New publication of Rehab El-Shehawy in the book “Cyanobacteria: Ecology, Toxicology and Management”

Published On: June 20, 2013

The book "Cyanobacteria: Ecology, Toxicology and Management" (NOVA PUBLISHERS) has been recently published. Rehab El-Shehawy, IMDEA Water researcher, participates through the chapter entitled "The Bloom-Forming Cyanobacterium Nodularia spumigena: A Peculiar NitrogenFixer in the Baltic Sea Food Webs".

The book "Cyanobacteria: Ecology, Toxicology and Management" (NOVA PUBLISHERS) has been recently published. Rehab El-Shehawy, IMDEA Water researcher, participates through the chapter entitled "The Bloom-Forming Cyanobacterium Nodularia spumigena: A Peculiar NitrogenFixer in the Baltic Sea Food Webs".

This chapter discusses a peculiar feature of the Baltic Sea is the massive summer blooms of cyanobacteria. Various environmental, economic and sanitation repercussions of these blooms have attracted considerable attention among the scientific community, water management agencies and general public. Of particular concern is the increase in frequencies and amplitude of the hepatotoxic blooms of Nodularia spumigena. This is a planktonic, toxic, filamentous nitrogen-fixing cyanobacterium capable of forming massive blooms when environmental conditions are suitable. The toxicity of N spumigena is mainly attributed to the production of the hepatotoxin nodularin, which is also a tumor promoter. Furthermore, through its nitrogen fixation activity, N. spumigena contributes significantly to the total annual nitrogen load in the Baltic Sea. Here, we highlight the physiological peculiarity ofN spumigena related to nitrogen fixation and heterocyst formation and how this may be regulating its ability to form blooms. We also discuss some key molecular and physiological aspects of the toxin production. Furthermore, we highlight the interactions between N sp umigena and its grazers in the food webs and potential effects of climate-related factors on these interactions. AIl these aspects are important to consider if we want to predict consequences of the eutrophication and global change for bloom proliferation and toxin production by N. spumigena.

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