A review of BMAA and its isomeric amino acids in cyanobacteria and cyanobacteria -based food supplements

A review paper on occurrence of BMAA and related compounds in cyanobacteria and food supplements by was recently published by Manolidi et al. in Journal of Hazardous Materials.

“The review critically discusses existing reports regarding the occurrence of BMAA, DAB and AEG in cyanobacteria and cyanobacteria-based food supplements. It is shown that inconsistencies in reported results could be attributed to performance of different methods of extraction and analysis applied and in ambiguities regarding determination of soluble and bound fractions of the compounds. The critical aspect of this review aims to grow awareness of human intake of neurotoxic amino acids, while results presented in literature concerning dietary supplements aim to promote further research, quality control as well as development of guidelines for cyanotoxins in food products.”

The review paper acknowledges CYANOCOST.


Korina Manolidi, Theodoros M. Triantis, Triantafyllos Kaloudis, Anastasia Hiskia (2019). Neurotoxin BMAA and its isomeric amino acids in cyanobacteria and cyanobacteria-based food supplements. Journal of Hazardous Materials 365, 346-365. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2018.10.084

2nd Announcement : ICTC11, Krakow, 5-10 May 2019

We would like to inform you of the second announcement and invite all of you to attend the “11th International Conference on Toxic Cyanobacteria” (ICTC 11), which will be held in Kraków, Poland, from 5 to 10 May 2019. All those interested in ICTC 11 will find detailed information about the conference at http://www.ictc11.org.

The deadline for abstract submission is 15 January 2019.

Dariusz Dziga
Iwona Jasser
Mikołaj Kokociński
Joanna Mankiewicz-Boczek
Hanna Mazur-Marzec
Barbara Pawlik-Skowrońska

Local Organizing Committee

Special Issue “Effects of Harmful Cyanobacteria on Ecosystem Functioning, Food Webs, and Water Quality”- Water, MDPI

Dear Colleagues,

Harmful algal blooms (HABs) in frehwaters and partly also in brackish, coastal seas are frequently dominated by cyanobateria. Cyanobacterial blooms are well established as indicators of environmental degradation. Beyond the role as indicators, bloom forming Cyanobacteria by themselves are a serious threat to the functioning of aquatic ecosystems and resources and services provided by aquatic ecosystems. Because of their mechanical properties and the toxicity of several of them, harmful Cyanobacteria may seriously inhibit matter and energy transfer through the food webs. Dense aggregations of cyanobacterial biomass lead to chemical alterations of the water, including pH-changes and a subsequent shift from NH+-ions to toxic NH3, and the release of toxins from live cells and after cell lysis. This, in turn, can lead to animal kills and health hazards for humans via drinking water, consumption of fish, and recreational use. The planned Special Issue should summmarize recent advances in the monitoring, analysis, and prevention of harfmul cyanobacteria and their adverse effects on ecosystem functioning, food webs, and water quality. Among others, possible topics include the effects of cyanobacteria on water chemistry, deep water, and sediment anoxia, grazing inhibition, animal kills, biodiversity, ecological status, human health, and analyses of societal costs.

Prof. Dr. Maria Moustaka-Gouni
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Sommer
Guest Editors

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2020

Link to the webpage of the special issue.

Special Issue: Advancing Knowledge on Cyanobacterial Blooms in Freshwaters – Water-MDPI

Dear Colleagues,

Cyanobacterial blooms are a water quality problem that has been widely acknowledged to cause detrimental ecological and economic effects in drinking and recreational waters supplies, and fisheries. There is increasing evidence that cyanobacterial blooms have increased globally and are likely to expand in water resources due to climate change. Of most concern are cyanotoxins, along with mechanisms that induce their release and fate in the aquatic envirornment. These secondary metabolites pose a potential hazard to human health and agricultural and aquaculture products directed for animal and human consumption; therefore, strict and reliable control of cyanotoxins is crucial for assessing risk. In this direction, a deeper understanding of the mechanisms that determine cyanobacterial bloom structures and toxin production become a target for managing practices.This Special Issue aims to bring together recent research of multi- and interdisciplinary approaches from the field to the laboratory and back again, driven by working hypotheses based on any aspect from ecological theory to applied research on mitigating cyanobacterial blooms. Of special interest are papers that suggest the use of complementary approaches, from the most recently developed molecular-based methods to more classical approaches and experimental and mathematical modeling regarding factors (abiotic and/or biotic) that control the diversity of not only the key bloom forming cyanobacterial species, but also their interactions to other biota, either in frehswater systems or their adjacent habitats, and their role in preventing and/or promoting cyanobacterial growth and toxin production and/or degradation.

Prof. Dr. Elisabeth (Savi) Vardaka
Prof. Dr. Konstantinos Ar. Kormas
Guest Editors

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2019

Link to the Special Issue website (Water-MDPI).

CYANOnews Sep-Oct 2018 issue is out !

The September-October 2018 issue of CYANOnews is out !

It features, among others, an overview of the CyanoTracker project, open special issues related to cyano-research, new papers acknowledging CYANOCOST, job offers and forthcoming events.

You can download it here:


The next issue will come out in the end of November. You are welcome to send us any posts and info to be included in CYANOnews and in our media (website, facebook, twitter).

Looking forward to ICHA2018 in Nantes,



New cyanopeptolins with potential medical applications !

Abstract from a recent paper by Hanna Mazur-Marzec et al., published in Marine Drugs:

“Cyanopeptolins (CPs) are one of the most frequently occurring cyanobacterial peptides, many of which are inhibitors of serine proteases. Some CP variants are also acutely toxic to aquatic organisms, especially small crustaceans. In this study, thirteen CPs, including twelve new variants, were detected in the cyanobacterium Nostoc edaphicum CCNP1411 isolated from the Gulf of Gdańsk (southern Baltic Sea). Structural elucidation was performed by tandem mass spectrometry with verification by NMR for CP962 and CP985. Trypsin and chymotrypsin inhibition assays confirmed the significance of the residue adjacent to 3-amino-6-hydroxy-2-piperidone (Ahp) for the activity of the peptides. Arginine-containing CPs (CPs-Arg2) inhibited trypsin at low IC50 values (0.24–0.26 µM) and showed mild activity against chymotrypsin (IC50 3.1–3.8 µM), while tyrosine-containing CPs (CPs-Tyr2) were selectively and potently active against chymotrypsin (IC50 0.26 µM). No degradation of the peptides was observed during the enzyme assays. Neither of the CPs were active against thrombin, elastase or protein phosphatase 1. Two CPs (CP962 and CP985) had no cytotoxic effects on MCF-7 breast cancer cells. Strong and selective activity of the new cyanopeptolin variants makes them potential candidates for the development of drugs against metabolic disorders and other diseases.”

The work was carried out by researchers of  the University of Gdansk (Poland) and Robert Gordon University (Scotland, UK) and acknowledges CYANOCOST.

Reference (open access):

Mazur-Marzec, Hanna; Fidor, Anna; Cegłowska, Marta; Wieczerzak, Ewa; Kropidłowska, Magdalena; Goua, Marie; Macaskill, Jenny; Edwards, Christine (2018).  Cyanopeptolins with Trypsin and Chymotrypsin Inhibitory Activity from the Cyanobacterium Nostoc edaphicum CCNP1411. Marine Drugs 16(7) https://doi.org/10.3390/md16070220


1st Cyanobacteria Twitter Conference, 24 October 2018

On 24 October 2018, the International Day of Climate Action, the Australian Rivers Institute (ARI), Griffith University, Australia, is excited to host the 1st online Cyanobacteria Twitter Conference with a focus on climate change effects on cyanobacterial blooms and its management.

The primary objectives are to:

– keep abreast of research developments and impact;

– strengthen our network using online platforms;

– identify new opportunities for collaboration; and

– provide outreach and engagement to a broad audience

Details on how to participate can be found here.

The deadline to submit  abstract-tweets is 30 September 2018.


Just published: ICTC10 Special Issue – Journal of Oceanology and Limnology.

The Special Issue of ICTC10 that was held in October 2016 in Wuhan, China is published in Journal of Oceanology and Limnology, Volume 36, Issue 4, July 2018. 

From the Preface article by R. Li, L. Song and P. Orr:

“The 10th nternational Conference on toxic cyanobacteria (ICTC-10) was successfully held during 23–28 Oct. 2016. We were so glad to see much progress made on toxic cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins during past years, and the ICTC does provide a global forum for a wide-ranging communication and discussion of key issues related to cyanobacterial blooms and cyanotoxins. This special issue “Cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins: responses and detection” in Journal of Oceanology and Limnology includes a collection of twelve papers focus on different topics and approaches on diversity, detection and physiological responses of cyanobacterial blooms and cyanotoxins.”

ICTC11 will be held in Krakow, Poland, on 5-10 May 2019.

Response of Natural Cyanobacteria and Algae Assemblages to a Nutrient Pulse and Elevated Temperature

Abstract from a recent paper by Lurling et al., published in Frontiers in Microbiology.

“Eutrophication (nutrient over-enrichment) is the primary worldwide water quality issue often leading to nuisance cyanobacterial blooms. Climate change is predicted to cause further rise of cyanobacteria blooms as cyanobacteria can have a competitive advantage at elevated temperatures. We tested the hypothesis that simultaneous rise in nutrients and temperature will promote cyanobacteria more than a single increase in one of the two drivers. To this end, controlled experiments were run with seston from 39 different urban water bodies varying in trophic state from mesotrophic to hypertrophic. These experiments were carried out at two different temperatures, 20°C (ambient) and 25°C (warming scenario) with or without the addition of a surplus of nutrients (eutrophication scenario). To facilitate comparisons, we quantified the effect size of the different treatments, using cyanobacterial and algal chlorophyll a concentrations as a response variable. Cyanobacterial and algal chlorophyll a concentrations were determined with a PHYTO-PAM phytoplankton analyzer. Warming caused an 18% increase in cyanobacterial chlorophyll-a, while algal chlorophyll-a concentrations were on average 8% higher at 25°C than at 20°C. A nutrient pulse had a much stronger effect on chlorophyll-a concentrations than warming. Cyanobacterial chlorophyll-a concentrations in nutrient enriched incubations at 20 or 25°C were similar and 9 times higher than in the incubations without nutrient pulse. Likewise, algal chlorophyll-a concentrations were 6 times higher. The results of this study confirm that warming alone yields marginally higher cyanobacteria chlorophyll-a concentrations, yet that a pulse of additional nutrients is boosting blooms. The responses of seston originating from mesotrophic waters seemed less strong than those from eutrophic waters, which indicates that nutrient control strategies –catchment as well as in-system measures– could increase the resilience of surface waters to the negative effects of climate change.”


Lürling Miquel, Mello Mariana Mendes e, van Oosterhout Frank, de Senerpont Domis Lisette, Marinho Marcelo M. (2018). Response of Natural Cyanobacteria and Algae Assemblages to a Nutrient Pulse and Elevated Temperature. Frontiers in Microbiology 9, 1851. https://www.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fmicb.2018.01851