Daily Archives: December 31, 2013

Cyanobacterial toxins

Sylvain Corbel, Christian Mougin, Noureddine Bouaïcha. Cyanobacterial toxins: Modes of actions, fate in aquatic and soil ecosystems, phytotoxicity and bioaccumulation in agricultural crops. Chemosphere, Volume 96, February 2014, Pages 1–15.

The occurrence of harmful cyanobacterial blooms in surface waters is often accompanied by the production of a variety of cyanotoxins. These toxins are designed to target in humans and animals specific organs on which they act: hepatotoxins (liver), neurotoxins (nervous system), cytotoxic alkaloids, and dermatotoxins (skin), but they often have important side effects too. When introduced into the soil ecosystem by spray irrigation of crops they may affect the same molecular pathways in plants having identical or similar target organs, tissues, cells or biomolecules. There are also several indications that terrestrial plants, including food crop plants, can bioaccumulate cyanotoxins and present, therefore, potential health hazards for human and animals. The number of publications concerned with phytotoxic effects of cyanotoxins on agricultural plants has increased recently. In this review, we first examine different cyanotoxins and their modes of actions in humans and mammals and occurrence of target biomolecules in vegetable organisms. Then we present environmental concentrations of cyanotoxins in freshwaters and their fate in aquatic and soil ecosystems. Finally, we highlight bioaccumulation of cyanotoxins in plants used for feed and food and its consequences on animals and human health. Overall, our review shows that the information on the effects of cyanotoxins on non-target organisms in the terrestrial environment is particularly scarce, and that there are still serious gaps in the knowledge about the fate in the soil ecosystems and phytotoxicity of these toxins.

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