Co-occurrence of microcystin and microginin congeners in Brazilian strains of Microcystis sp.


Correspondence: Ernani Pinto, Departamento de Análises Clínicas e Toxicológicas, Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas, Universidade de São Paulo, Av. Professor Lineu Prestes, 580, 05508-000 São Paulo, SP, Brazil. Tel.: +55 11 3091 2192; fax: +55 11 3031 9055; e-mail:


Species of Microcystis are the most common bloom-forming cyanobacteria in several countries. Despite extensive studies regarding the production of bioactive cyanopeptides in this genus, there are limited data on isolated strains from Brazil. Three Microcystis sp. strains were isolated from the Salto Grande Reservoir (LTPNA01, 08 and 09) and investigated for the presence of mcy genes, microcystins and other cyanopeptides. Microcystin and microginin production was confirmed in two isolates using high-resolution tandem mass spectrometry after electrospray ionization (ESI-Q-TOF), and the structures of two new microginin congeners were proposed (MG756 Ahda-Val-Leu-Hty-Tyr and MG770 MeAhda-Val-Leu-Hty-Tyr). The biosynthesis profile of the identified cyanopeptides was evaluated at different growth phases via a newly developed HPLC-UV method. Results demonstrated no substantial differences in the production of microcystins and microginins after data normalization to cell quota, suggesting a constitutive biosynthesis. This study represents the first confirmed co-production of microginins and microcystins in Brazilian strains of Microcystis sp. and highlights the potential of Brazilian cyanobacteria as a source of natural compounds with pharmaceutical interest.