Cyanobacteria blooms induce embryonic heart failure in an endangered fish species
Author ORCID Identifier
Allelopathy, Cyanobacterial exudates, Embryo, Proteomics
Cyanobacterial blooms drive water-quality and aquatic-ecosystem deterioration in eutrophic lakes worldwide, mainly owing to their harmful, secondary metabolites. The response of fish exposed to these cyanobacterial chemicals, however, remains largely unknown. In this paper, we employed an endangered fish species (Sinocyclocheilus grahami) in Dianchi Lake, China to evaluate the risks of cell-free exudates (MaE) produced by a dominant cyanobacterium (Microcystis aeruginosa) on embryo development, as well as the molecular mechanisms responsible. MaE (3d cultured) caused a reduction of fertilization (35.4%) and hatching (15.5%) rates, and increased mortality rates (≤90.0%) and malformation rate (27.6%), typically accompanied by heart failure. Proteomics analysis revealed that two greatest changed proteins – protein S100A1 (over-expressed 26 times compared with control) and myosin light chain (under-expressed 25 fold) – are closely associated with heart function. Further study revealed that heart failure was due to calcium ion imbalance and malformed cardiac structure. We conclude that harmful secondary metabolites from cyanobacteria may adversely affect embryo development in this endangered fish, and possibly contribute to its disappearance and unsuccessful recovery in Dianchi Lake. Hazardous consequences of substances released by cyanobacteria should raise concerns for managers addressing recovery of this and other imperiled species in affected lakes.
Zi, Jinmei; Pan, Xiaofu; MacIsaac, Hugh J.; Yang, Junxing; Xu, Runbing; Chen, Shanyuan; and Chang, Xuexiu, "Cyanobacteria blooms induce embryonic heart failure in an endangered fish species" (2018). Aquatic Toxicology, 194, Supplement C, 75-85.