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Toxicon. 1982;20(4):747-52.

Comparison of the toxins of the blue-green alga Aphanizomenon flos-aquae with the Gonyaulax toxins.


A toxic strain of Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (NH-1), isolated from a toxic bloom in a pond in Durham, New Hampshire, has been mass cultured in the laboratory. The toxin was extracted by ultrasonic disruption of the cells and purified by; (a) filtration through a 10 kilodalton filter, and (b) chromatography on a strong cation exchange resin column using 0.01 M, then 0.1 M, pH 5, sodium acetate buffer followed by 0.75 M hydrochloric acid. Mouse assays and fluorescence generated by hydrogen peroxide oxidation were used to monitor the fractions. Only a nonfluorescent toxic peak followed immediately by a fluorescent less-toxic peak were detected, both eluting with the hydrochloric acid fractions. The toxins were identical in behavior to neosaxitoxin and saxitoxin, respectively, when compared with elution profiles of the paralytic shellfish poisons from Gonyaulax tamarensis var. excavata and by paper electrophoretic and thin-layer chromatographic comparisons. The toxin profile appears to be different from that of a previously isolated strain of A. flos-aquae from Kezar Lake.

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