Different methods for toxin analysis in the cyanobacterium Nodularia spumigena (Cyanophyceae)

J Dahlmann, A Rühl, C Hummert, G Liebezeit, Per Carlsson, E Graneli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The brackish water cyanobacterium Nodularia spumigena produce the hepatotoxic cyclic pentapeptide nodularin. Intoxications for both human as well as animal may arise when water reservoirs are contaminated with potentially toxic Nodularia species. Here, results of three independent methods for the determination of nodularin in different strains of N. spumigena are presented. The results obtained with a protein phosphatase assay and a HPLC/UV/MS method are compared with the results obtained with a bioluminescence assay, which is successfully introduced here for nodularin determination. Statistical evaluation of the three applied methods revealed a good comparability towards the detected toxin content. The methods were evaluated taking into consideration the parameters: handling, efficiency, sensitivity and selectivity. The detection limit in the protein phosphatase assay is highest (0.05 ng nodularin) and lowest (250 ng nodularin) in the bioluminescence assay— it was determined with 5 ng (MS) and 25 ng (UV) for the HPLC/UV/MS methods. The different selectivities and sensitivities are critically discussed and an analytical pathway for the determination of the biotoxin nodularin from Nodularia samples is proposed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1183-1190
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Ecology


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