Toxic and non-toxic cyanobacteria: evolving concepts
Codd, Geoffrey A.; Metcalf, James S.
Abstract The terms “toxic” and “non-toxic” are being increasingly used to refer to environmental populations and individual strains of cyanobacteria in water resource risk management, and in the design of experimental systems in cyanobacterial ecotoxicology and the interpretation of the results arising. Identification of the range of known, individual metabolites (cyanotoxins) with adverse effects on vertebrates, invertebrates and plants is also increasing, with variable susceptibilities between the target organisms to the cyanotoxins. Further adverse biological actions of cyanobacterial bloom material and crude cell extracts are emerging which are not attributable to the known cyanotoxins. Factors which influence whether a particular cyanobacterial population or strain is toxic or non-toxic in a system are discussed with reference to the presence of known cyanotoxins and of metabolites yet to be identified.