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Effects of Chrysosporum (Aphanizomenon) ovalisporum extracts containing cylindrospermopsin on growth, photosynthetic capacity, and mineral content of carrots (Daucus carota)

Guzmán-Guillén, Remedios, Campos, Alexandre, Machado, Joana, Freitas, Marisa, Azevedo, Joana, Pinto, Edgar, Almeida, Agostinho, Cameán, Ana M., Vasconcelos, Vitor
Ecotoxicology 2017 v.26 no.1 pp. 22-31
Aphanizomenon, Daucus carota, calcium, carrots, copper, cylindrospermopsin, food safety, freshwater, humans, iron, magnesium, manganese, mineral content, minerals, molybdenum, natural toxicants, nutritive value, photosynthesis, plant growth, risk, roots, sodium, soil, zinc
Natural toxins produced by freshwater cyanobacteria, such as cylindrospermopsin, have been regarded as an emergent environmental threat. Despite the risks for food safety, the impact of these water contaminants in agriculture is not yet fully understood. Carrots (Daucus carota) are root vegetables, extensively consumed worldwide with great importance for human nourishment and economy. It is, therefore, important to evaluate the possible effects of using water contaminated with cyanotoxins on carrot cultivation. The aim of this work was to investigate cylindrospermopsin effects on D. carota grown in soil and irrigated for 30 days, with a Chrysosporum ovalisporum extract containing environmentally relevant concentrations of cylindrospermopsin (10 and 50 μg/L). The parameters evaluated were plant growth, photosynthetic capacity, and nutritional value (mineral content) in roots of carrots, as these are the edible parts of this plant crop. The results show that, exposure to cylindrospermopsin did not have a clear negative effect on growth or photosynthesis of D. carota, even leading to an increase of both parameters. However, alterations in mineral contents were detected after exposure to crude extracts of C. ovalisporum containing cylindrospermopsin. A general decline was observed for most minerals (Ca, Mg, Na, Fe, Mn, Zn, Mo, and P), although an increase was shown in the case of K and Cu, pointing to a possible interference of the cyanobacterial extract in mineral uptake. This study is the first to evaluate the effects of C. ovalisporum extracts on a root vegetable, however, more research is necessary to understand the effects of this toxin in environmentally relevant scenarios.