Can Microcystis spp. blooms be used in animal feeds?

A recent paper by Chen et al. published in Science of the Total Environment reviews the challenges of using blooms of Microcystis spp. in animal feeds.

Highlights (from the paper):

  • Microcystis causes toxicity to mollusks, crustaceans, fish, amphibians, mammals and birds.
  • Microcystis induces toxicity in liver, kidney, intestine, spleen and other organs.
  • Fish fed Microcystis may be not safe for consumption for humans.
  • Microbial pathogens may be present in cyanobacterial blooms.


Liang Chen, John P. Giesy, Ondrej Adamovsky, Zorica Svirčev, Jussi Meriluoto, Geoffrey A. Codd, Biljana Mijovic, Ting Shi, Xun Tuo, Shang-Chun Li, Bao-Zhu Pan, Jun Chen, Ping Xie.
Challenges of using blooms of Microcystis spp. in animal feeds: A comprehensive review of nutritional, toxicological and microbial health evaluation. Science of The Total Environment, Volume 764, 2021,

Cyanotoxins in Bloom – Special Issue, Toxins

Dear colleagues,

The open access journal Toxins (ISSN 2072-6651, IF 3.895) is pleased to announce that we have launched a new Special Issue entitled:

“Cyanotoxins in Bloom: Ever-Increasing Occurrence and Global Distribution of Freshwater Cyanotoxins from Planktic and Benthic Cyanobacteria”.

We are serving as Guest Editors for this issue.

We would like to cordially invite you to contribute an article to the Special Issue. For more information on the issue, please visit the Special Issue website at .

Kind regards,

Guest Editors

Dr. Triantafyllos Kaloudis

Athens Water Supply and Sewerage Company – EYDAP SA, Organic Micropollutants Lab – Quality Control Department, Flias 11, 13674 Menidi, Greece

Dr. Anastasia Hiskia

National Center for Scientific Research “DEMOKRITOS”, Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Partiarchi Grigoriou E & Neapoleos 27 str., 15341, Agia Paraskevi, Athens, Greece

Dr. Theodoros Triantis

National Center for Scientific Research “DEMOKRITOS”, Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Partiarchi Grigoriou E & Neapoleos 27 str., 15341, Agia Paraskevi, Athens, Greece

Effects of hydrogen peroxide on cyanobacteria and microcystins in irrigation water.

A new paper by Spoof et al. in Environmental Science and Pollution Research reports a series of experiments where lysis of cyanobacteria in abstracted lake water was induced by the use of hydrogen peroxide.

From the abstract:

This paper reports a series of experiments where lysis of cyanobacteria in abstracted lake water was induced by the use of hydrogen peroxide and the fate of released MCs was followed. The hydrogen peroxide–treated water was then used for spray irrigation of cultivated spinach and possible toxin accumulation in the plants was monitored. The water abstracted from Lake Köyliönjärvi, SW Finland, contained fairly low concentrations of intracellular MC prior to the hydrogen peroxide treatment (0.04 μgL −1 in July to 2.4 μgL −1 in September 2014). Hydrogen peroxide at sufficient doses was able to lyse cyanobacteria efficiently but released MCs were still present even after the application of the highest hydrogen peroxide dose of 20 mg L−1. No traces of MC were detected in the spinach leaves. The viability of moving phytoplankton and zooplankton was also monitored after the application of hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide at 10 mg L−1 or higher had a detrimental effect on the moving phytoplankton and zooplankton.

The paper acknowledges CYANOCOST.


Spoof, L., Jaakkola, S., Važić, T. Važić, T., Häggqvist, K., Kirkkala, T., Ventelä, A-M., Kirkkala, T., Svirčev, Z., Meriluoto, J. Elimination of cyanobacteria and microcystins in irrigation water—effects of hydrogen peroxide treatment. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2020).

Frontiers topic: Global Intensification of Cyanobacterial Blooms: The Driving Forces and Mitigation Approaches

This Frontiers Research Topic presents research papers and reviews that explore novel approaches expanding our understanding of the development of toxic phytoplankton blooms and their immense performance in a changing environment, with particular focus on Microcystis sp. It aims to address various aspects of cyanobacterial blooms including the following:

• abiotic and biotic drivers of cyanobacteria blooms

• biological role of secondary metabolites, including cyanotoxins, in the bloom’s lifecycle,

• allelopathic and info-chemical interactions between microorganisms involved in toxic blooms,

• competition in host/parasite interactions, including cy-anophages,

• novel strategies for mitigation of cyanobacterial blooms.

Topic Editors:

Aaron Kaplan, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel),
Rainer Kurmayer, University of Innsbruck, Austria,
Assaf Sukenik, Kinneret Limnological Laboratory, Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research, Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences, University of Haifa, Migdal, Israel.

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 01 April 2020.

Link to the webpage of this Frontiers Topic


SETAC Europe 2020 Session: Marine and Freshwater Pelagic and Benthic Harmful Algal Blooms

SETAC Europe 30th Annual meeting will take place on 3-7 May 2020 in Dublin, Ireland.

A Session on “Marine and Freshwater Pelagic and Benthic Harmful Algal Blooms: Toxins Production, Detection, Fate, Effects, Monitoring and Management” (Co-chairs Triantafyllos Kaloudis, James Lazorchack) is scheduled under “Track 6”. 

You can submit your abstracts by 27 November 2019.

Link to the session (Track 6).


Harmful algal blooms (HABs) in freshwater and marine systems are defined as an assemblage of eukaryotic or prokaryotic plankton which have the potential to cause negative health, ecological or economic impacts. These negative impacts are caused by mechanisms that include, but are not limited to, public health and environmental risks from toxin(s) production, light attenuation, diurnal swings in pH and dissolved oxygen, offensive tastes and odors, and impaired visual aesthetics. Examples of some of the major toxins found in various combinations are: (a) prokaryotes (cyanobacteria) – microcystins, cylindrospermopsins, anatoxins, nodularin and saxitoxins; and (b) eukaryotes (dinoflagellates, diatoms, chrysophytes and raphidophytes) euglenophysins, prymensins, brevetoxins, ciguatoxins, saxitoxins and domoic acid. In recent years, there has been new information about the potential threat of benthic (attached and/or buried) toxin-producing cyanobacteria and algae. However, there are still many uncertainties about planktonic and benthic cyanobacteria/algae and the nature of their benthic/pelagic life stages. There is also some uncertainty concerning whether there is a greater risk to aquatic life due to the effects of filamentous and matt forming toxin and non-toxin producing algae on feeding inhibition and smothering. What are the current knowledge gaps related to blooms of benthic cyanobacteria/algae on substrates (attached) and/or in sediment (buried)? What research is required to address these gaps? Do we have enough knowledge to develop mitigation plans and predictive models? What tools are available to track and monitor benthic cyanobacteria/algae and their associated toxins in freshwater and marine environments, and are these fit for purpose? What information do we need to make informed risk assessments and are our current tools/techniques sufficient? How should we best incorporate ‘omics techniques into benthic cyanobacterial/algal research? What are the risks of filamentous of matt forming cyanobacteria and algae? What are the current regulations available to address both benthic and pelagic HABS and what are the current difficulties in managing the conditions that contribute to toxin production? To help address these questions, the objective of this session is to exchange information on the distribution, detection, identification, , occurrence and interaction of both benthic and planktonic cyanobacteria and algae and their associated toxins and finally management tools or approaches to reduce occurrence of blooms.

Special Issue “Harmful Cyanobacteria and Their Metabolites” – Applied Sciences

Dear Colleagues,

The ongoing eutrophication of aquatic ecosystems has increased cyanobacterial blooms and also intensified the problems caused by the blooms. Harmful cyanobacteria and their toxic metabolites are known to cause health concerns in humans, animals, and plants, and water-users continue to experience cyanobacterial hazards and nuisance in Europe and other parts of the world as evidenced by some recent events.

The Special Issue “Harmful Cyanobacteria and Their Metabolites” in the journal Applied Sciences has a wide scope and it is intended to address some of the gaps in our knowledge concerning the management of cyanobacterial problems. It deals with, e.g., the occurrence of harmful cyanobacteria, methods for the analysis of noxious cyanometabolites, fate/impact/health effects of cyanotoxins, as well as management measures related to harmful cyanobacteria.

Some examples of work relevant for the Special Issue includes manuscripts on toxic invasive cyanobacteria; occurrence of toxic cyanobacteria in less-studied environments; cyanobacterial adaptations to climate change especially in relation to toxin production; cyanobacterial production of taste and odor compounds; management of harmful cyanobacteria in protected ecosystems; exposure assessment and effects of cyanotoxins in aquatic and terrestrial organisms including humans; novel methods for monitoring and analysis of cyanotoxins; prevention and control measures for the elimination of cyanobacterial problems. Review papers promoting international initiatives for the management of cyanobacterial problems may also be considered if presented with a strong scientific rationale but the potential authors of such papers are encouraged to contact the Guest Editors in advance.

Dr. Jussi Meriluoto
Dr. Nada Tokodi
Guest Editors

Link to the webpage of the Issue.

Download the flyer of the Issue.

New marine cyanobacteria species found by Cyanolab in Aegean sea

A new paper by Konstantinou et al. from Cyanolab AUTH (Head: Dr. Spyros Gkelis), published in Journal of Phycology. The authors propose a novel marine genus Leptothoe gen. nov. and describe three new sponge-associated species:  Le. sithoniana, Le. kymatousa, and Le.  spongobia, based on a combination of molecular, chemical and morphological approach. The new sponge-associated Leptothoe species show distinct characters compared to other marine Leptolyngbyaceae, reinforcing the investigation of cyanobacterial diversity associated with sponges. Interestingly, Leptothoe spongobia TAU-MAC 1115 isolated from the sponge Acanthella acuta was shown to produce microcystin-RR indicating that microcystin production among marine cyanobacteria could be more widespread than previously determined.


Konstantinou, D., Voultsiadou, E., Panteris, E., Zervou, S. K., Hiskia, A., & Gkelis, S. (2019). Leptothoe, a new genus of marine cyanobacteria (Synechococcales) and three new species associated with sponges from the Aegean Sea. Journal of phycology.


ProSynFest 2020 – A conference devoted to marine cyanobacteria – Cordoba, March 2020.

We are pleased to announce ProSynFest2o20 (March 18-21, 2020 in Cordoba, Spain), a conference almost entirely devoted to the marine picocyanobacteria Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus. It starts with an (optional) one-day technical workshop on March 18th. The conference itself lasts 3 days and will gather most world specialists of marine picocyanobacteria.
The conference program is available here:

Yours sincerely,
Dr. F. Partensky, member of the organizing committee

CYANOBOX project – Request for feedback (5min survey)

CYanoBox (ENTERPRISES / 0618/0157) is a 2-year project that aims to develop an autonomous, affordable (cost-effective), easy-to-use, and reliable tool for monitoring cyanobacterial contaminated surface waterbodies. Such a tool will be extremely helpful to local and competent authorities to minimize exposure to the toxic compounds released by the blooms. The Cyprus Research Innovation Centre (Cy-RIC) and the Water Treatment Laboratory-AQUA of the Cyprus University of Technology have partnered for the completion of this project.

I would like to ask you to spend 5 minutes and complete the survey (link and password provided below). This will help us immensely with the system requirements.

Please feel free to share to anyone third party (including water companies and competent authorities).


Thank you so much!

Maria G. Antoniou (Ph.D.), Assistant Professor, Cyprus University of Technology, Water Treatment Laboratory-Aqua

Save the date: 19th ICHA October 11-16, 2020. La Paz, B.C.S. Mexico

The 19th International Conference on Harmful Algae will take place from the 11th to the 16th of October 2020 in La Paz, BCS, Mexico, being the 2nd ICHA conference held in Latin America. As the last conferences, the 2020 conference will include topics related with the understanding of the causes, evolution and impacts of harmful microalgae and cyanobacteria. We are planning an enjoyable meeting where scientists can present their research, share their ideas, establish new collaborations, and connect the science on harmful algae with the beneficiaries of this research.

La Paz is an ideal city for the meeting where many academic institutes are found. It is a small, secure and quiet city, with beautiful surroundings, which is visited by many international tourists and academics year round. The average temperature in October is between 21 and 34 °C.

For some countries a visa may be required. Please check visa regulations well in advance with your local Mexican Consulate for official instructions on the specific visa regulations and application procedures.

As the major host of the conference, ISSHA will support the event with various activities: Travel awards to students and post-docs, several achievement awards, and ISSHA auction.

Looking forward to seeing you in La Paz, Mexico!

The Organizing Committee,