Original paper

Toxic blooms of Planktothrix rubescens (Cyanobacteria/Phormidiaceae) in three waterbodies in Italy

Viaggiu, Emanuela; Calvanella, Simona; Mattioli, Palma; Albertano, Patrizia; Melchiorre, Serena; Bruno, Milena


In December 2000 and February 2001 toxic waterblooms of Planktothrix rubescens (Dc ex Gom.) Anagn. et Kom. (1988) were detected in three Italian waterbodies: the lake of Albano, the Spino fishpond and Fiastrone reservoir. The results showed that all the three waterbodies were infested for few weeks by an overspread surface bloom, 1-4 cm thick. The cell number ranged from 660 × 106 cells.l−l in Albano Lake to 785 × 106 cells.l−l in Spino and 10 × 106 cells.l−l in Fiastrone reservoir. Microcystin-RR was found in samples from Albano and Fiastrone, while anatoxin-a was identified in Spino samples. Morphometrical analyses evidenced the occurence of different toxin-producing morphotypes between the blooming populations.


cyanobacteriaplanktothrix rubescenswaterbloomsanatoxin-aneurotoxinsmicrocystinshepatotoxinsimage analysismorphometry