Taxonomical and Functional Heterogeneity of Microcystin-Degrading Bacteria in Lake Erie

First Author's Department

Biological Sciences

Second Author's Department

Biological Sciences



Document Type



Microcystins (MCs) are one among the predominant cyanotoxin in the freshwater environment which are primarily degraded by heterotrophic bacteria. Nevertheless, our knowledge about the taxonomic diversity of MC degrading (MC+) bacteria from Lake Erie is very limited. In the current study we look at forty MC-degrading bacterial isolates screened from numerous bacterial cultures from Lake Erie. These isolates were characterized based on their MC-degradation rates at different pH, temperature and addition of organic carbon. A mixed culture MC-degradation was also performed to further characterize MC-degradation rate for isolates which were taxonomically close. The MC-degrading isolates were primarily gram positive in nature and exhibited an array in terms of color, shape and morphology. Taxonomically they belonged to Alphaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria and Firmicutes phyla. MC degradation rate of the isolates were impacted by temperature and also pH, but remain unchanged with the addition of organic carbon. The MC-degradation rate were also observed to show an increase for some of the isolates primarily belonging to the Pseudomonas spp. in the mixed culture degradation process. These MC+ isolates identified were also found to possess other degradation properties and biological uses according to previous literature.