First report of cyanobacterial diversity and microcystins in a Microcystis strain from Sidi Boughaba, a Moroccan coastal lagoon
The cyanobacterial diversity of Sidi Boughaba, a Moroccan coastal lagoon and Ramsar site, was evaluated and its potentially toxic species were isolated and characterised. This study was the first time that cyanobacterial diversity and cyanotoxin production have been characterised in a Moroccan coastal lagoon. Samples collected in June 2004, July 2008 and August 2013 contained 41 species. Three strains of cyanobacteria were isolated, cultured and assessed for their potentially toxic levels of microcystins. Only Microcystis flos-aquae exhibited the presence of microcystins, at a concentration of 823.41 μg g−1 as MC-LR equivalents. MC-RR and MC-WR were also detected. The presence of toxic Microcystis and other potentially toxic strains, especially in periods of bloom proliferations, could pose environmental and health hazards. Cyanotoxin monitoring of this lagoon is highly recommended.
Keywords: chromatographic analysis, cyanobacteria, cyanotoxins, Morocco