Author(s): K Sivonen
The effects of bacteria, temperature, light, nitrate, and orthophosphate on growth of and hepatotoxin (desmethyl-3-microcystin-RR) production by Oscillatoria agardhii strains were studied under laboratory conditions. Strains were cultivated in Z8 medium under continuous illumination. Growth was determined by measuring dry weight and chlorophyll a, while toxin was analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography. Two of the three toxic cultures studied produced more toxins in axenic than in nonaxenic cultures. High toxin production correlated with high nitrogen concentrations (test range, 0.42 to 84 mg of N per liter) and low light intensity (test range, 12 to 95 microeinsteins/m2 per s). Toxin production depended on phosphorus concentration at low levels of phosphorus (0.1 to 0.4 mg of P per liter) and higher concentrations had no additional effect. The optimum temperature for toxin production and growth of green O. agardhii was 25 degrees C. Red O. agardhii produced almost similar amounts of toxin at temperatures of 15 to 25 degrees C. The lowest toxin production by both strains was at 30 degrees C.