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Algae > Volume 14(2); 1999 > Article
Algae 1999;14(2): 111-115.
Comparison of HPLC Analysis and Protein Phosphatase Assay in the Detection of Cyanobacterial Toxins in the Naktong River Samples
Vishal C. Srivastava, Young Shik Park, Jin Ae Lee
Department of Environmental Science, Inje University, Department of Microbiology, Inje University
Bloom formation of hepatotoxins producing species of Micrecystis was observed during the summer of 1998 in the Naktong River. Predominant species in the bloom material was M. aeruginosa (Relative abundance, 78.1-100%). HPLC analysis of cell samples showed that imcrocystin-RP was the dominant variant (73.2-100%) present in the sample. Microcystins are known to be potent inhibitors of protein phosphatases 1 and 2A, which are essential in cellular function. This susceptibility provides an opportunity for the rapid detection and quantification of these toxins. These hepatotoxins were detected in the water column at biologically active levels, based on their activity (in microcystin-RR equivalent units) by a highly sensitive protein phosphatase assay system, the radioisotope version. A comparison between HPLC analysis and protein phosphatase measurement was made in measuring the concentration of these cyanobacterial toxins. The highest concentration of microcstin-RR eq. in the cell free water was recorded as 19.10 μg/l eq. The HPLC analysis indicated that microcystin-RR was present in the range of 0.21~3.30 μg/l in the water samples of the Naktong River. This study revealed that a direct comparison of microcystin concentration between the two methods, HPLC analysis and protein phosphatase assay might not be applicable for all the field samples.
Key words: cyanobacteria, HPLC, microcystin, protein phosphatase

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