Distribution of Toxic Cyanobacteria and Cyanotoxins in Turkish Waterbodies

A recent paper by Latife Koker et al. (2017) presents results of the ‘SIYANOTOKS’ project that was carried out in Turkey by the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs, the General Directorate of Water Management in cooperation with the research group of Prof. Reyhan Akcaalan and Prof. Meric Albay, of Istanbul University, Faculty of Fisheries (now Faculty of Aquatic Sciences).
The project  monitored cyanobacteria and their toxins in 18 selected waterbodies in Turkey: 7 natural lakes, 8 reservoirs, 1 lagoon and 2 coastal and transitional waters
in Turkey. Potentially toxic cyanobacteria species were detected in 14 waterbodies and blooms were observed in 57% of them. A highest concentration of Microcystin-LR eq. was 29.7 μg/l and cylindrospermopsin was 9 μg/l. These results showed that cyanotoxin problems are very common in Turkish surface waters and regulation in drinking and
recreational waters should be implemented. The paper acknowledges CYANOCOST for networking and sharing of knowledge.

Reference: Koker et al. (2017), Journal of Environmental Protection and Ecology, 18(2), 425-432. Available on-line (open access). 

Updated list of cyanobacteria species associated with the production of cyanotoxins !

A large diversity of cyanobacteria is associated with the production of cyanotoxins. Appendix 2 of the Handbook of Cyanobacterial Monitoring and Cyanotoxin Analysis reports an updated list of cyanobacterial species or genera: (i) producing toxin from isolated strains or (ii) suspected to produce toxins, based on data obtained from environmental samples. The original species names assigned (or successively modified) by the indicated authors have been updated following the more recent changes in the taxonomic literature. A selected list of papers describing the presence of different cyanotoxins measured in samples containing cyanobacterial assemblages was also listed.

This list is Open Access and can be downloaded here.


Bernard, C., Ballot, A., Thomazeau, S., Maloufi, S., Furey, A., Mankiewicz-Boczek, J., Pawlik-Skowrońska, B., Capelli, C. and Salmaso, N. (2016) Appendix 2: Cyanobacteria Associated With the Production of Cyanotoxins, in Handbook of Cyanobacterial Monitoring and Cyanotoxin Analysis (eds J. Meriluoto, L. Spoof and G. A. Codd), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781119068761.app2

Answer to an annoying question: How many microcystin and nodularin congeners reported so far?

Ever wonder how many microcystin and nodularin congeners are reported in the literature so far? This question always pops up when writing your paper’s introduction or preparing your next presentation ? Where you embarrassed when you thought “about 70” and a reviewer commented “please review and cite…”?

Take a guess : 80 ? Maybe 100 ? or 150 ? More ???

Click the “link to the answer” below and you will be surprised !

The link takes you to the “Tables of Microcystins and Nodularins”, compiled by Lisa Spoof and Arnaud Catherine for the “Handbook of Cyanobacterial Monitoring and Cyanotoxin Analysis” recently published by Wiley. The tables contain the most updated list of reported MCs and NODs.

The link to the answer.

Now you have both the correct number and the citation !


Published ! CYANOCOST Special Issue in AIOL (open access)

The CYANOCOST special issue in Advances in Oceanography and Limnology (AIOL) is a collection of 13 papers  grouped under six thematic topics that resulted from international collaboration within CYANOCOST. There was a great interest for this Themed Issue expressed by numerous authors across Europe. We believe that many of the articles will have long-lasting usefulness for the CYANOCOST community as well as for a broad audience of international researchers and experts.

The topics of the AIOL issue are:

– Cyanobacteria occurrence

– Cyanobacteria and cyanotoxin environmental occurrence and monitoring

– Cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins in drinking water – occurrence, monitoring, removal methods

– Cyanotoxin detection techniques

– Cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins long term monitoring/reviews for specific geographical regions

The collection also includes a Review/synoptic paper of CYANOCOST research.

We want to acknowledge and congratulate the four Guest Editors of this Themed Issue, Pavel Babica, Camilla Capelli, Damjana Drobac and Spyros Gkelis, for their highly professional editorial work. The Co-Editor in-Chief of Advances in Oceanography and Limnology Nico Salmaso is cordially thanked for his help and goodwill in realizing the Themed Issue.

The Special Issue is  open access. The papers can be viewed and downloaded here.



Breaking news ! Publication of “Molecular Tools for the Detection and Identification of Toxigenic Cyanobacteria” from CYANOCOST-Wiley

This book (link to Wiley) is designed as a handbook describing the molecular monitoring of toxigenicity and diversity of cyanobacteria in surface waters including lakes, rivers, drinking water reservoirs but also in food supplements. This handbook, edited by Rainer Kurmayer, Kaarina Sivonen, Annick Wilmotte and Nico Salmaso is the first one of its type providing up-to-date overviews plus the necessary scientific basis for the subsequent use of molecular tools, qualitative and quantitative analyses and the interpretation of the results.

Although genetic methods are only able to indicate the potential of toxin synthesis it is possible that molecular detection tools will also support risk assessment in the future. On the other hand if the cyanobacteria do not have genes for toxin production they are not able to produce a specific toxin. The use of molecular tools in monitoring comprises (i) Early warning (i.e. waterbodies bearing a risk in toxic bloom formation could be identified early on in the growing season possibly assisting in an economically more efficient application of cyanotoxin detection techniques), (ii) Understanding environmental drivers (i.e. early identification of toxigenic genotype occurrence may lead to a more detailed recording of environmental factors potentially influencing the abundance of toxigenic genotypes), (iii) Identifying toxigenic cyanobacteria (i.e. by sequencing of PCR amplified DNA fragments indicative of cyanotoxin synthesis).

44 standardized operational protocols (SOPs) written by 37 scientists participating in the CYANOCOST network describe the steps of water (food supplement) sampling (six protocols), cyanobacterial strain isolation and purification (six protocols) and taxonomic assignment (two protocols), nucleic acid extraction (eight protocols) and downstream analysis including conventional PCR (nine protocols) as well as qPCR (eight protocols) but also diagnostic and transcriptomic microarray (two protocols), genotyping (one protocol) and community characterization by Next Generation Sequencing techniques (two protocols). A list of toxic strains containing the respective target genes and which are available through international culture collections has been compiled and will serve as reference materials and control measures to make sure that a specific molecular method works. Finally the application of molecular tools is reviewed with regard to environmental samples but also with regard to quality control in microalga biomass production.

The handbook is intended to be used by trained professionals analyzing cyanobacterial toxigenicity and diversity in water samples in the laboratory in both academic and governmental institutions, as well as technical offices and agencies which are in charge of water body surveillance and monitoring. Students will learn important methods’ standards of essential protocols including steps from sampling until results evaluation.

Download a flyer of the two published CYANOCOST books here.

Special Issue “Marine Bacterial Toxins”, in Marine Drugs

“The Special Issue, “Marine Bacterial Toxins”, in Marine Drugs will collate high quality papers focused on (1) known and new marine bacterial producers of toxins, their diversity, phylogeny and geography; (2) structure, biosynthesis, biological activity and mode of action of the compounds; (3) environmental relevance, impact on human health and biotechnological and pharmaceutical application; and (4) new tools and innovative methods used in the analysis of toxic marine bacteria and their metabolites.

We cordially invite you to submit your research to this Special Issue of Marine Drugs, and hope that, with your input, the present state of knowledge regarding different aspects of marine bacterial toxins will be updated and/or reviewed.

Prof. Hanna Mazur-Marzec
Dr. Anna Toruńska-Sitarz
Guest Editors

Details of the Special Issue and Manuscript Submission Information can be found here.

Toxins Special Issue “Causes, Consequences and Control of Cyanobacterial Blooms in a Changing World”

Toxins, an Open Access Toxinology Journal is preparing a special issue titled “Causes, Consequences and Control of Cyanobacterial Blooms in a Changing World”.

Guest Editor : Prof. Dr. Miquel Lürling (Aquatic Ecology & Water Quality Management Group, Department of Environmental Sciences, Wageningen University).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2017

“This Special Issue invites manuscripts on all aspects dealing with cyanobacterial blooms in a changing world: from warming, eutrophication, carbon dioxide, salinity, brownification effects on cyanobacteria and/or their toxins via biotic interactions such as competition, predation, parasitism, and so on, to techniques mitigating cyanobacterial biomass and controlling toxins. Contributions from areas of the planet underrepresented in the scientific literature are particularly welcome.” Prof. Dr. Miquel Lürling, Guest Editor.

See more details in the Special Issue page.


CYANOCOST featured in the US EPA “Freshwater HABs” newsletter

The “Freshwater HABs” newsletter issued by US EPA (Dr. Lesley V. D’Anglada) features CYANOCOST in its recent edition (January 2017).

The Freshwater HABs newsletter contains information about many important programs, initiatives, regulations and events in USA and beyond around toxic cyanobacteria, cyanotoxins and the protection of water resources.

The Newsletter features CYANOCOST’s new website and CYANOnews. We warmly thank Dr. D’Anglada and US EPA for creating those links between US and European researchers in Freshwater HABs.

You can download all “Freshwater HABs” newsletters here, or you can contact Dr D’Anglada to sign up for the Newsletter.