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Toxicon. 1995 Dec;33(12):1619-31.

Stability of microcystins from cyanobacteria--II. Effect of UV light on decomposition and isomerization.

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Kanagawa Prefectural Public Health Laboratories, Yokohama, Japan.


Microcystins are very potent hepatotoxins and strong liver tumor promoters produced by cyanobacteria, and their occurrence has been reported all over the world. They could threaten human health when toxic Microcystis occurs in water supply reservoirs. In this study, we examined the stability of microcystins during photolysis with UV light. The toxins were easily decomposed by UV light at wavelengths around the absorption maxima of the toxins and the decomposition depended on the intensity of the light. The half-life of microcystin LR by 147 microW/cm2 UV irradiation was 10 min, and the toxin was completely decomposed by 2550 microW/cm2 UV after 10 min. When the toxins were irradiated with weaker UV light, isomerization was also observed by a different mechanism from that during photolysis by sunlight and pigment, and several products including three geometrical isomers of the conjugated diene of Adda were detected. Microcystin RR showed almost the same behavior as that of microcystin LR under the same conditions. Since no noxious products were formed in the present study, a water treatment including UV irradiation is very possible for removing microcystins from raw water.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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