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Evidence of the existence of a toxic form of Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii (Nostocales, Cyanobacteria) in Japan


  • Communicating editor: W. Nelson.



Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii is a common, bloom-forming, planktonic, freshwater cyanobacterium. Toxic populations producing cylindrospermopsin can cause water-safety problems. Although C. raciborskii is distributed worldwide, the presence of cylindrospermopsin-producing strains of C. raciborskii was initially reported only in Australia and recently in Thailand. Here, we report the isolation of a toxic strain of C. raciborskii (ISG9) from a freshwater sample collected in Okinawa in 2008. This is the first report describing toxin expression in this species in Japan, detected from a subtropical area. The C. raciborskii species is known to produce cylindrospermopsin as a dominant toxin; however, in this new isolate, the dominant toxin expressed was deoxy-cylindrospermopsin. The discovery of a toxic strain of C. raciborskii in southern Japan emphasizes the need for basic monitoring schemes for this species in water supplies located in the temperate regions of Japan because of its possible expansion and distribution to other geographic areas.