Microcystins, BMAA and BMAA isomers in 100-year-old Antarctic cyanobacterial mats collected during Captain R.F. Scott’s Discovery Expedition

From the abstract of a new paper by Jungblut et. al (2018) published in European Journal of Phycology :

Microcystins (MCN), β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) and anatoxin-a were investigated in Antarctic cyanobacterial mats collected from Ross Island and the McMurdo Ice Shelf, East Antarctica during Captain Scott’s ‘Discovery’ National Antarctic Expedition (1901–1904). Ultra-performance liquid chromatography-photodiode array detection (UPLC-PDA) and tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) analysis were used to quantify the cyanotoxins in seven cyanobacterial mat samples. MCNs were identified in six of the mat samples at concentrations from 0.5 to 16.1 µg g–1 dry weight. BMAA was found in one sample (528 ng g–1 dry weight, total BMAA), as well as two BMAA isomers, 2,4-diaminobutyric acid (DAB) and N-(2-aminoethyl) glycine (AEG) in six samples up to 6.56 and 6.79 μg g–1 dry weight, respectively. No anatoxin-a was detected. The findings confirm that MCNs, BMAA and BMAA isomers are preserved under dry herbarium conditions. The ‘Discovery’ cyanobacterial mat samples represent the oldest polar cyanobacterial samples found to contain cyanotoxins to date and provide new baseline data for cyanotoxins in Antarctic freshwater cyanobacterial mats from prior to human activity in Antarctica, the development of the ozone hole and current levels of climatic change.

Read the story by Katie Pavid in the Natural History Museum, UK website.

Reference:

A.D. Jungblut, J. Wilbraham, S.A. Banack, J.S. Metcalf & G.A. Codd (2018) Microcystins, BMAA and BMAA isomers in 100-year-old Antarctic cyanobacterial mats collected during Captain R.F. Scott’s Discovery Expedition, European Journal of Phycology, DOI: 10.1080/09670262.2018.1442587

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s