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Microb Ecol. 2008 Aug;56(2):201-9. Epub 2007 Nov 17.

"Non-toxic" cyclic peptides induce lysis of cyanobacteria-an effective cell population density control mechanism in cyanobacterial blooms.

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  • 1Department of Genetic Toxicology and Cancer Biology, National Institute of Biology Ljubljana, Vecna pot 111, 1000, Ljubljana, Slovenia.


The presence of planktopeptin BL1125, anabaenopeptin B and anabaenopeptin F, two types of "non-toxic" cyclic peptide produced in bloom forming cyanobacteria, can provoke lysis of different non-axenic Microcystis aeruginosa cell lines via the induction of virus-like particles. The resulting particles are also able to infect the axenic M. aeruginosa cell line without lytic effects. Nevertheless, the presence of "non-toxic" cyclic peptides of cyanobacterial origin can induce lysis of these previously infected cells. This effect implies that a possible role of these peptides in the natural environment is the control of cyanobacterial population density. Lysogenic cyanobacteria can consequently act as hot-spots that, in the presence of cyanobacterial cyclic peptides, release numerous infectious particles. The process can be self-augmented with the simultaneous release of additional cyclic peptides from the producing lysogens, starting a forest fire effect that ends in collapse of cyanobacterial blooms.

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