt further exploit cyanobacterial diversity, 20 strains were isolated from the Dian Lake and 6 from the Dead Sea. The UPLC-PDA-MS analysis of isolates, Microcystis spp. from Dian Lake, China indicated the presence of several peptides namely MC-LR, cyanopeptolin A and aerucyclamides A-D. These new isolates will be examined for biological activity and chemical characterisation in future studies.


HAMEED, S. 2013. Investigation of the production and isolation of bioactive compounds from cyanobacteria. Robert Gordon University, PhD thesis.

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Jul 30, 2013
Publicly Available Date Jul 30, 2013
Keywords Nodularia spumigena KAC 66; Baltic Sea; Fractions; Daphina assay; Protein phosphatase 1 assay; Environmental factors; Biomass; Nodularin (NOD); Nodulopeptin 901; Dian Lake; Dead Sea
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