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Investigations into the taxonomy, toxicity and ecology of benthic cyanobacterial accumulations in Myall Lake, Australia
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by M Dasey, N Ryan, J Wilson, B Neilan, B Burns, H Kankaanpaa, L Morrison, D Rissik, L Bowling, G McGregor
Large benthic accumulations of cyanobacteria occur in sheltered embayments within Myall Lake, New South Wales, Australia. The lake is shallow, with the entire bottom within the euphotic zone, and it is generally considered pristine, having low nutrient concentrations. The accumulations are highly organic and contain a mix of species mainly from the order Chroococcales, with two forms of Aphanothece being dominant. However polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis indicates a close similarity to Microcystis flos-aquae. The cells appear to lack aerotopes and form sticky mucilaginous amalgamations, which may enhance their benthic habit. Although Chroococcales also dominate the planktonic cyanobacterial community, the benthic species are seldom, if ever, found entrained within the water column. Some hepatotoxicity was indicated by mouse bioassay, protein phosphatase inhibition assay, enzyme-linked immuno-sorbent assay (ELISA) for microcystins, PCR and by chromatographic evidence for a microcystin. Ecological aspects of the distribution, gross morphology of the organisms and management implications for recreational water-users are discussed.