NHASP publication on cyanotoxin gene clusters in Microcystis aeruginosa

NHASP researchers Leanne Pearson, Nick Crosbie and Brett Neilan have published a screening study on the gene clusters that regulate secondary metabolite biosynthesis – including toxin production – in the cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa.

They analysed Refseq quality genomes (from the GenBank database) of 27 different M. aeruginosa strains that were isolated from six different climates. The only cyanotoxin biosynthesis gene cluster identified in this study was the microcystin synthetase (mcy) gene cluster, suggesting that the production of non-microcystin cyanotoxins by M. aeruginosa, such as anatoxin-a or paralytic shellfish poison analogues, is either absent or rare.

Pearson LA, Crosbie ND & Neilan BA (2019) Distribution and conservation of known secondary metabolite biosynthesis gene clusters in the genomes of geographically diverse Microcystis aeruginosa strains. Marine and Freshwater Research.

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