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Evaluation of Methods for Cyanobacterial Cell Lysis and Toxin (Microcystin-LR) Extraction Using Chromatographic and Mass Spectrometric Analyses

  • Kim, In S. (Bio-Environmental Engineering Laboratory, Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology) ;
  • Nguyen, Giang-Huong (Bio-Environmental Engineering Laboratory, Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology) ;
  • Kim, Sung-Youn (Bio-Environmental Engineering Laboratory, Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology) ;
  • Lee, Jin-Wook (Bio-Environmental Engineering Laboratory, Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology) ;
  • Yu, Hye-Weon (Bio-Environmental Engineering Laboratory, Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology)
  • Published : 2009.12.31

Abstract

Contamination of microcystins, a family of heptapeptide hepatotoxins, in eutrophic water bodies is a worldwide problem. Due to their poisoning effects on animals and humans, there is a requirement to characterize and quantify all microcystins present in a sample. As microcystins are, for most part, intracellular toxins produced by some genera of cyanobacteria, lysing cyanobacterial cells to release all microcystins is considered an important step. To date, although many cell lysis methods have been used, little work has been conducted comparing the results of those different methods. In this study, various methods for cell lysis and toxin extraction from the cell lysates were investigated, including sonication, bead beating, freeze/thaw, lyophilization and lysing with TritonX-100 surfactant. It was found that lyophilization, followed by extraction with 75% methanol, was the most effective for extracting toxins from Microcystis aeruginosa cells. Another important step prior to the analysis is removing impurities and concentrating the target analyte. For these purposes, a C18 Sep-Pak solid phase extraction cartridge was used, with the percentage of the eluent methanol also evaluated. As a result, methanol percentages higher than 75% appeared to be the best eluting solvent in terms of microcystin-leucine-arginine (MC-LR) recovery efficiency for the further chromatographic and mass spectrometric analyses.

Keywords

Cell lysis;Cyanobacteria;Microcystin;Solid phase extraction;Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry

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