The combination of liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry (LC-MS) is a valuable tool for the determination of algal toxins contained at trace levels in complex matrices thanks to its high sensitivity, selectivity and ability to deal with the structural diversity and labile nature of the toxins. Targeted LC tandem MS (LC-MS/MS) approaches are already efficiently employed worldwide to monitor toxin distribution in the environment and in the food chain. At the same time, untargeted approaches based on high resolution MS (LC-HRMS) have generally disclosed the presence of a much higher number and types of toxins and made straightforward elucidation of the gross structure of the unknowns based on the interpretation of their fragmentation patterns.
In view of the plethora of LC-MS/MS and LC-HRMS methods that have been developed so far, the need exists for critical reviews that, besides summarizing the methodologies for determination of each toxin-group, single out the main challenges to be addressed in the next future for marine, freshwater and fish-killing toxins. Collaborative efforts among scientists are strongly encouraged both in the field of the regulated toxins in EU and the emerging ones to build the rational basis for inter-laboratory validation trials, where needed. Original research articles reporting LC-MS based identification of emerging issues for water and food safety potentially associated with climate change as well as recent advancements in LC-MS data acquisition and treatment (On-line SPE-LC-MS, 2D-LC-MS, Metabolomics, among others) will be also included in this Special Issue.
Freshwater cyanobacteria are known to produce a suite of different chemicals that can be toxic to many organisms. These toxins can have adverse impacts on humans, animals, and even aquatic and terrestrial plants. Further information about cyanobacterial toxins is required to better understand and manage their risks in freshwater environments. This Special Issue aims to bring together papers that provide new information on the monitoring of cyanobacterial toxins and the identification of toxins in freshwater environments. Further, papers are invited that develop our knowledge of how cyanobacterial toxins impact humans, as well as different aquatic and terrestrial organisms. Papers that better develop our understanding of how toxin production by cyanobacteria is regulated are also welcomed.
Assoc. Prof. Simon Mitrovic
Dr. Ambrose Furey Guest Editors
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2019.
Dr. Philipp Hess (Ifremer, France) and Dr. Jean-Francois Humbert (Sorbonne University, France) are editors of a Special Issue titled “Potentially Toxic Benthic Microorganisms in Freshwater and Marine Ecosystems”, in Toxins (MDPI). This special issue belongs to the section “Marine and Freshwater Toxins“.
The aim of the Special Issue is to “gather the most recent research on benthic cyanobacteria and microalgae proliferating in marine and freshwater ecosystems and on their toxins. All papers dealing with the taxonomy, genetic diversity, ecology and toxicity of biofilms dominated by potentially-toxic cyanobacteria and microalgae and on risk assessment and management associated with such assemblages will be considered in this Special Issue.“
The deadline for manuscript submissions is 31 August 2019, but papers will be published as soon as they are accepted following peer-review, i.e. well before the deadline and typically within 4-8 weeks from submission.
The 19th Congress of the European Section of the International Society of Toxinology (IST) will be held on 22-26 Sept. 2018 in Yerevan, Armenia. The congress will include updates on all aspects of toxinology – from evolution and molecular biology, through chemistry and pharmacology, to clinical effects and advances in treatments of envenomed patients.
The closing date for the early-bird registration rate is 30 June, and the closing dates for submission of abstracts are 1 July for oral presentations and 15 August for posters.
A Special Issue on “Emerging Marine Biotoxins” is under development in Toxins (MDPI), by Guest Editors Prof. Dr. Ana Gago-Martínez (University of Vigo, Spain) and Dr. Arjen Gerssen (RIKILT Wageningen Research, The Netherlands)
“This Special Issue will cover all emerging toxins that might be considered as a threat to human health, and different aspects, including analytical methods for detection and quantification, rapid tests for screening, toxicology, mode of action, occurrence, epidemiology, are considered as the main areas of interest.”
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2018.
Invitation from the Local Organizing Committee of ICTC11 (from ICTC11 website):
The International Conference on Toxic Cyanobacteria (ICTC) is a periodic summit of an international community focusing on the study of cyanotoxins and toxic cyanobacteria. Poland was chosen as the venue of the nextICTC11by the participants of the conference in Wuhan in 2016. The five-day event includes interactive sessions and lively discussion panels which promote active scientific exchange and communication between scientists and students. This event will feature recent findings from leading academic experts in the field in the form of lectures and posters. Participants will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience from the experts on the subject and to network with other enthusiasts.
The theme of this year’s ICTC 11 is: “Learning from the past to predict the future”
The event also includes excursions and off-site visits with the aim of giving the participants a wider insight about the heritage of Kraków and Małopolska region. The royal capital city of Kraków is the spiritual centre of Poland with rich heritage. Krakow’s Old Town, along with Wawel Castle and the city’s Kazimierz district found their place on the First World Heritage List, created by UNESCO in 1978. The city is home to Polish intellectual and artistic elites and is a magnet for the young. Students and young Polish professionals as well as a growing international community are drawn to the city.
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 bookshere.
“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.