Chemostats, Cyanobacteria, Cyanotoxins, Oxidative stress, Transcriptomics
For Microcystis aeruginosa PCC 7806, temperature decreases from 26 °C to 19 °C double the microcystin quota per cell during growth in continuous culture. Here we tested whether this increase in microcystin provided M. aeruginosa PCC 7806 with a fitness advantage during colder-temperature growth by comparing cell concentration, cellular physiology, reactive oxygen species damage, and the transcriptomics-inferred metabolism to a non-toxigenic mutant strain M. aeruginosa PCC 7806 ΔmcyB. Photo-physiological data combined with transcriptomic data revealed metabolic changes in the mutant strain during growth at 19 °C, which included increased electron sinks and non-photochemical quenching. Increased gene expression was observed for a glutathione-dependent peroxiredoxin during cold treatment, suggesting compensatory mechanisms to defend against reactive oxygen species are employed in the absence of microcystin in the mutant. Our observations highlight the potential selective advantages of a longer-term defensive strategy in management of oxidative stress (i.e., making microcystin) vs the shorter-term proactive strategy of producing cellular components to actively dissipate or degrade oxidative stress agents.
Stark, Gwendolyn F.; Martin, Robbie M.; Smith, Laura E.; Wei, Bofan; Hellweger, Ferdi L.; Bullerjahn, George S.; McKay, R. Michael L.; Boyer, Gregory L.; and Wilhelm, Steven W.. (2023). Microcystin aids in cold temperature acclimation: Differences between a toxic Microcystis wildtype and non-toxic mutant. Harmful Algae, 129.