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Cyanobacterial bioactive molecules - an overview of their toxic properties

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Allelopathic interactions involving cyanobacteria are being increasingly explored for the pharmaceutical and environmental significance of the bioactive molecules. Among the toxic compounds produced by cyanobacteria, the biosynthetic pathways, regulatory mechanisms, and genes involved are well understood, in relation to biotoxins, whereas the cytotoxins are less investigated. A range of laboratory methods have been developed to detect and identify biotoxins in water as well as the causal organisms; these methods vary greatly in their degree of sophistication and the information they provide. Direct molecular probes are also available to detect and (or) differentiate toxic and nontoxic species from environmental samples. This review collates the information available on the diverse types of toxic bioactive molecules produced by cyanobacteria and provides pointers for effective exploitation of these biologically and industrially significant prokaryotes.

Les effets allélopathiques des cyoanobactéries sont de plus en explorés pour identifier les molécules bioactives importantes d’un point de vue pharmaceutique ou environnemental. Parmi les composés toxiques produits par les cyanobactéries, les biotoxines sont bien connues quant aux voies, aux mécanismes régulateurs et aux gènes impliqués dans leur biosynthèse, alors que les cytotoxines sont moins étudiées. Une variété de méthodes de laboratoire ont été développées afin de détecter et d’identifier les biotoxines de l’eau et les agents qui en sont responsables; elles diffèrent grandement quant à leur degré de sophistication et à l’information qu’elles génèrent. Des sondes moléculaires directes sont aussi disponibles afin de détecter et différencier les espèces toxiques des espèces non toxiques d’échantillons environnementaux. Cette revue collige l’information disponible sur les différents types de molécules bioactives toxiques produites par les cyanobactéries et fournit des pistes pour exploiter de façon efficace ces procaryotes significatifs d’un point de vue biologique et industriel.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • Published since 1954, this monthly journal contains new research in the field of microbiology including applied microbiology and biotechnology; microbial structure and function; fungi and other eucaryotic protists; infection and immunity; microbial ecology; physiology, metabolism and enzymology; and virology, genetics, and molecular biology. It also publishes review articles and notes on an occasional basis, contributed by recognized scientists worldwide.
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